THE drummer in the city’s global rock success story Radiohead has told of the importance of East Oxford’s Pegasus Theatre.

Phil Selway explained why he has devoted so much time to the Magdalen Road theatre and kickstarted a new music course for youngsters.

Mr Selway visited some of the teenagers learning about music on Monday. It is the second year of the course, which he has financially supported from the outset.

He said: “It is just a wonderful organisation. Pegasus Theatre is at the heart of the community.

“I have got some very strong roots in Oxford and I was very lucky because my school had very good arts facilities.

“I know people who have been involved here and have had a good career in the arts.”

The 44-year-old, who lives in west Oxfordshire, helped mastermind the course, which allows 12- to 19-year-olds to learn how to put music together with lyrics and create soundtracks.

It is hoped the students will be able to put together the music for the theatre’s performances.

Mr Selway will also be putting on a series of fundraising concerts at the theatre next month, where he will play tracks from his recent solo album.

He said: “It is lovely watching these children’s development. It is fantastic to see quite what they take away from it.

“Pegasus offers all these opportunities for very professional training in drama and dance and it is open to all.”

Mr Selway will soon be embarking on a joint project between Pegasus Theatre and the Samaritans charity, where he used to volunteer.

The ‘Listeners’ project will involve a performance piece which would be shown in March next year.

He said: “Pegasus is very close to my heart and hopefully I can bring it together with the Samaritans.”

Dominique Cadiou, Pegasus Theatre’s development director, said: “It means an enormous amount to us that Phil gives his time and money to Pegasus.

“He comes here quite regularly to see shows, but he is not intrusive.”

Next year, Mr Selway will be putting the finishing touches to another solo album. His previous effort Familial was released earlier this year.

He said: “It is all half-written at the moment. I do not know what it will sound like. I will see what happens when I start to record it.

“This very intimate mood was very much what most suited the songs in Familial.”

Tickets are still available for his concert on Thursday, November 10. For details log on to