Hollywood film star Jude Law is spearheading a campaign to get schoolchildren to go to the theatre.
The award-winning actor who made his name in Cold Mountain, The Talented Mr Ripley and Sherlock Holmes is backing a project to take 1,000 kids to see plays in his home borough of Lewisham.
The 45-year-old, who went to John Ball Primary School in Blackheath and Kidbrooke School, before attending Alleyn’s School in Dulwich, is backing a charity called A Theatre Trip for Every Child.
He said: “I’m so proud to be a patron of A Theatre Trip For Every Child.
“So far more than 2,300 children have benefited from this campaign, many of whom simply would never have been to the theatre otherwise.
“In order for theatre and the arts to have a special place in young people’s lives, we have to encourage that connection from as early an age as possible.”
Staff at the Albany in Deptford are undertaking military training, before they walk 26 miles with 130kg on their backs, to raise £10,000 giving 1,000 primary schoolchildren the chance to see live performances.
The project will initially focus on giving Year 1 children from lower income backgrounds the chance to go to the theatre.
The group of workers will travel to Dartmoor on June 15 for the challenge and they are being trained by the Commando Temple a military fitness style club in Deptford.
So far the campaign has allowed children from 40 Lewisham schools to attend productions of Ugly Duckling and Grandad’s Island.
To date, 56 per cent of Lewisham primary schools have taken advantage of the free tickets.
The remaining schools will be offered tickets within the next six months.
The team behind the campaign are working with special educational needs schools to tailor the offer to their student’s needs.
A Theatre Trip for Every Child was launched on June 23, 2017 thanks to funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Arts Council England, and the support of founding sponsors, L&Q and patrons Noma Dumezweni and Jude Law.
The Lewisham campaign is run and managed by the Albany in Deptford.
The Albany group have raised almost half of the £10,000 target.
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