News (and photos): National Theatre gala (plus actors in suits!)

The National Theatre last night hosted its biennial fundraising gala, Up Next, raising over a million pounds to support access to the arts for children and young people across the country. I think they forgot to invite me though… ?

Performances commissioned especially for the event included a new piece by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, alongside performances by Sir Lenny Henry, Anne-Marie Duff and hundreds of talented young people from across London.

The Up Next Gala was held to raise vital funds for the NT’s Learning Department, ensuring that young people from across the country have the chance to access the arts, develop new skills and experience live theatre performances. NT Learning works with schools, young people, families, community groups and adult learners from all corners of the UK and in 2015-16 engaged with more than 181,000 participants. The nationwide youth theatre festival Connections has helped to launch the careers of many of the UK’s brightest and best actors, from Andrew Garfield to John Boyega.

Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre, who hosted the gala evening said:

‘Every child has the right to a creative education and the opportunity to fully participate in the arts. Theatre gives us the chance to stand in other people’s shoes, to tell compelling stories and to be able to see the world from different perspectives.

It’s our responsibility as one of the leading arts institutions to help fertilise the creativity of this country, giving more children the chance to experience and take part in theatre, and to enable them to fulfil their potential as human beings and as members of society. We thank everyone who helped raise vital funds at the 2017 Up Next Gala and look forward to working with children and young people from across the country, thanks to the overwhelming support we received this evening.’



The event was generously support of the Pigott family and the Wall Street Journal, and in-kind support from Berry Bros. & Rudd, Floris Van Den Hoed, Nyetimber, Umbrella World and Voss Water.
Now let’s have a look how some of our top actors scrub up in their finest on the red carpet… (all photos courtesy of Cameron Slater)

Oliver Chris and Lois Chimimba

Oliver Chris and Lois Chimimba
Adrian Lester
Jonathan Bailey
Billie Piper
Elliot Cowan


Denise Gough


Hal Fowler and Kim Wilde. KIM WILDE!


Hattie Morahan and Blake Ritson
John Heffernan


James Graham


Jessica Raine
Indhu Rubasingham and Dominic Cooke


Jim Carter


Kate Fleetwood


Kobna Holdbrook-Smith


Lenny Henry


Lily James


Lucian Msamati


Miles Jupp


Monica Dolan


Nathan Lane


Olivia Colman


Pandora Colin and Rory Kinnear


Penelope Wilton


Rosalie Craig


Rufus Norris




Simon Callow


Tamsin Greig


Tim McMullan

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