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'Moneypenny' support for church's youth theatre mentoring

A theatre-based youth mentoring scheme run by a London church has signed up James Bond films star Naomie Harris as one of its patrons.

Award-winning actress Naomie Harris has become a Patron of Intermission Youth Theatre (IYT), the theatre-based youth mentoring programme run by the Parish of Holy Trinity and St. Saviour, Upper Chelsea, London.

Harris, who starred in last year’s critically acclaimed film Moonlight and has played Eve Moneypenny in the James Bond films Skyfall and Spectre, says she is delighted to become a Patron, alongside Oscar-winning actor Sir Mark Rylance.

“I think the work Intermission does is phenomenal and I am so impressed by the amount of talent and commitment from the members,” said Harris. “It will be my honour to help represent Intermission and the Youth Theatre.”

Intermission Youth Theatre recruits young people from London’s inner-city communities, who are at risk of offending or who lack opportunity, to join a 25-strong youth theatre company. 

Using drama and Shakespeare, they explore issues such as knife crime, post code rivalry, gang warfare. The year-long programme culminates in a new Shakepeare-inspired play, fusing Shakespeare text with street language.

Artistic Director Darren Raymond said: “We are thrilled that Naomie is supporting us in this, our 10th anniversary of IYT. She is a fantastic role model, offering inspiration to our young people.”

Over the past decade, Intermission Youth Theatre has spawned much talent, with a number of members gaining professional representation, appearing on stage, in film and TV.  Former graduate Tosin Cole was recently cast as one of Doctor Who’s new companions and is currently filming the cult BBC series in South Africa. He was previously in the blockbuster film Star Wars: The Force Awakens and TV series Hollyoaks.

Intermission Youth Theatre has been described by Mark Rylance as ‘a great ensemble with a powerful spirit to their work.’ Its impressive reputation has seen them perform with The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford upon Avon, where Creative Associate Jamie Luck said: “Intermission’s Youth Theatre productions sit easily alongside the strongest professional realisations of Shakespeare I’ve ever seen.”

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