JASON Naylor is feeling quite light-headed this week.
And it’s not just because he has landed the lead in Wigan Little Theatre’s new show.
In fact he is still coming to terms with losing the carefully tended long locks that have been his trademark since he was in short pants.
But needs must: the 17-year-old thespian has undergone a short back and sides so that he can star in WLT’s latest production, My Boy Jack, which is set in the First World War.
Fittingly he decided to get sponsored for the crop - his first proper one in almost a decade - with proceeds going to the armed forces charity Help For Heroes.
The Standish student said he was quite nervous before the scissors got to work at the Hair Gallery in Standish, but now says he is pretty happy with the radically different style - and may well keep it.
Jason said: “It is quite a transformation, I’ll say that, and a lot of people have said nice things since I went to the barbers. In fact I’m finding out now what a lot of people really thought about my old hair!
“I did used to get mistaken for a girl and also got the nickname Jesus! But as I got older people started to accept it.
“I started growing my hair because I banged my head as a youngster and it left me with quite a big bald patch and I was trying to cover it up.
“I carried on letting it grow afterwards, especially as it suited the kind of music I like - heavy metal.
“When I went for the audition it did say on the poster ‘hairstyles must be appropriate’ but I have to admit that it didn’t really occur to me that it would involve such a radical cut.
“In fact it didn’t really sink in until the day. Now that it’s done I am quite happy with the new style and will probably stick with it after the production is over.”
My Boy Jack runs from March 26 to April 5 and is the theatre’s tribute to the 100th anniversary of the “Great” War.
Jack’s is a role already played to great acclaim on screen by Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe in 2007.
Jason, a former Standish High School pupil and now a student of Runshaw College in Leyland, said he had deliberately avoided watching the TV version so it wouldn’t influence his own interpretation.
He said: “The rehearsals are pretty full on now and there are a lot of lines to learn. But I am really enjoying it.”
His severed hair isn’t going to waste: that is being donated so it can be made into wigs for children that have lost their own hair through cancer treatment.
My Boy Jack, by actor David Haig (who also starred in the film as Jack’s father), tells the story of the young John Kipling (Jack), son of author and poet, Rudyard Kipling, and shines a light on the values, as well as the national and personal conflicts of the time.
To book tickets visit www.wiganlittletheatre.co.uk/my-boy-jack or telephone the box office on 01942 242561.