A starry cast including the likes of Martin Freeman, Jack Whitehall and Olivia Williams are coming together to create a one-night-only West End gala event this month, raising funds for the UN Refugee Agency.
Taking place on Sunday 22 October at 7.30pm and directed by Jamie Lloyd, the cast of Whither Would You Go? will also include James Norton, Bertie Carvel, Lee Evans, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Wunmi Mosaku and many more.
The stars will gather at the Harold Pinter Theatre to perform scenes from Shakespeare’s plays in response to modern-day refugee video stories.
The never-to-be-repeated gala event, in support of the millions of forcibly displaced people around the world, also includes a special guest performance by actor Jay Abdo, himself a refugee of his native Syria.
Inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘refugee’ speech from The Book Of Sir Thomas More, written as a plea for tolerance during the London riots of May 1517 (500 years ago this year), Whither Would You Go? pairs scenes from Shakespeare, read by stars of stage and screen, with genuine refugee stories from around the world.
Director Lloyd said, “Whither Would You Go? uses the words of William Shakespeare to highlight our shared humanity. When we focus on what we all have in common, we can start a conversation. With more than 65m forcibly displaced people in the world – the highest levels ever recorded – we should be talking and we should be acting.”
Stephen Fry, who participated in the inaugural event in LA, said, “Shakespeare has always been a friend to the marginalised. Who better to champion the needs of refugees worldwide?”
Olivia Williams, LA event alumni & London cast member said “Contributing to Whither Would You Go? is the answer to the question, ‘what can I do to help?’”
Whither Would You Go? is the creation of Ella Smith and Emma West, both actors & producers who wanted to harness the power of storytelling to bring tangible help to refugees.
You can buy tickets to Whither Would You Go? at the Harold Pinter Theatre through the ATG Tickets website.