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Theatre stars become waiters in Acting for Others charity event

Ben Forster, Samantha Spiro and John Partridge at the Acting for Others event

Penelope Wilton, Jim Carter, Jeremy Irvine and Sheila Hancock were among the theatre stars swapping their costumes for aprons as they waited tables at the Ivy as part of a charity event that raised more than £110,000.

For one night only they tried their hand at bartending, waiting tables and taking coats at the renowned London restaurant, and were joined in in their roles by actors including Ben Forster, Laura Carmichael, Samantha Spiro and Michael Ball, as well as Arlene Phillips, John Partridge and Jason Watkins.

The annual One Night Only event raised more than £110,000 for theatrical charity Acting for Others, which oversees 15 members charities including the Actor’s Children’s Trust, Theatre Chaplaincy UK and actors’ retirement home Denville Hall.

Derek Jacobi and Maggie Smith were in attendance, with guests also including Ian McKellen and Anne Reid.

An auction was held as part of the event, with a chance to watch a ballet at the Royal Opera House from the wings of the stage going for £11,000.

Acting for Others chairman Stephen Waley-Cohen said: “An enormous thank you to all the actors who donned their aprons this year for One Night Only at the Ivy, to the guests at our sold-out sitting and to the donors and bidders for the auction prizes on Sunday evening. Together they raised invaluable funds for Acting for Others and all theatre workers in need.”