Lee Van Geleen is a former Performing Arts student at Havering Sixth Form and is currently starring as Trigger in the West End musical Only Fools and Horses at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.
Lee returned to college recently to give an insightful talk to Performing Arts and Drama students, telling them about his journey from the sixth form to becoming a West End star.
He told them to keep believing in themselves and not to be afraid of stepping out of their comfort zones.
It was great to welcome Lee back and hear all about his current role as Trigger. The students got to ask questions and were able to find out what working in a top West End show is really like.
The musical, created from the popular TV programme made famous by David Jason as Del Boy, has received five-star reviews.
Lee is a former Royal Liberty School pupil who attended the sixth form from 2008 to 2010, achieving a Triple Distinction in the BTEC Performing Arts Extended Diploma.
He took a gap year, working as a waiter and securing roles in local theatre productions, and then joined the London School of Musical Theatre on their one year, full-time course, designed for those who wish to realise their full potential as musical theatre performers. He was trained to a high professional standard and developed his skills in singing, dancing, drama and performance.
He has had a starring role in the West End’s Les Miserables, playing Brujon and being the understudy for Javert, Bishop and the Factory Foreman.
He was then cast in the ensemble of Only Fools and Horses – and the show had fantastic reviews when it opened in February 2019. The West End production was written and produced by comedian Paul Whitehouse and Jim Sullivan, the son of John Sullivan who wrote the original TV series.
Lee performed alongside Paul Whitehouse who starred as Grandad, Tom Bennett (Del Boy) and Ryan Hutton (Rodney), before securing the role of Trigger.
He also made a special guest appearance on the Community Stage at the Havering Show in Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch, during the August Bank Holiday weekend.
His other theatre credits include: The Warrior/Russian Admiral in Pacific Overtures at the Union Theatre, Southwark, London; Gwilim in Ivor Novello’s Valley of Song at the Finborough Theatre in Kensington, London; Dick Deadeye in H.M.S. Pinafore at the Union Theatre; The Balladeer in The Immortal Hour at the Finborough Theatre and ‘Tis The Season at the Jermyn Street Theatre which is a small studio theatre just off the West End.