THIS is the story of how a former Hollyoaks star has helped Warrington actors perform in productions set across the town.

Ludovico, set up by actor Darren Jeffries three years ago, unites his acting, performing and production experience all under one roof to support people in the town.

“We started with the actor class which was successful from the start,” said Darren, a Stockton Heath resident.

“At the time there wasn’t anything like it in Warrington and I wasn’t too sure what the response would be to it.

“There were people in Warrington that might want to pursue acting but for whatever reason couldn’t get over to Manchester or Liverpool so I was really keen to provide that.

“The response was instant and we now have two classes per week. Being an actor myself, it’s really important to me to provide learning opportunities but also opportunities for work for people in Warrington.

“It’s already a really tough industry for any type of creative and really hard to get a foot in. To be able to provide people with the skills and the work opportunities is really satisfying.”

Darren, who has been based in the village for 10 years, started the video production class around the time he started to work with Warrington organisations to produce video for the social sector.

He feels everyone should have the opportunity to be creative.

“During the classes, we are training people in Warrington to become actors,” continued Darren.

“As you get older the opportunity to be creative becomes harder and harder so finding the time to pursue that becomes more difficult.

“For the acting classes, we open our doors to anyone whatever their background with top-tier training to prepare them for a professional environment.”


Darren in action

Darren in action


As a production company, Ludovico can also use its own actors for videos and provides training to give actors a taste of what to expect.

The 40-year-old added: “It all comes together beautifully.

“When we’re working with Warrington organisations making a film on Warrington soil for Warrington audiences, it’s a no-brainer to use Warrington creatives in that process.

“Just because we are set between two celebrated cities doesn’t mean that we can’t stand on our own two feet.

“People expect a certain degree of authenticity from the videos that they see on social media these days and when you use Warrington actors and writers, that degree of truth and reality shines through.

“You don’t feed anything that is fake or fabricated as audiences are very used to experiencing authenticity in their own videos.

“It’s very easy to spot someone who is being authentic compared to someone who is putting on a bit of an act.

“That falls into how we enjoy media overall.

“If we’re producing a video for a Warrington organisation that is set in Warrington, if we were to hire an actor from Manchester, it’s not a huge distraction but if it’s someone from Warrington talking about something they know in Warrington then it rings true.”


Darren keeping a helpful eye on the class

Darren keeping a helpful eye on the class


Darren loves his role in pushing on others to be the best versions of themselves in the Ludovico environment.

“It’s really satisfying and exciting to bring Warrington creatives into it. Not one project is the same.

“I’ve got a really deep understanding of how challenging the industry can be so being able to provide experiences and opportunities to anyone in Warrington that wants to pursue acting is incredibly satisfying.

“A lot of people come are understand nervous or worried about making a fool of themselves and within two classes you can see people’s confidence grow and realise that they can do it.

“The atmosphere we create is very warm, positive and supportive atmosphere in and out of the classes is great.

“We’re really big on creating a community of actors in Warrington and just being able to build the bridge of learning how to act.

“We don’t promise anything when they join the classes. We’re just about giving people in Warrington the chance to act and perform on a weekly basis.”

One of those people who has come full circle with Ludovico is Josie Harrison.

She is a student in the acting class and also performed in the Golden Square’s Toy Appeal advert over Christmas of last year.

“I started taking acting classes with Ludovico in late 2020 between the lockdowns, I wanted to do something just for me that would help to build my confidence.

“Although I felt a bit nervous initially, I absolutely loved my first class and got some positive feedback and encouragement from the other actors and Darren. Since then I've attended as many terms as I can, made some excellent friends, learned a lot and rediscovered a talent.

“I'm proud to have had the opportunity to work with Ludovico outside of the classes - I auditioned and successfully landed my first paid acting role in the Toy Appeal video.

“So far this year I've starred in a student short and a comedy feature which will be entered into film festivals, I'm also starring in a play soon. Along with the acting, outside of the classes, I've taken up writing and singing again.

“Ludovico has truly helped me to rediscover my creative side and I love it! Instead of ‘no I can't’ I now find myself thinking ‘what if’."