Stars Boost Lyric's Fundraising Party

Will Young kicks off campaign to fund teaching theatre

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Lyric Hammersmith's capital project

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Singer Will Young has helped the Lyric Hammersmith to raise a massive £64,000 at its recent party called Changing Lives, Changing Landscapes, celebrating the launch of its £5 million fundraising appeal.

The appeal is for a public capital project to extend its current building to create the UK's first teaching theatre for the performing arts. This project aims to transform the landscape of Hammersmith and the lives of thousands of disadvantaged young West Londoners.

The programme began with a set from the Ivor Novello award-winning band The Feeling who entertained guests with their greatest hits within the intimate space of the Lyric foyer.

Guests were then taken through to the lavishly transformed main auditorium for dinner under the historic proscenium arch catered for by the acclaimed London Kitchen. The night was hosted by Janet Ellis, lifelong Lyric supporter and Board Member and Andy Nyman (Ghost Stories, 2010) who introduced a line up of extraordinary performances from the cast of the Olivier award winning show Spring Awakening, the Lyric Young Company and Brit nominated singer Will Young, who performed a unique Jazz set.

Fundraising was kicked off with a donation from BAFTA award winning British actor Hugh Grant and guests continued to bid throughout the night for money can’t buy experiences including meeting Colin and Livia Firth, drinks with Sheila Hancock after watching Sister Act, UK premiere tickets for Toy Story 3 and VIP tickets for the X Factor.

The most successful lot of the auction was a unique opportunity for guests to bid to change someone’s life through pledging to support a young person through a Lyric programme. On the night 15 guests each pledged £1,000, which will now mean 15 young people can take part in new programmes offered by the capital project.

Work on the extension to the Lyric’s existing building will begin this autumn, with expected completion at the end of 2011. The extension will provide a unique learning environment in which education professionals and artists will collaborate to inspire young people to become the artists and arts managers of the future making the Lyric Hammersmith the UK’s first Teaching Theatre.