AN accomplished actor reunited with a London cast to receive a prestigious accolade.

Tim Clarke appeared in Gypsy earlier this year, a stage show which has been named Best UK Musical 2023 in the UK Theatre Awards.

“This is very exciting,” said Tim, who has lived in Knutsford for the past 22 years.

“In my long career, this is the first time I’ve ever won anything like this.

“The show ran for three months and was a sell-out.

“This was the smallest theatre I have ever played in.

"Most shows have been big commercial touring productions or West End performances.”

Northwich Guardian: Tim Clarke received the award with the cast of Gypsy at the Guildhall in LondonTim Clarke received the award with the cast of Gypsy at the Guildhall in London (Image: Tim Clarke)

Tim played two characters, uncle Jocko and theatre manager Cigar.

And when he wasn’t acting, he played saxophone and clarinet with the orchestra.

“It was a very busy show,” said Tim, who taught performing arts at Sir John Deane’s College, when son Jacob was in sixth-form.

“I hardly had a break during the entire two-and-a-half hours.

“It was very tiring but very rewarding.”

Gypsy was directed by Joe Pitcher and was staged at The Mill at Sonning, a small 250-seater theatre , with a small cast of 12.

Rebecca Thornhill, who played the iconic role of Mama Rose, was nominated for Best Performance in a Musical but just missed out.

Northwich Guardian: Tim Clarke, second from left, at the UK Theatre Awards with some of the cast and production team from GypsyTim Clarke, second from left, at the UK Theatre Awards with some of the cast and production team from Gypsy (Image: Tim Clarke)

Tim, a freelance actor and musician, who also plays drums, keyboard and guitar, has enjoyed a varied career and appeared in countless productions.

“I love the immediacy of being on stage,” said Tim.

“You are there in the moment. If you make a mistake, it’s not something you can re-shoot or do again like in a film or on TV. You just have to move on.

“I like looking the audience in the eye and getting a response live.

“It is the only job in the world where people applaud you at the end of your working day.”

In the 90s, Tim made several TV appearances as firefighter Mick Foster in Emmerdale and as DI Goodman in episodes of Canary Wharf.

Despite having starred in countless stage productions, including Blood Brothers, The Buddy Holly Story, Jesus Christ Superstar and The Glenn Miller Story, he still faces fierce competition to land roles.

“The casting for Gypsy had 3,500 applications and only 12 of us were selected,” said Tim.

“If you are rejected, you get used to it.

“You have to trust your own skill set and realise that it is not you personally, they just want someone else for a particular role.

“If you prepare yourself correctly, there is no self recrimination.

“You have to be able to deal with the ups and downs of the business.”

When he is not performing, Tim works for a theatre publishing company based in Berlin, translating musicals and plays from German into English.

“I have completed over a dozen of these since 2020,” said Tim, who also speaks and writes in French.

“I am very fortunate to be able to work these translations around any performing commitments I might have.

“When the pandemic hit, I was able to get on with these theatre translations.

“It saw me through some grim times and was a bit of a lifesaver.”

Tim is keen to encourage any budding thespians to follow in his footsteps and offers the following tips.

“Trust in yourself that you can do the job,” he said.

“Be yourself rather than something you’re not.

“Practice your skills, don’t just do it for a bit.

“I’ve got a pile of music here waiting for me to work through on my clarinet and sax.

“You’ve got to have tenacity and stick at it.”