Youth theatre acts after cash cutback

John Phillips A YOUTH theatre that helped a Barking teenager land a place at a school attended by Daniel Craig and Helen Mirren, faces an uncertain future after suffering funding cutbacks. The 140-strong Broadway Youth Theatre will hold a fun-packed fundraiser on Sunda

John Phillips

A YOUTH theatre that helped a Barking teenager land a place at a school attended by Daniel Craig and Helen Mirren, faces an uncertain future after suffering funding cutbacks.

The 140-strong Broadway Youth Theatre will hold a fun-packed fundraiser on Sunday after �8,700 Jack Petchey Foundation grants it expected to receive for the next two years were not renewed.

The theatre's rising star Raymond Shaahu, 18, of St Margaret's, Barking, moved to the National Youth Theatre in Holloway, following in the footsteps of James Bond action man Craig, Oscar-winner Dame Helen, Sir Derek Jacobi and Daniel Day-Lewis.


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The youth theatre, based at The Broadway theatre, Broadway, Barking, insisted it was "not about fold" despite having lost all external funding - its annual �2,500 Arts Council grants aside - and was considering raising fees for its young thespians aged six to 21.

The Jack Petchey Foundation acknowledged it had reviewed its grants, but stressed it did not make financial commitments for more than a year.

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Broadway education and community manager Sherrell Perkin said: "The production budgets have been slashed. We might have been able to spend �2,000 on a set - now we try to spend less than �500. It's not just the sets but the designer, design systems and costumes."

A Broadway spokesman is urging the public to attend the fundraising day, which includes a sponsored car wash, quiz and variety show, between 10am-4pm to "help ensure a future for this incredibly important service".

The Jack Petchey charity said it continued to be a major supporter of youth activity in the area.

A spokesman added: "The Jack Petchey Foundation has not withdrawn funding, we have never made commitments to grants for periods of more than one year.

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