YOUNG Haslingden actor Henry Farmer, who played Michael in the touring production of Billy Elliot, will be back on stage in November in Goodnight Mr Tom.

The moving story of Second World War evacuees who are sent from London to live in a remote village centres on the relationship of widower Tom Oakley and his evacuee charge, William Beech.

Henry is a Year 8 student at Haslingden High School and in July finished a 20 month tour of Billy Elliot.

In the Summerseat Players’ production at the Theatre Royal in Ramsbottom, he plays William’s friend, Zach.

Henry, 12, said: “I like the role of Zach because I like playing complex characters. I would only want to play a lead role if it was a villain.

“We have an amazing cast and the child cast is hilarious; we can’t stop laughing.”

He is now at school full time after a year of attending just one week in four.

Henry said: “When I was touring with Billy, I would be in school and a project would start and then I would not be in the lessons for another three weeks, so when I came back sometimes the class would have moved to a different topic.

“I did have lessons every day on tour, but it is not the same.”

Outside of school Henry attends Rossendale Dance and Drama Centre in Waterfoot six-days a week, including five hours on a Wednesday. He is also at rehearsals in Ramsbottom on a Monday and attends Summerseat Players’ youth theatre on a Saturday.

He said: “Zach is the best part. He is flamboyant, but he is also vulnerable and you see that when they are on a picnic and it comes out that he is a Jew, you see everyone’s reaction.

“The flamboyancy is his defence mechanism so that people don’t realise he is also scared. Zach knows the war is going to be hard for him.

“I love roles like this, where there are two sides to the character and they are not straightforward.

“People often don’t realise that as well as Zach being William’s only friend, William is also Zach’s only friend.”

Goodnight Mr Tom is on from November 11 to 18, for ticket information visit