Recent events remind us how quickly lives can change - there are fundamental moments that shape us all.

One of mine came in July 1983. I landed the role of The Artful Dodger in Oliver! - by April 1984 I was starring on Broadway alongside Patti Lupone and Ron Moody.

It was such a profound moment in my life; a huge culture shock that I decided to write about it.

The journey - the highs, the lows - the great people and stars I met along the way that became some of the best acting lessons and overwhelming life lessons I’ve ever had.

Over the coming weeks I will endeavour to give you an insight.

Before Broadway, I toured the show in the UK. I was 14 and had never worked a stage professionally.

I became a sponge to the professionals around me, absorbing and learning while performing.

Mostly I have fantastic memories, but there were one or two bumps along the way, especially in the first performances. Like real bumps…

There was a moment in the staging where Fagin would use his fork to whack Dodger over the head - the costume guys would place Fullers earth on my top hat so when he hit it, dust flew up creating laughs and magic for the audience.

But it wasn’t magic and funny for me. Mainly due the said fork being a proper heavy wrought-iron fork.

Each performance, when Roy Hudd hit me I would actually see stars, like Tom and Jerry stars, and tears would roll down my face, every night for a week.

Yes, I endured that torture for a week. Audiences must’ve thought, “jeez this kid is good - he’s getting so emotional!”

No, I was actually being hurt, for real. Why didn’t I say anything? That’s what the associate director and Roy said when I did eventually speak up - I had to, I had huge hills popping out all over my head.

I probably needed medical attention.

Roy certainly didn’t hold back with that fork I can tell ya.

He was so upset when he found out; bless him. He had no idea. Subsequently, my hat was packed with foam to suppress the impact. Saved my life.

I know it sounds stupid now, but I was naïve to it all - I didn’t want to make a fuss - didn’t think I could, I mean, as far as I was concerned this was all part of me just having to graft.

No pain, no gain and all that. “My eyes, how green!”

This column contains extracts from David Garlick’s forthcoming memoir, My Eyes, How Green! Broadway Davey G