Former West End stage and Australian TV actor Andrew Sharp has lived the highlife and enjoyed the bright lights of some of the world’s great cities, but the best thing he ever did was to move to the sleepy country town of Barraba.

Since opening The Playhouse Hotel 20 years ago his passion for the arts and flare for the theatrical have brought a cultural life back into the town, which was once only known for its asbestos mining.

“There are two countries in Australia the urban and the rural and I think the values are stronger in the bush,” he told Central News. “I was searching for something and I think that something found me.”

The hotelier added coming to Barraba had given a sense of purpose and community that had changed his life forever.

Main photo of Andrew Sharp at The Playhouse Hotel in Barraba. Photo: Emilia Roux