Ricardo Lloyd was once permanently excluded from his Willesden school but staff took him back and now he’s starring in his first professional play.

The former Capital City Academy pupil is starring in the aptly named Excluded, which is running at the Intermission Youth Theatre until November 30.

The play takes a selection of Shakespeare's most iconic characters and puts them in a 2019 school setting.

The 25-year-old first attended Kensal Rise Primary School, now Ark Franklin, where he was a "moderate pupil", he said.

"I went off the rails in year 10 but got in a few fights before then. Boyish stuff but year 10 is when I changed, went down the wrong path.

"I got in with the wrong crowd and doing a lot of stuff like smoking weed. I was excluded from Capital City Academy during my GCSEs, I experienced that first hand, I experienced failing my GCSEs," he added.

The school took him back and allowed him to re-take some exams and he then succeeded in passing a Drama A-Level.

From there he went on to study performance art and then did a masters in business administration.

"I've done many shows at university then I took a break from acting to do a business degree. So this is my first show professionally."

He has taken on the role of Romeo in the play which also features Juliet, Hamlet, Othello and Measure for Measure's, Isabel, just a few of the pupils being taught by Miss Portia.

"I hope the play will bring inspiration to those also going through exclusion and a hard time," said Ricardo. "I'm keen to inspire other young people to use their abilities to either stay on the right side of life, or to use it in helping to build a stronger community. If I hadn't started acting I'd have definitely gone down the wrong path."

Along the way he has been supported by mentors including artist Eugene Ankomah, who is beginning a three month residency aimed centering around knife crime at the Capital City Academy.

"The link between students being excluded from school and knife crime is one that is becoming more evident as been an unfortunate element which draws young people in street gangs.

"Intermission's aim is to highlight this urgent issue through the production of Exclusion."

Intermission Theatre, St Saviour's Church, Walton Place, London SW3 1SA

7.30pm Weds - Sats

Tickets: Adult £20, Concession (65+,12-25) £13,

Under 12 £7