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42nd Street rises to challenge to win West End Bake Off 2017

Arlene Phillips judging 42nd Street at the West End Bake Off 2017. Photo: Mark Lomas Arlene Phillips judging 42nd Street at the West End Bake Off 2017. Photo: Mark Lomas
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Musical 42nd Street has won this year’s West End charity bake off.

The event, which raised more than £5,000 for charity, was held in aid of umbrella charity Acting for Others, which supports 15 smaller theatrical charities.

Choreographer Arlene Phillips and actor Janie Dee judged the bake off, which took place at St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden, London, on May 20.

Seventeen teams from shows including The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock and The Great Gatsby entered themed cakes, which were then sold to members of the public.

The Stage entered a selection of newspaper-themed bakery in the competition, which is now in its third year.

Phillips told The Stage: “I’m on the board of the Royal Theatrical Fund and I didn’t realise when I started that so many people come upon hard times.

“It’s amazing to me how bad things can get before people will ask for help, so it’s really important to flag up that there are these charities who are here for you if you need us and you don’t need to suffer.”

She added: “So many people are alone with illness and terrible debt. It happens to the best of us; the most famous can end up with nothing at the end of their lives.

“It’s a very vulnerable profession to be a part of because you don’t often have a contract that lasts more than a few months.”

Billie-Kay, a dancer in the ensemble of 42nd Street, told The Stage: “It feels amazing to win. This is a charity that supports us and our industry, so it’s important to give a bit back.”

Acting for Others supports charities including the Royal Ballet Benevolent Fund, the Actors’ Children’s Trust, and the Equity Charitable Trust.

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