OSCAR-winning film star Colin Firth visited the rehearsals for a youth theatre’s production of a much-loved musical.

The Hampshire-born star became patron of ENCORE Youth Theatre in May last year, having previously gone to Montgomery of Alamein Secondary School, now Kings’ School, and Barton Peveril Sixth Form College.

Fiddler on the Roof is set to be performed by the group at the Theatre Royal Winchester during February half term, and the young people performed musical numbers for the world-famous actor including Tradition, Do You Love Me and To Life before asking him a series of questions.

Colin Firth said: “ENCORE impressed me enormously when I saw them performing Fiddler on the Roof at rehearsals.

“The cast’s voices, energy and authenticity were exciting. I wish them all the very best with their performance.”

Noël Jones, artistic director for ENCORE Youth Theatre, said: “We were delighted to welcome Colin Firth to see our talented cast in rehearsal.

“It was a tremendous boost for them ahead of our show at the Theatre Royal Winchester this month. It was really exciting for them to meet him and hear about his experiences as an actor starting out in the business. He gave them some great advice!

“We’re very grateful to him for giving up time in his hectic schedule to come and see us. We are so lucky to have such an inspiring person as our patron.”

Set in the small village of Anatevka, on the eve of the 1905 Russian Revolution, Fiddler on the Roof centres on Tevye and his five headstrong daughters who wish to marry for love, rejecting the marriages arranged by the village matchmaker as well as their deep-rooted family traditions.

Brimming with themes still relevant to today – love, humanity, political and social upheaval, rebellion and displacement – Fiddler on the Roof is one of the most powerful and life-affirming musicals ever written.

The show is suitable for audiences of all ages who will enjoy favourite musical numbers including If I Were a Rich Man and Matchmaker.

It runs from today at 7.30pm until Saturday with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm.

Tickets: £19; concessions £14.