Some of you will recall my advent tweets that started seven days before Christmas. Each tweet mentioned something about the charity that I chair, the National Youth Music Theatre and a celebrity who started their career there. Two months later I can reveal that the tweets led to an event on Monday 20 February at The Ivy Club, London with 80 guests, including Laura and Sophie from MSL.

The National Youth Music Theatre, or NYMT, launched its bursary scheme for exceptionally talented young people.  We believe that there are thousands of very gifted young people in Britain some of whom find it difficult to pursue their excellence due to lack of funds. Our glittering event in The Loft Room at The Ivy was packed with potential donors, supporters and some very special alumni: Jude Law, Eddie Redmayne, Lara Pulver and Sheridan Smith.

Jude is a Patron of NYMT and he spoke passionately about what NYMT did for him and why it needs support. After Jude’s speech I mentioned that NYMT still has the coat that he wore when he was 15 in the NYMT production of Joseph and his Technicolour Dream Coat. And my one comment set off a train of action. Someone whispered to me that they would make a large donation if Jude sang a song. And sing he did! Singing a medley from Joseph and accompanied on the piano by Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown who is to direct his Broadway debut ‘13’ for NYMT in the summer, I saw the bursary scheme emerge.

I also thought about our MSL gift service Behind the Seams and wondered about the woman who made Jude’s coat over 20 years ago. There is a story there and we will research it and produce a booklet for anyone who would like to donate to NYMT. Be in touch!

Maggie Semple





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