OSCAR-winning cartoonist Nick Park left his mark on a visit to Sheffield.
The famous creator of Wallace and Gromit was visiting Sheffield’s Lantern Theatre when he was asked by manager Matt Risby to pen his most famous characters on the building’s historic walls.
“I’m such a huge fan of his and eventually screwed up the courage to go and ask him for his autograph,” said Matt,.
“While he was scribbling his name down, it suddenly occurred to me that I’m the boss and could ask him to do anything I wanted, so I asked if he’d mind drawing Wallace and Gromit on our wall.”
The doodle on the wall of the bar – which took less than two minutes to finish – has become quite a talking point with people queuing up for a sneak peek at interval time.
“It’s a real piece of living history and watching him draw it is something I’ll never forget, it was very special,” said Matt.
“People can’t believe it’s real and that such a famous artist has been to our quaint, little venue.”
Nick was at the Lantern Theatre watching a gig by local band Native and the Name, whose music video he produced last year.
He got to know the band and their families while he was a student at Hallam University.
“He’d never been to the theatre before and was surprised he’d never heard of it, which is not uncommon,” said Matt who has just launched the Lantern’s first professional season in its 118-year history.
And Matt says he won’t rule out letting others join Nick on the wall.
“I’d definitely let Rolf Harris have a doodle, but we’ll have to wait and see how far it goes,” he said.
“We’ve always said we want great artwork on the walls here. Where that fine line between artwork and vandalism is I’m not sure! But we love this one and it’s staying!”