A group of Brit acting talent are backing a fundraising initiate to support industry professionals affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Figures including Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, Sue Johnston, Lesley Manville, Elaine Paige, Mandeep Dhillon, Joseph Fiennes, and Miriam Margoyles have all recorded monologues at home in a bid to raise money for Equity’s Benevolent Fund, which supports members of the union with payments to help them get through the crisis.
You can watch Fiennes’ home-recorded Edward II monologue from Christopher Marlowe’s play at the top of this page, with more available now on Equity’s Youtube channel and further to come today.
The initiative was instigated by UK actress Michelle Collins, who is producing the content alongside Debbie Gray and Sam Cornish of Genesius Pictures.
In addition, the project also features original pieces of writing from Hugh Dennis, Tom Wright, Damon Rochefort, Andrew Lynford, Chloe Moss, Susan Oudot, Martyn Hesford, Stewart Permutt, Tyler Rigby and Tony Grounds.
Equity said it was currently giving out up to $105,104 (£86,000) per week in aid, and was aiming to boost the fund up to $1.2M (£1M).
“The current crisis has had a devastating effect on my industry affecting so many of us indiscriminately,” said Michelle Collins. “I wanted to help. I started ringing around friends in the industry and one thing led to another and I suddenly had a list of fantastic, well known and highly respected film, TV and stage actors on board, all wanting to help in any way they could. I also have a group of extremely talented writers who have all agreed to write a monologue for whoever needs one.”
The initiative is also hoping to encourage members of the public to upload their own performances and encourage further donations using the hashtag #FortheLoveofArts.
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