West End Actors Exchange Their Day Jobs To Become Market Traders

23rd May 2019

Actors from the world of the stage, many currently appearing in popular West End Shows, arrived early in the morning at St Paul’s Churchyard in London’s Covent Garden, to set up their stalls for the West End Flea Market, raising money for Acting for Others. This acting charity provides financial and emotional help and support for actors experiencing problems.

The queue of visitors for the Market started forming well before the appointed opening time, and the churchyard was so full that entry had to be restricted, but the waiting was rewarded and no-one was turned away. Co-Chairmen of the Trustees of the Charity, Billy Differ and Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen, roamed around the stalls discussing the displays with the cast of the represented shows, and meeting friends old and new.

Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, The Mousetrap, Ma Ma Mia, Only Fools and Horses, The Play That Goes Wrong, The Book of Mormon and the Royal Opera House competed against each other to be announced Best Stall. Judges Christopher Biggins, Wayne Sleep OBE and Celia Imrie visited each stand, learning the story behind the displays and endeavouring to select the winner from among the high standard of displays. After much deliberation Only Fools and Horses was announced the winner, and the Head created by the cast of The Play That Goes Wrong declared the best.

Su Pollard was ensconced in a characterful tent telling fortunes to a steady stream of customers, while actresses Hayley Mills and Belinda Lang were in charge of the Plant Stall. The Theatre Café stall, with their teas and coffees, was welcomed by stall holders and visitors alike.

Under the direction of Christopher Biggins, and using the special Biggins pounds, two teams, Harriet Thorpe with Tom Read Wilson, and Wendi Peters with Annette Badland, competed in a version of the TV show Bargain Hunt. The competition raised a total of £790, with Harriet and Tom raising the highest sum. Items bought by each team were varied, including Elder Price’s suitcase from the Book of Mormon, and a framed picture of Michael Somes and Moira Shearer dancing in Cinderella.

The morning was organised by Acting for Others' Fundraising Coordinator Joel Marvin with his efficient team of helpers, while Kate Morley and her team promoted the fundraising Market.

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