Danny Cohen, President of Access Entertainment said:
‘At Access Entertainment we are passionate about supporting new talent across the creative industries. Masterclass is a terrific way to develop the next generation of theatre talent and further deepens Access Industries' commitment to the arts globally.’
Masterclass has been a leader in advancing the education of 16-30 year olds through theatre for over 20 years and through its pioneering work has been able to offer over 80,000 opportunities to young creatives at the beginning of their careers. Among the 400 stars of stage and screen who have generously given their time to foster the next generation of theatre makers include Jez Butterworth, Bradley Cooper, Noma Dumezweni, Idris Elba OBE, Ralph Fiennes, Elaine Paige OBE, Josie Rourke, and Dame Janet Suzman.
This valuable support will allow the charity to develop its current activities, which include onstage workshops with leading industry figures, a paid apprentice scheme and the ‘Pitch Your Play’ competition for emerging playwrights, as well as create exciting new additions to their programme.
Plans for expansion include an enhanced digital presence and streaming capabilities, allowing thousands more young people to gain access and engage with these invaluable experiences.
Access Entertainment, the global entertainment division of Sir Leonard Blavatnik's Access Industries, purchased the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2018.
Arnold Crook, Chairman of Masterclass said:
‘Having founded Masterclass over 20 years ago, I have proudly watched it grow from just a few workshops each year to a thriving year-round program which is dedicated to fostering the talents of young people who are passionate about embarking on a career in the theatre.
It is with our very grateful thanks to Sir Leonard and Access Entertainment, through their incredible generosity and commitment to nurturing young people's creativity, that we are able to continue giving them free access to the West End, the Theatre Royal Haymarket and the very best practitioners, knowledge and training that the British theatre has to offer.'
Speaking about the impact that the contribution will make, Masterclass Programme Director Blayne George commented:
‘We are beyond grateful for the support that Sir Leonard and Access Entertainment have offered Masterclass. Arts and culture are an inseparable part of all our lives and, at a time when funding for the arts continues to be cut, the need for free and affordable routes into the creative industries is at an all-time high.
This generous donation will go a long way to ensuring we are able to continue nurturing creativity in the next generation of theatre makers, as well as opening the door for those who may not see theatre as an accessible or viable career path.’
The announcement follows the news that Warner Music artist and multi-platinum GRAMMY and BRIT Award winner, Ed Sheeran, will play a one-off intimate show at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on Sunday 14 July in aid of Masterclass. For more details, please see here