Branagh has signed up with the Paul Bevan Cancer Foundation, which is hoping to raise £30,000 to pay for an information and support center for cancer sufferers and their relatives. The actor, who recently joined the Foundation as a patron, has offered his services as a personal drama coach. Whoever bids the most wins a two-hour private master class, during which Branagh will work with the lucky punter on a scene of the winner's choosing from any Shakespeare play. It could be a soliloquy or Branagh could even join in for a duologue. They’ll discuss the text and then work on it and act it out.
Branagh’s most recent stage venture was in the title role of David Mamet’s Edmond at London’s National Theatre. His only stint on Broadway, though, was in the director’s chair — for The Play What I Wrote in 2003 (he was also, however, on the roster of celebrity guests who made cameo appearances in that show).
Bids for the Branagh master class can be made on the Paul Bevan website, at www.paulbevan.org.