PROFESSIONAL producers and actors are warming up for an evening of theatre designed to tell the stories written by Rotherham children.
The curtain goes up on Graham Grimm’s Glorious Grand Gala next weekend, promising laughs aplenty.
It will showcase short plays written at workshops at literacy charity Grimm and Co’s Rotherham HQ by local kids, coached by writers like the League of Gentlemen’s Jeremy Dyson.
The event at Barnsley Civic Theatre next Saturday will be hosted by TV veteran Paul Clayton.
Barnsley-born Paul has appeared in Peep Show, Hollyoaks, Doctor Who and Coronation Street, as well as acting with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
“A lot of what Grimm does is behind closed doors,” he said.
“I thought it might be brilliant to take the ethos of the work — and some of the children’s fabulous stories — and put them on stage for an evening.”
He added: “I love the whole ethos of storytelling — telling stories allows us to realise our dreams.”
The actor recruited famous friends like Dame Judi Dench and Hugh Bonneville to help put on the gala, which will celebrate children’s creativity.
Other supporters include Barnsley’s Joanne Harris — author of award-winning novel Chocolat, which later became an acclaimed Hollywood movie.
The gala will help raise funds for Grimm and Co’s work.
But even more important is filling the venue with an audience to applaud the show’s young creators, said charity founder Deborah Bullivant.
She added: “It’s great news that such amazing people are supporting something here, in Rotherham.
“It’s a fund-raiser for the charity, but it’s more about giving these kids an audience and raising their aspirations as writers.”
Tickets are now on sale, priced at £12 or £8 for concessions. Call the box office on 01226 327000 or visit tinyurl.com/grimmgala2 to book.
A VIP experience, costing £30 per person, includes bubbly and canapés and a post-show chat with some of its celebrity benefactors.
To learn more about Grimm and Co, visit www.grimmandco.co.uk.
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