Ian McKellen launches fundraising appeal for theatre workers with $50,000 donation

Ian McKellen is supporting front-of-house and backstage theatre workers affected by the Covid-19 crisis with a new fundraising appeal.
The veteran actor has teamed up with The Theatrical Guild to raise money for food, housing costs and mental health services, and launched the initiative with a $50,000 (£40,000) donation.
McKellen chose The Theatrical Guild as one of the charities to receive proceeds from his one-man show, and is calling on theatre enthusiasts to match his donation with pledges of their own.
“Many people who work in the theatre industry have seen their livelihoods disappear due to the coronavirus lockdown,” he said, reported U.K. newspaper the Evening Standard. “I, for example, have received a distressing letter from a stage manager who is facing eviction from his home and can’t access government relief.”
Those who receive portions of the fund include stage managers, dressers, sound technicians and many more who work behind the scenes in theatres.
While U.K. venues will be able to reopen from 4 July, live performances will remain off the cards, which will continue to keep theatre staff out of work.
Meanwhile, McKellen is to play Hamlet in an age-blind version of the William Shakespeare play, which is thought to be one of the first British theatre productions to begin rehearsals following the easing of the U.K.’s Covid-19 lockdown. Rehearsals reportedly began on Monday, although none of the cast know when they will be able to stage the play.
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