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Sharon D Clarke and James Graham sign up for theatre ambassadors scheme

Sharon D Clarke. Photo: Pamela Raith
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Producer Kenny Wax, performer Sharon D Clarke and playwright James Graham are among almost 400 theatre professionals who have signed up to be ambassadors for the industry.

Under the Inspiring the Future of Theatre campaign, they will visit schools, with the aim of introducing young people to the career possibilities within theatre.

Others who have pledged support include Donmar Warehouse executive director Kate Pakenham, Hackney Empire associate director Susie McKenna and lighting designer Prema Mehta.

Mehta said: “It is so important that young people from all backgrounds are aware of the rich variety of theatre jobs available, and are able to make informed, ambitious decisions when it comes to choosing a career path. As an Inspiring the Future ambassador, I am excited to visit a school in my area to inspire pupils about lighting design, and introduce them to the technical, creative and collaborative elements that make my design job so rewarding.”

The initiative is jointly run by the Society of London Theatre, UK Theatre and Inspiring the Future, which is part of the charity Education and Employers.

It aims to sign up 1,000 ambassadors in its first year and officially launches in July.

As part of the campaign, SOLT, UK Theatre and Digital Theatre are to create eight short videos under the banner My West End. The films will throw a spotlight on those working backstage in the section and will be free for a month on the Official London Theatre and UK Theatre websites.