Islington youth theatre gets Secret Millionaire cash boost

A MILLIONAIRE has given a cash boost to a teenage arts project after spending a week undercover working with the young actors.

Businesswoman Lyn Cecil has donated �27,000 to the Islington Community Theatre in North Road, Holloway, after appearing in Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire.

The scheme, which does not get Government funding, started in 2009 and now has 150 members who perform in regular theatre productions.

Artistic director Ned Glasier said: “We were completely blown away – and for a small recently-formed charity, it is an extraordinary amount of money to be given.

“One of the biggest challenges when you’re at our stage of development is finding money to bring in new staff – and Lyn’s money now means that we have a general manager who can help us really reach our potential.”

One of its members Sammy Amokrane, 16, said: “To be given this money is amazing for me and for everyone in the company. We’re just like a big family and this will help us grow and give even more people the chance to get involved in our projects.” Ms Cecil, the owner of Secretaries Plus in Bond Street, said: “I felt the theatre was about making dreams become reality.

“It gives the children the confidfence to speak out in public which will be invaluable when they come to interview for jobs.

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“I love Ned’s enthusiasm and passion for trying to help the kids and emerging adults in the local community.

“The whole experience was the most humbling of my life, seeing all these inspirational individuals.”

Two other charities Centre 404 in Camden Road and the Caledonian Road over-55s lunch club, were also given cash by Ms Cecil during the programme which airs on Tuesday (May 17).

Mr Glasier said the Islington Community Theatre still wants to raise �50,000 to continue its work over the next two years.

The thespians are currently in rehearsal for The Platform Festival and a show at the Rosemary Branch Theatre which are both in July.