My name is Steve Smart and I moved to The Elms in May 2014 from Croydon.
I originally lived in Warwickshire for 20 years, working in the Civil Service before leaving financial security to train at one of the leading drama schools of its time in Birmingham and then moving to London in 1981 to find work as a professional actor.
Fast forward 33 years, I finally decided to leave the capital, retiring with my partner Sharon to rural Lincolnshire and The Elms in May 2014 for a more leisurely pace of life.
I’ve had a varied theatrical career, after training at the Birmingham School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art, my first professional paid role (while still at college) was appearing in The Importance of Being Ernest at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre which earned me £5 a performance.
It took me a year to obtain my British Actors Equity Card and I’ve proudly renewed my membership continuously since 1982 until finally retiring in 2016.
Over the years I’ve particularly enjoyed Shakespeare and have been lucky enough to perform both in London and America as well as a memorable tour across Norway (with all its beautiful stunning scenery which is a must visit location) with a production of Macbeth. West End musical credits included playing Che in Evita at The Prince Edward Theatre and Jean de Metz in Jeanne, the story of Joan of Arc at the Sadlers Wells Theatre.
For a time I was involved with the Water Rats Dinner Theatre, appearing in Godspell and Give My Regards to Broadway, before co-founding Bandwagon Productions which went on to produce 6 further musical reviews at the famous London venue.
From the late 80’s I got involved in my first pantomime and was hooked, over the years I’ve performed, written, produced and directed pantomimes and from 2000 for the next 16 years appeared as Pantomime Dame every Christmas at theatres around the UK, working with names such as: Nigel Pivaro (Terry Duckworth – Coronation Street) Mike Grady and Sarah Thomas (Barry & Glenda – Last of the Summer Wine) Jack Douglas (Carry on Films) Anne Charleston (Madge – Neighbours) Anna Karen (Olive – On the Buses) Jane Asher (she of the cakes fame) Colin Baker (Dr Who) Paul Daniels & Debbie McGee in his last show before his untimely death, but perhaps the most famous of all those I’ve worked with would be Sooty (Sooty & Sweep)
Away from the acting, I’ve supported Everton FC for over 50 years and in 2010 fulfilled a lifelong ambition, playing in the blue of Everton at Goodison Park, hitting the post with a 22 yard left-footer from the edge of box with my first kick of the game, though I only managed to get near the ball 4 more times.
These days my real passion which occupies a lot of my time is tennis, whether it’s a social session or playing for one of David Lloyds more competitive mixed or men’s doubles teams.