Wayne Sleep was born in Plymouth and went to the Royal Ballet School when he was 12. He joined the Royal Ballet Company in 1966 and was quickly dancing leading roles with the company. He has been a principal dancer since 1973.
Roles created for him include Saturday’s Child in Jazz Calendar, George Robertson Sinclair in Enigma Variations and Kolia in A Month In The Country. Other roles include Puck in The Dream, The Blue Skater in Les Patineurs, the title role in Petrushka, The Jester in Cinderella, Widow Simone and Alain in La Fille Mal Gardee and many other outstanding virtuosi roles. Besides being a dancer, Wayne has appeared in plays as Ariel in The Tempest, Truffaldino in Servant of Two Masters – in films and television productions. In 1976 he starred in the highly successful musical The Point at the Mermaid Theatre in which he sang, danced, acted and choreographed.
He collaborated with Robert North on David and Goliath for London Contemporary Dance. He choreographed the dance sequences on the film Death on the Nile. He has appeared as guest star on numerous television shows including The Mary O’Hara Show for ATV, the BBC entry for the Folden Sea Swallow of Knokke with Lena Zavaroni, The Michael Crawford Special for London Weekend, The Cilla Black Show for Thames, three episodes of The Lena Zavaroni Show for BBC, guest-starring in one Showtime for ATV and co-hosting another Showtime with Derek Griffiths for the same company. He performed a Hornpipe in BBC TVs Magic Of Dance, introduced by Margot Fonteyn, and devised, choreographed and danced a Jazz Ballet, Adam’s Rib, for BBC TV. He appeared in the 1978 Royal Variety Performance and then co-starred, with Danny La Rue, as Genie of the Ring in the 1978/1979 Palladium Pantomime, Aladdin. He also played the part of Tony Lumpkin in the BBC Radio Production of She Stoops To Conquer and the part of Clean Willy in the film The First Great Train Robbery with Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland and Lesley Anne Down.
Wayne played the title role in Pinocchio at Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Wayne has also appeared as a Guest Star on the Marti Caine Show, Carl Alan Awards, The Lena Zavaroni Show and also The Record Breakers for BBC TV. He also played the Soldier in Stravnisky’s The Soldiers Tale at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in August 1980. Prior to rehearsing Cats, Wayne appeared in his own critically acclaimed show, Dash in Chichester, Edinburgh and Plymouth. He was in Song and Dance when it first opened at this Theatre and during that time he appeared on The Morecambe and Wise Show, The Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Starburst for ATV, Jobs for the Boys – Ballroom Dancing for BBC TV, Dizzy Feet for ATV, Parkinson, On Safari for TVS and the Guest Dancer in St Paul’s Salute to Duke Ellington and The Christmas Show for Central TV. He toured his own show, Dash, which then went into the Apollo Victoria for a very successful season. Wayne has been seen most recently in the BBC TV series, The Hot Shoe Show. Since The Hot Shoe Show Wayne has appeared on Wogan for BBC TV, Give Us A Clue for Central TV, Top Secret for BBC TV, Kiri and Friends for BBC TV. He choreographed and appeared as the Guest Dancer in Celebration for Limehouse Productions, Harty for BBC TV, A Plus for Thames TV, SWET Awards also for BBC TV. Wayne has just finished an extensive tour of England and also a Christmas Season at the Dominion Theatre, London, with his company, Dash. He returns to Song and Dance for its final weeks before he starts recording another six episodes of The Hot Shoe Show for BBC TV.