It was announced today that stage and screen star Sir Ian McKellen in collaboration with The Theatrical Guild has launched a new charity fundraiser to support backstage and front of house theatre workers.
Sir Ian McKellen has kicked off the appeal by donating £40,000 to help with food bills, housing costs, mental health services and other basic essentials.
He selected The Theatrical Guild to receive donations from the proceeds of his one-man show On Stage: With Tolkien, Shakespeare, Others and You! and is calling on theatre enthusiasts to donate what they can with the hope to double his donation, raising £80,000 to distribute to those most in need.
Sir Ian said: “Many people who work in the theatre industry have seen their livelihoods disappear due to the Coronavirus lockdown. I, for example, have received a distressing letter from a stage manager who is facing eviction from his home and can’t access government relief. I’ve directed him to the Guild’s website.”
General manager of The Theatrical Guild, Adam Bambrough, said: “These individuals are the unsung heroes of every staged performance, without whom there would be no shows. Their variety of skills from creating costumes, operating lighting rigs, and running the box office, to photographing the shows are what make theatre performances possible. Yet, most are low-paid, self-employed or on zero-hours contracts so many, through no fault of their own, have fallen between the gaps for Government support.”
If you’d like to find out more or if you’d like to donate to the fund, please click here.