Michaela Coel & Benedict Cumberbatch Donate As Sam Mendes’ UK Theater Fund Swells To $2M

Michaela Coel / Benedict Cumberbatch
Michaela Coel / Benedict Cumberbatch AP

Three weeks after filmmaker Sam Mendes teamed up with Netflix to launch a $620K (£500K) fund to support the UK’s embattled theater workers, the pot has swollen to $2M (£1.6M) and counting.

Prominent figures to contribute include the estate of the late Peter Saunders and Lady Saunders, the UK theater impresario behind The Mousetrap, which joins Netflix as the headline supporter. The Mackintosh Foundation, Eileen Davidson Productions, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, and Linbury Trust have also donated.

Individuals to have given money include Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter, Imelda Staunton, Eddie Redmayne, Sonia Friedman, Caro Newling, Colin Firth, Hugh Bonneville, and Tom Hiddleston.

The team says they have also received $110,000 (£85,000) through the online platform Enthuse, including from Michaela Coel, Michael Frayn, David Hare, Nicholas Hytner, Armando Iannucci, Thea Sharrock, Mark Strong, Emma Thompson, Laura Wade, David Walliams and Edgar Wright.

The fund also revealed today that is has received close to 4000 application in its first week of being open for submissions. The initiative was designed to support under-represented groups who have been disproportionately affected by the crisis, as well as regional performers and craftspeople, by giving them one-off grants of £1,000 per person to help them through the ongoing closures.

“The theatre industry is 70% freelance. So we know that literally thousands more actors, writers, directors, stage managers, costume designers and many more urgently need our help. We have raised £1.6 million in this first round of fundraising, so we are able to help 1,600 people. Now we want to help many more,” said Mendes.”

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/07/michaela-coel-benedict-cumberbatch-donate-sam-mendes-uk-theater-fund-2m-1202994171/