Comedians make an impression on theatre charity


Comedian Catherine Tate and impressionist Alistair McGowan raised money for the Wimbledon Civic Theatre Trust on Sunday.

By Rhian Hughes

Comedian Catherine Tate and impressionist Alistair McGowan performed at the New Wimbledon Theatre to raise money for charity on Sunday.

The stars performed with a line of artists in ‘A Centennial Celebration’ to raise money for the Wimbledon Civic Theatre Trust (WCTT) and the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund.

WCTT is the only local charity helping young people (specifically secondary school children) in Merton through theatre-based projects.

The charity works with the theatre by running a youth theatre every Sunday at the venue.

Trust chairman, Mike Rappolt, said the purpose of these projects was to bring together young people of different walks of life and build on their self confidence so they integrate into the community more easily.

“Over 3,000 local young people have benefited from the Wimbledon Civic Theatre Trust,” he said.

“The projects we run unite them with a common purpose. They learn new skills, make new friends and enhance their self-worth.”

The performance also celebrated the theatre’s 100th anniversary.

Pupils of South Wimbledon’s Melrose School have benefited from one of the trust’s projects.

Head teacher Steve Childs said: “Events like this help our students to achieve something that they can be truly proud of thus doing wonders for their self esteem.”

The money raised for WCTT will go towards ‘Express Yourself – With One Voice’ – a project involving two local schools for severely disabled children to be run in conjunction with the Merton Music Foundation.

They hope to achieve a musical and movement composition using laser beams that can be recorded.

This will follow with a performance in the Royal Albert Hall at the end of March 2011.

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