NT raises £1m for access fund
The National Theatre has raised more than £1m for its access programme for children and young people through a gala evening.
The gala, Up Next, featured live performances from Sir Lenny Henry, Tamsin Greig, Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff, and guests including Billie Piper, Lily James, and Adrian Lester, also included auctions, new poetry from Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.
The funds will go to the NT’s Learning Department, which works with schools, young people, families, community groups and adult learners from across the UK. Last year the department engaged with more than 181,000 participants. The nationwide youth theatre festival Connections has helped to launch the careers of many young actors, including Andrew Garfield and John Boyega.
The event was backed by the Pigott family and the Wall Street Journal, with in-kind support from Berry Bros. & Rudd, Floris Van Den Hoed, Nyetimber, Umbrella World and Voss Water.
Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre, said: “Every child has the right to a creative education and the opportunity to fully participate in the arts. Theatre gives us the chance to stand in other people’s shoes, to tell compelling stories and to be able to see the world from different perspectives. It’s our responsibility as one of the leading arts institutions to help fertilise the creativity of this country, giving more children the chance to experience and take part in theatre, and to enable them to fulfil their potential as human beings and as members of society.”