Jack Petchey Foundation
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Danny-Boy Hatchard - Theatre Challenge to the West End

From humble beginnings to the top!

Talented actor Danny-Boy Hatchard ascended from humble beginnings to the dizzy heights of the West End, but he still keeps his feet on the ground.

The summer of 2013 saw Danny-Boy starring as the co-lead in a production of Jonathan Harvey’s urban love story, A Beautiful Thing, which received widespread acclaim since it began its run at the at the Arts Theatre on April 13th 2013.

The production marked Danny-Boy’s professional debut, and signalled an impressive rise which he attributes to determination, sacrifice, valuable advice and a measure of good fortune.

“It’s important to stay humble, and keep my feet on the ground. I know I am very lucky, and at the moment, I am really enjoying the ride. I do work hard, and on top of that, I don’t drink and I really focus to control my diet. I also spend a lot of my spare time reading about productions elsewhere to stay on the ball, and ahead of others who might be going for the same kind of roles. The fierce competition keeps me focused.”

Danny-Boy said that his participation in the Jack Petchey Theatre Challenge was a central part of his development, and that it opened the doors to opportunities he has previously only dreamed of. The challenge ran in 2008, offering an opportunity for young people across London to showcase their performing talents. Danny-Boy was accepted onto the five week training program before participating in a performance to a thousand-strong audience in Central London.

“The advice and motivation I received from people such as Michael Fentiman, who was involved in the challenge and the chance to perform with Leanne Jones gave me the drive to pursue acting as a career. The taste The Jack Petchey Theatre Challenge was fundamental in getting me to where I am.”

Danny-Boy was accepted onto the dance program at Barking and Dagenham School of Performing Arts, before gaining a scholarship at Arts Educational School, in Chiswick where he currently studies Musical Theatre. He featured in various productions including Betty Blue Eyes and Kiss of the Spiderwoman during his three years at Arts Ed, which he will graduate from in 2014.

“Getting the scholarship was honestly an amazing experience, and furthered my own belief that I could go on to achieve more – the same belief that Jack Petchey has inspired in so many young people across London.”

“Networking and meeting other people is also a key element to succeeding in this industry. The people I have met and the chances I’ve had stem from me being involved in the Jack Petchey Challenge, while other students have also provided me with an indication of the standard I have to be at to achieve in this line of work.”

After finishing the run at the West End on 25th May, A Beautiful Thing went on tour to Liverpool, Leeds and Brighton. Danny-Boy has high aspirations for the future, and hopes to gain more theatrical experience with the intention of later moving into film.

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"It's important to stay humble, and keep my feet on the ground. I know I am very lucky, and at the moment, I am really enjoying the ride"


Danny-Boy Hatchard