A number of West End stars and theatre creatives in the U.K. have rallied behind a new fundraising initiative that will distribute funds to the theatre community in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Called Until the Curtains Rise, the silent auction and crowdfunding program invites members of the public to bid on "rewards" donated by the likes of Oscar winner Helen Mirren, comedian and writer Miranda Hart, and West End star Michael Ball (Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera).
The prizes up for auction include personalized video messages, virtual coffee chats, signed memorabilia, and one-on-one master classes.
Other donors include Christopher Biggins, Arlene Phillips, Danielle de Niese, Jodie Pregner, Bertie Carvel, Lauren Ward, Hannah Waddingham, Su Pollard, Harriet Thorpe, Lesley Joseph, Julie Atherton, Emma Kingston, Jason Carr, Chris Hopkins, Grace Taylor, Linda John-Pierre, Guy Hore, Kaisa Hammarlund, Simon Lipkin, Michael Vinsen, Natalie Moore-Williams, Jason Denton, Charlotte Vaughn, Adam Robert Lewis, Dominic Hodson, Reece Kerridge, and the actor service We Audition.
Funds raised will go directly to, and be administered by, Acting for Others, which provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through their 14 member charities.
“Thank you to everyone involved with Until the Curtains Rise, we are very touched to see so many of our colleagues donating their time and talents to this project and offering these unique rewards in aid of Acting for Others," says the organization's co-chairman, Stephen Waley-Cohen. "Acting for Others are here for the theatre community through this difficult time and long will we continue when the curtain does indeed ‘rise again’”
Visit UntiltheCurtainsRise.com for more information and to make a bid. Bidding will be open from May 6–20.