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Toby Jones becomes patron of Stoke company Claybody

Published: 19 February 2019

Stoke-on-Trent-based Claybody Theatre Company has announced that British actor Toby Jones is to become its patron.

Jones is known in Stoke for his portrayal of Neil Baldwin, Stoke City Football Club's kit man in the 1990s, in the BBC TV drama Marvellous.

The Stoke connection goes deeper as Jones's father Freddie was born in Longton and worked in the ceramics industry before starting an acting career.

Claybody was founded in 2015 by playwright Deborah McAndrew and her husband, director Conrad Nelson.

Toby Jones said, “I’ve been a regular visitor to Stoke all my life and Claybody represents another way to reconnect with this proud city. Claybody aims to reanimate the many heritage spaces in the city with theatre that’s ambitious, dynamic and relevant to the local community.”

McAndrew commented, “we were thrilled when Toby came to see our show last year with his parents, and it was then that we first thought of asking him to be our patron. Toby speaks so fondly of Stoke and his connections to the city made him the perfect choice to become a patron. We were absolutely delighted when he agreed. He's a wonderful actor and a lovely man.”

Nelson added, “to have an actor of the calibre and international reputation of Toby Jones as our patron is a tremendous endorsement of the work we’re doing in Stoke.”

Steve Orme