AN APPEAL to save a beloved community theatre has received a boost after being backed by a Game of Thrones star who got his start with the outfit.

Earlier this month, Blackwood Little Theatre (BLT) revealed it could be forced to close if doesn’t raise £16,000 to restore its crumbling roof.

An appeal video the theatre made went viral and community groups, theatre fans and the Manic Street Preachers have since rallied to help, raising around £7,000 for BLT so far.

Now, in a fundraising event next month, Welsh actor Ross O’Hennessy will meet and greet fans at the theatre alongside a Iron Throne replica signed by the entire Game of Thrones cast.

Known for his roles as the Lord of Bones and appearances in Da Vinci’s Demons, the actor started out at BLT as a teenager before gaining a London acting scholarship at Mount View Theatre School.

“Back in 1988 I was in the Blackwood Air Training Corp and was all set for a career in the RAF," he said. "I joined Blackwood Little Theatre as I thought it might be fun to try acting.

“It changed my life. I realised I wanted to be an actor and had the talent and passion for it. Without BLT I would never have found that spark inside of myself.”

A £30,000 grant has been promised by Caerphilly County Borough Council towards the theatre project but the group must raise a further £16,000 in order to access the funding, with a five-week time frame to do this.

In a bid to raise further funds, the group will also hold a “Raise the Roof” benefit show, performances by West End star Peter Karrie and an auction of Manic Street Preachers memorabilia.

BLT chairman, Neil Maidman, described O’Hennessy as a “big part of the theatre’s history” and thanked the businesses, collections and efforts that have taken the campaign “from strength to strength”.

“We are proud of (Ross’s) achievements but also very pleased that it means so much to him that his roots are preserved as it were and that BLT continues,” he said.

Mr O’Hennessy added: “For me it is personal. It’s really easy in the valleys to get caught up in the humdrum of life and never take that next step to be something other that what’s normal or accepted in the village you live in.

“Unless people go to places like BLT how will they ever know if they have that spark? We could be losing the next Michael Sheen and never discover that important talent.”

The Game of Thrones event will take place between 12pm-3pm on Sunday July 3, and tickets are available online at or by phone 01495366196.

To donate to the theatre appeal, visit