HALF MOON THEATRE ANNOUNCE THE APPOINTMENT OF FOUR PATRONS – JOSIE LAWRENCE, LINDA MARLOWE, ADEEL AKHTAR AND MICHAEL IRVING.
Half Moon Theatre, the UK’s leading small scale touring company of theatre for young audiences, announce the appointment of Josie Lawrence, Linda Marlowe, Adeel Akhtar and Michael Irving as patrons of the company, the first time the East London theatre has had these positions.
All four patrons have a long association with Half Moon Theatre and were involved with the recent launch of Stages of Half Moon (www.stagesofhalfmoon.org.uk), an online digital archive of the theatre’s rich heritage since its beginnings in 1972.
Actress Linda Marlowe can currently be seen in EastEnders playing the role of Sylvie Carter. She performed in several productions at the original Half Moon Theatre on Alie Street, including Grand Larceny (1977) and Greek (1980), which was one of many Steven Berkoff plays created for her.
Linda commented: “Many years ago I performed at the Half Moon Theatre when it was in Alie Street at its first home in Aldgate. Since then I have witnessed its huge success and amazing journey over the years. I am so proud, even though in a very small way, to be a part of the company’s rich history and totally thrilled to become a patron of Half Moon and be able to champion its on-going achievements.”
Adeel commented: “I am delighted to be a patron for a company that I had the pleasure of working for in my early career, including a role I undertook in a deeply effecting piece that was performed in schools unpacking transitioning from primary to secondary school. I applaud their unending and on-going championing of work with and for all children and young people regardless of their ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds – providing access to the creative arts for self-development and for people looking to pursue it as a career.”
Comedian and actor Josie Lawrence’s first professional job was with Half Moon Theatre in The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist (1983) and she later performed in Moll Flanders (1986) and Poppy (1988). She was also the wardrobe assistant on the Half Moon production of Dracula (1984), starring Daniel Day Lewis and Peter Capaldi.
Josie commented: “I am proud and honoured to be a patron of Half Moon Theatre. Half Moon was where it all began for me and I have a very special memories of the company. Half Moon demonstrates how important it is to create and perform theatre for young audiences.”
Michael Irving co-founded Half Moon Theatre in 1972, where he went on to perform in many productions, including In the Jungle of the Cities (1972), Will Wat, If Not, What Will? (1972) and Female Transport (1973).
Michael commented: “I am flattered and honoured to be asked to be a patron of the Half Moon Theatre. The connection, through time, with the original venue in Alie Street is rather poetic. The work that the company does today is amazing and admirable, rooted in the same ethos of community engagement and nurturing local early career artists when we founded the company. I am happy to offer my support and to champion the excellent professional theatre and participatory work Half Moon does on a daily basis today.”
Chris Elwell, Director of Half Moon Theatre, commented: “I am delighted that Adeel Akhtar, Michael Irving, Josie Lawrence and Linda Marlowe have all agreed to become patrons of Half Moon Theatre. One of the highlights of the recent Stages of Half Moon heritage project was reconnecting with the theatre’s passionate and dedicated alumni, and I am thrilled that four of them have agreed to have a new formal relationship with Half Moon Theatre.”