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Merriman Theatre Group is delighted to announce that its adopted charity for the 2015/2016 season will be ACTING FOR OTHERS, the West End-based charity that supports members of the entertainment industry who have fallen on hard times and are facing personal, medical and financial difficulties.

In recent years, Merriman have used their events to raise money and awareness of a variety of charities, and are delighted this year to be lending their support to a charity so closely linked to the group’s theatrical aims.

Acting For Others is made up of 15 individual theatrical charities, each with their own remit, including the Actors Children’s Trust (supporting the children of performers who may have special needs and disabilities), Theatre Chaplaincy UK (offering emotional and pastoral support to performers of all faiths and none) and Denville Hall, the residential nursing and dementia care home for elderly members of the acting profession.  Between them they offer financial and emotional support to all those in the entertainment profession. The member charities dispense over £2 million to hundreds of people within the profession every year. As well as collections at West End and regional theatres, they organize events including sponsored 10k runs, cabaret performances, charity auctions of theatrical memorabilia and the much-loved West End Bake-Off!

Merriman director Graeme Savage says “This is a very worthwhile charity, and group of charities, to support, and is very important to Merriman’s ethos that as we support young people at the beginning of their careers, we are aware and appreciative of those coming to the end of theirs. For every successful performer and household name, there are thousands of actors, dancers, musicians, lighting technicians, scene painters, wardrobe staff, front of house, backstage staff who are not so fortunate. They may be suffering from illness, injury, be caring for a child with special needs, or have reached an age when they simply can no longer work to support themselves or make ends meet. The entertainment industry is notoriously fickle, and they may have worked for years to make a living, but unable to fund pension schemes and insurance policies which many of the rest of us take for granted. Yet without these people taking that risk, we wouldn’t have the wealth of plays, shows and performances which make the West End and our regional theatres such a vibrant place”.

Merriman will be collecting for Acting For Others at all of their productions between now and Summer 2016, including Bugsy Malone and Songs, etc. in December, One Man Two Guvnors in April, and Our House in July, as well as promoting their work and events to Merriman’s members and audiences.

To find out more about the work of Acting for Others, please visit  www.actingforothers.co.uk

MERRIMAN THEATRE  GROUP is an award-winning* youth theatre company for young people aged 6 -18 in the Midsomer Norton area. Established in 1998, more than 400 young people have taken part in productions and workshops. They currently have three groups – the Junior Company (the Minimen), for ages 6-9; Merriman Theatre Group for ages 10-18 and an adult company made up of staff, former members and guests, as well as a separate Dance Academy for aspiring dancer and choreographers of all ages.