Ryan Holt may only be 23 but he has an entrepreneurial spirit honed since he was a youngster.
The Lowestoft man is poised to start rehearsals for his third outing as producer and director of the popular Beccles pantomime, bringing with him a decade worth of experience in the world of theatre and creation.
His work is so well-respected that Beccles Public Hall have already signed up his company SparkLive Pantomimes to present next year’s Christmas spectacular.
Ryan’s foray into business began at the tender age of 12 when he set up his own design agency Spark Creative, designing leaflets, brochures and providing web design.
He said: “I remember I was dealing with a business at the time who were really pleased with my work and told me that if ever I was down their way to drop in for a pint, that story really amused me as they hadn’t grasped my age.
“I always knew that I wanted to run my own business and I didn’t want to have to rely on my parents, I wanted to get out there and do something myself.
“When I was much younger I went to see my first pantomime Peter Pan at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. When we came out I was really quiet and they thought I hadn’t liked it, but it was actually the opposite – I loved it and realised it was something I could do.”
Since then Ryan, who by day is a graphic designer and print consultant at Blackwell Print, in Great Yarmouth, and a freelance marketing consultant, has starred in a range of pantomimes and musical theatre.
He has won multiple awards for Entrepreneur of the Year and also made it to the final stages of casting for BBC show The Young Apprentice.
For the past eight years he has run The B&B Theatre Company with a group of friends giving anyone aged six to 24 a chance to perform in a stage show.
“I do it on a voluntary basis, but I think it has also showed me how to turn my skills in theatre into a business.
“When the Beccles Lido committee took over the Public Hall they did a survey and pantomime was something people said they really wanted to see, so I approached them with my idea and it has gone from there – the dream was in the making.
“My future aim is to secure larger theatres in the UK to hold multiple productions and employ producers and directors to work on behalf of SparkLive Pantomimes.
“My inspiration is the theatre producer Cameron Mackintosh, he started around the same age as me and is now one of the biggest names in the business.
“This year ticket sales for Robin Hood are the best ever, we are about four weeks ahead of where we were this time last year so we are certainly generating growth.
“I don’t think about what I’ve achieved so far as for me this is just the beginning.”
Robin Hood begins on Friday, December 22 2017. Tickets are £10 for children and £12 for adults. Concessions are £11 and a family of four is £40.
They are on sale now at Beccles Public Hall box office, open from 10am until 3pm, Monday to Saturday, by calling 01502 770060 or visiting www.becclespublichall.org.uk