Hollywood actor Jonathan Pryce returns to hometown of Holywell for opening of hall at Ysgol Bro Carmel
Hollywood actor Jonathan Pryce returned to his hometown Holywell for the opening of a refurbished school hall on Saturday. Mark Dowling spoke to him about the visit and his memories growing up in Carmel
AN ACTOR who went from Holywell to Hollywood has returned to his hometown to officially open a refurbished school hall.
Screen and stage star Jonathan Pryce CBE, who has appeared in such films as Evita, Pirates of the Caribbean and the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, helped officially open Ysgol Bro Carmel’s renovated school hall.
More than 200 pupils, parents, staff members and onlookers attended the afternoon event, which began with a rendition of the Welsh national anthem by Holywell Town Band.
And for Mr Pryce, 63, the return to his hometown brought back fond memories.
He said: “There were many memories in Carmel especially. When I left I was about 16 or 17, so I spent all these times there. It was a great place to grow up in.
“There were a lot of young people in the area and a huge field where we used to play.
“We would go down into the wood in the Bonc and it was a great adventure playground near the quarry.
“It got a little more difficult the older you got, as with your teenage years you just stood around not doing a lot, but it was still a fun place.”
Mr Pryce, a former pupil of the now-demolished Springfield School and Holywell Grammar (now Holywell High) School, added he returns quite often to the area.
“My sisters still live in the area and I get to see them, as well as friends who are quite a bit older now!” he said.
The actor also detailed his current projects.
“I have been doing The Caretaker on stage, which we started in Liverpool and London,” he said.
“Being in Liverpool used to be a long way from Holywell but now it’s relatively very close and I meet up with lots of friends when in the area.
“I am due to start a romantic comedy film called Hysteria at the end of the month.”
Mr Pryce also revealed he would not rule out treading the boards at Mold’s Clwyd Theatr Cymru in the future.
“There is every chance of going to Clwyd Theatr Cymru to perform,” he said. “I have worked with Terry Hands (the theatre’s director), and he has done great things for the theatre. I would like to work with him if I find the time.”
During the community afternoon in the school Mr Pryce gave a speech and invited pupil Samantha Dellaway, who was celebrating her eighth birthday, on to the stage.
Headteacher Jo Garbutt said: “Jonathan Pryce was truly amazing.
“He got one child on stage and got everyone to sing Happy Birthday and he joined in, which was quite incredible when you think how famous he is. He came with his partner (Kate Fahy) and his sisters Margaret and Kathleen.”
Children enjoyed the bouncy castle and a raffle was held to raise funds to give one of the school’s classrooms a facelift.
The refurbished school hall can be booked for public events.
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