Second kidney transplant transforms Leeds undertaker and panto star's life

AN undertaker by day and panto star by night has told how his life was transformed by a second kidney transplant.

Sunday, 7th January 2018, 2:27 pm
Updated Sunday, 7th January 2018, 2:30 pm
Matthew Tempest is set to to take to the stage to play Wishee Washee Aladdin over eight days of the Leeds Insurance Dramatical and Operatical Society's production. Picture Tony Johnson.

Matthew Tempest, 38, who has been involved in pantos for 14 years, fell ill as a baby with a disease called haemolytic-uraemic syndrome. which damage his kidneys.

Mr Tempest, who has worked in the funeral business for 20 years, underwent his first kidney transplant aged 18, which failed in 2016.

He had to go on kidney dialysis for 12 months until he had a second kidney transplant last April.

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Matthew Tempest pictured in hospital in April 2017 after his second kidney transplant

Now he is set to play Wishee Washee in Leeds Insurance Dramatical and Operatical Society’s production of Aladdin.

It will be staged at the Carriageworks theatre in Millennium Square in Leeds from Friday January 12 to Saturday 20.

Mr Tempest, of Lower Wortley, said he was too sick and exhausted to appear in panto last January while on dialysis and is looking forward to this year’s production.

Mr Tempest, whose family run Robson and Ellis Funeral Service, John P Tempest and Percy R Wood Funeral Services, said some mourners have done a double take after recognising him from pantos while he has been working at funerals.

Matthew Tempest pictured in hospital in April 2017 after his second kidney transplant

He said: “Having the transplant transformed my life. I have gone from feeling constantly sick and exhausted to feeling healthy.

“If I hadn’t had the transplant I wouldn’t be able to continue working and I certainly wouldn’t be able to appear in pantomime.”

For tickets for Aladdin, call the Carriageworks Theatre’s box office on 0113 3760318.

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