A PERFORMER from Warrington is set to make his West End debut after years of hard work trying to make his dream come true.

Jonathon Hands, 30, was born in Orford and attended Cardinal Newman Catholic High School before going to Priestley College to study drama at A-Level.

After leaving Warrington at 18 to study at Royal Holloway University of London, Jonathon decided to chase his dreams of becoming a performer and, after graduating, saved up and decided to go to Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in Peckham.

“It’s been a big hustle to get to where I am,” said Jonathon.

“I think being a working-class actor, it’s a struggle because I went to drama school which cost me like £20,000 pretty much self-funded to go and make that happen, so it’s a big pay off!”

Warrington Guardian: Jonathon grew up in Warrington before going to University and chase his dream of being a performerJonathon grew up in Warrington before going to University and chase his dream of being a performer (Image: Jonathon Hands)

After returning to Warrington during the Pandemic, Jonathon landed a role in the autumn tour of Queenz, a jukebox musical featuring drag queens performing pop hits by artists like the Spice Girls, Cher and Britney Spears.

“Queenz just spreads this amazing message of love, acceptance and kindness but with killer vocals,” said Jonathon.

“The show has completely changed my direction!”

Jonathon then went on to continue the role of Zeze Van Cartier on the spring tour – and on Sunday, April 7 he will perform as Zeze once again in the Dominion Theatre on the West End.

“I’m probably going to be very nervous five minutes before I go on, but I’m just excited more than anything,” he said.

Warrington Guardian: Jonathon Hands performing as Zeze Van Cartier in QueenzJonathon Hands performing as Zeze Van Cartier in Queenz (Image: Queenz)

Jonathon’s family from across Warrington, and his friends from university will be in the audience for his West End debut to cheer him on.

The road to success hasn’t been easy for Jonathon, who admits to struggling with imposter syndrome at times.

“I think the struggles that a lot of people can have is that if you don’t have the right mentorship, or leadership, or someone you know in the industry, then it can be hard to navigate,” he said.

“But one of the messages I want to send is that you can do it!”

Jonathon hasn’t forgotten his Warrington roots, and now wants to send a message of hope to young aspiring performers across the area.

“Anyone who wants to be in this industry – it is tough – but you can do it, you just have to find a way,” said Jonathon.

“It’s worth the days where you’re down and feel like you’re not getting anywhere – because you will get somewhere!”