Matt Henry MBE gives keynote at RSU LGBTQ+ Conference

  • Thursday, February 22, 2018

Roehampton Alumnus, Matt Henry is an Olivier Award winning actor for his role in Kinky Boots and has just been awarded an MBE as part of the Queen’s New Year’s Honour List for services to theatre and arts.

Matt Henry MBE returned to Roehampton for the RSU LGBTQ+ Conference as the key note speaker and addressed the themes of the conference; empowerment, leadership and celebration.

Matt, who learnt a range of performance skills while studying for a bachelor’s degree in Drama and Sociology at Roehampton, shared his own experience of being a Roehampton student and how it led to him becoming an Olivier Award winning actor. Highlighting the benefits of Roehampton’s proximity to London, he urged students to make the most of the University’s location.

“Drama allows you to tap into the feelings you have and discover the big wild world.”

In his speech, Matt described the awakening experience of his first year at university and emphasised the importance of diversity within the student body. He explained that the diversity of their experiences enabled them to learn from one another and create lifelong friendships. He revealed that he had just returned from holiday with his classmates, and spoke fondly about his time as a prominent member of the Department, describing the sell-out shows in Monte Hall and playing the role of Pharaoh in a Roehampton Players’ production of Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

Matt used the electrifying theatre scene in London to springboard his acting career. Whilst studying for his degree he would read The Stage for upcoming auditions and attended dance classes at Pineapple Studios. He also worked part-time at the Adelphi Theatre, which was showing Chicago at the time.

He joked about using every opportunity at university to put yourself out there, and described how he attended a University photoshoot which resulted in him being the face of the University prospectus. Matt was also part of the Roehampton Gospel Choir and was a Digby Stuart flat rep.

You can watch Matt talk about his experience of Drama at Roehampton here.