Stage and screen stars unite this Sunday for gala show to raise funds urgently needed by refugees
A host of stars will unite in the West End on October 22nd for a gala show, ‘Whither Would You Go?’ to perform scenes from William Shakespeare’s plays.
The evening will be directed by Jamie Lloyd, an Olivier award-winner, and all profits will go to the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency, in support of the millions of forcibly displaced around the world.
The cast of the one-off performance at the Harold Pinter Theatre on Panton Street includes
Kevin Bishop, Zoe Boyle, Bertie Carvel, Lee Evans, Martin Freeman, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Celia Imrie, Eleanor Matsuura, Wunmi Mosaku, James Norton, Jack Whitehall, Olivia Williams. The evening includes a special guest performance by Jay Abdo, a Syrian refugee and actor.
Inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘refugee’ speech from ‘The Book of Sir Thomas More,’ written as a plea for tolerance during the London riots of May 1517 (500 years ago), ‘Whither Would You Go?’ pairs scenes from Shakespeare, read by stars of stage and screen, with real-life refugee stories from around the world.
‘Whither Would You Go?’ is the creation of Ella Smith and Emma West, both actors and producers, who wanted to harness the power of storytelling to help to refugees. Their inaugural production took place in Los Angeles in March 2017 and sold out. Further productions are now planned for New York and Sydney.
Jamie Lloyd, the director, said: ‘Whither Would You Go?’ uses the words of Shakespeare to highlight our shared humanity. When we focus on what we all have in common, we can start a conversation. With more than 65 million people forcibly displaced people in the world – the highest levels ever recorded - we should be talking and we should be acting.’
Stephen Fry, who participated in the inaugural event in LA, said: 'Shakespeare has always been a friend to the marginalised. Who better to champion the needs of refugees worldwide?’
Olivia Williams said: ‘Contributing to ‘Whither Would You Go?’ is the answer to the question, “what can I do to help?”’
NB. Cast subject to change
Whither Would You Go?
Sunday 22 October 7:30pm
Harold Pinter Theatre Panton St, London SW1Y 4DN
Further information and updates at www.whitherwouldyougo.com