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Cardiff Character: Piers Horner

In an era where work implies stress and sometimes diseases, outside activities have become vital.

It has become quite essential nowadays to practice some kind of activity after work. Cultural or sport-related, you need to have a passion to help you relax and distract you from your worries and your work.

This is one of Piers Horner’s creeds. The 28 years old Welshman works as a manager in the Nando’s restaurant in Saint Davis’ Shop Centre in Cardiff, and finds it necessary to have a playful caper outside work.  “Working in a restaurant involves a lot of pressure, and a massive amount of stress. Specially when you’re working in one of the biggest restaurant in South Wales!”, says the young manager.

Nando’s is a famous dining chain restaurant.

With 233 restaurants in the United Kingdom, Nando’s is one of the most visited food chain on the British soil. Piers’ restaurant in Saint Davis makes between 42, 000 £ and 50, 000 £ receipts each week. On Saturday nights, the place gets very crowded, and by the end of his shift, Mr. Horner often ends up counting 5, 000 £ in cash before leaving his office. With 55 to 65 hours a week, and 45 people under his management, Piers Horner found a way to relax after work: acting.

Piers Horner, 28, Cardiff

When he started his Phd of astrophysics, Piers decided, that it was about time for him to really enjoy the student life: “After my graduation, I thought: Come on, Piers! University starts now!” But, after he chose not to pursue astrophysics for he had lost his passion for it.

Back then he joined the acting society of Cardiff University, Act One. Even though he isn’t a student anymore, he was allowed to stay a bit longer in the magical world of the “Act One Family”. And after 5 years he feels the time has come for him to retire. This year, Piers won’t be acting. He is doing something he truly enjoys: directing. With Madison Fowler, student at Cardiff University, he is directing a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear. “Well, Lear is Madi’s baby: I’m only helping her out”, smiles the director.

But, even if he spends from 10 to 14 hours in rehearsal each week, Saint Davis’ Nando’s manager wouldn’t quit his job to work in a theatre. “As much as I love acting, I don’t want it to become just a ‘job’. I am being cautious because I don’t want to loose this passion as I did for astrophysics. Secondly, it’s all about security as well. You need luck when you pursue a career in acting. And only you can create it.”

Swapping hats between his two activities, Manager-Piers influences a bit Director-Piers. Because in the end, directing is not just about giving birth to a play: it is also going along and managing a group of people. Manager-Piers has to be professional. And Director-Piers listens to him, uses his advices… in a more relaxed way, for acting isn’t just a “task”.

“My true love is directing. Creating, writing, acting… But now that I think about it, I think my true love is maybe just being in charge!” (laughs)