Miss Saigon’s Rachelle Ann Go and Hugh Maynard, Mamma Mia!’s Dianne Pilkington and Olivier Award nominee Summer Strallen are among the stars who will perform in a cabaret to raise funds to build an arts centre for abandoned and abused orphans in Manila.
The Philippine Dream, which will take place at the Leicester Square Theatre on 17 August, will also star Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton Du Beke, Alicia Beck, who will join the cast of The Phantom Of The Opera in September, Porgy And Bess’ Tyrone Huntley, Daniel Buckley, Charlotte Riby and Harry Francis.
The fundraising evening in aid of the Tuloy Foundation was the idea of Mamma Mia! cast member Katy Osborne, who spent two weeks volunteering at an orphanage in Manila earlier this year and has seen first hand the difference the arts can have on such children: “Some of these children went from not being able to make proper eye contact or speaking louder than a whisper to desperately wanting to do solo singing auditions! I could see with my own eyes the confidence and excitement they had about the possibilities that performing gave them. I was moved every single day with their bravery and courage.”
Current West End star Jon Jon Briones, who received rave reviews for his performance as The Engineer in Miss Saigon, is living proof that theatre can change the lives of the Filipino orphans this event hopes to help. “I was born in one of the many slum areas of of Manila,” he said. “Growing up, there was not much for us to do. No place to go after school that would keep us occupied and out of trouble. But I was one of the lucky ones. Because I could sing, I received a scholarship to an exclusive school. What Katy is doing is so important. There are not enough places like this in The Philippines and most you have to pay a lot to go to. I’ve seen videos of Katy’s kids performing and you can see the joy in their faces. They are hungry for this. Let’s help Katy help these kids continue to grow.”
In addition to The Philippine Dream, Osborne’s fundraising, which included a West End Sports Day, bucket collections at Wicked and Miss Saigon, and donations from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group and Cameron Mackintosh, has already topped £8,000.
Tickets for The Philippine Dream can be bought from the Leicester Square Theatre.