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Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom visits the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury as patron of the Marlowe Youth Theatre group

A star descended on the Marlowe Theatre when Hollywood heartthrob Orlando Bloom dropped by this week.

The Lord of the Rings actor was born in Canterbury and made his stage debut at the city venue aged four.

Yesterday, he returned to the stage where he caught the acting bug for the first time in four years.

Orlando Bloom with Marlowe Youth Theatre members
Orlando Bloom with Marlowe Youth Theatre members

Bloom, 37, popped by to lend his support to the Marlowe Youth Theatre - a group he serves as patron for.

He said: "Being a boy who grew up in Canterbury and having my first experience on stage here, I was honoured and moved to be asked to be patron of The Marlowe Youth Theatre.

"As a child, theatre was so fantastic for my confidence and to be involved in drama was invaluable support. I am very happy to be an ambassador."

Orlando Bloom's controversial "pikey" comment drew widespread criticism
Orlando Bloom's controversial "pikey" comment drew widespread criticism

The Pirates of the Caribbean star offered advice to budding actors.

He told them: "Go for it. Follow your dreams. Roll up your sleeves and work hard for it.

"Have no expectations and if you follow your heart and want to be creative, this should lead to a happy and creative life."

Orlando as Legolas in Lord of the Rings
Orlando as Legolas in Lord of the Rings

The members of the Marlowe Senior Company to meet Bloom included Ben Esdale, 18, of Bridge, who interviewed the actor for a video.

He said: "It wasn't your everyday experience but he's a really nice guy, responsive and easy going. The interview ran smoothly because he was so enthusiastic."

The Marlowe Youth Theatre relaunched following the theatre's redevelopment nearly three years ago.

Marlowe Theatre director Mark Everett
Marlowe Theatre director Mark Everett

It runs separate sessions for youngsters aged eight to 21, with 492 members taking part in 4,920 sessions this academic year.

Theatre director Mark Everett said: "I am over the moon Orlando has agreed to become patron at such an exciting time.

"Our Marlowe Youth Theatre is really taking off and it can only continue to grow with the support of such a high-profile and respected actor as Orlando at the helm."

The Marlowe Youth Theatre's new term starts on Monday, September 22.

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