May 23

Hot Dame! Biggins gives me the bird at the Acting for Others President’s Awards…

Bowing down to the power of three dames – Dench, Smith and Biggins – and celebrating the charity’s amazing work for the profession, at the inaugural Acting for Others President’s Awards.

Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Christopher Biggins; slightly (ie. entirely) starstruck me at the far right end…

A week or so back, I had the great pleasure of being invited along to the inaugural Acting for Others President’s Awards 2017, at Cafe Zedel, in Central London.

If you don’t know about the charity, it is actually an umbrella fundraising ‘brand’ for 15 theatrical charities, that together help actors and all manner of theatre/film professionals when they are in need, and have been doing for decades.

The annual October bucket collections at theatres across the West End and the country, the Spotlight 10K run, and the now-renowned West End Bake Off, all bring the profession together and helped AforO raise over £300,000 for acting causes last year alone.

A debut for Dench…

Despite this long history of do-gooding, 2017 marked the first year of the President’s Awards, with Dame Judi Dench presiding over a warm-spirited event, that was attended by actors like Dame Maggie Smith, Christopher Biggins, Matthew Kelly, Nicholas Pinnock, Samantha Bond and many more stalwarts of stage and screen.

Being given the bird by Christopher Biggins

Aside from ‘brollies and trophies being handed out for top fundraising theatres and volunteers, actors who have directly benefitted from the charities’ support – be it after a terminal diagnosis or a change in life circumstances – spoke of the positive impact Acting for Others has had on their lives.

It was genuinely moving, and if I’m sounding a little luvvie, that’s probably about right given the company I was in…

The Attitudes get the Bird

I’ve been shooting The Attitudes stills project for the last year in support of the charity, and with the book and print sales that will make a meaningful monetary contribution to come in the future when the project is complete, the images have mainly been used so far to help raise awareness for the charity, including a fair few social media shares.

Thus I was honoured to be given the very literal bird (see the picture right, for my resin pigeon award!) by theatre royalty, Christopher Biggins, as the ‘Top Tweeter’ for that social media support of the charity in 2016-17.

As I say, there are greater contributions to come from the project, but it’s nice to know what we’ve done so far, and the time and talent given freely by more than 30 actors to date, has already proved a help.


Check out the full list of winners and photos from the event at the link: actingforothers.co.uk/blog/

And if you’re inspired to get involved you can learn more about the charity here: actingforothers.co.uk

Still better, donate directly at:justgiving.com/ctcafo

Learn more about The Attitudes at my site: michaelwharleyphoto.com

And if you’d like to come shoot an Attitude with me, just drop a line to michaelwharley@michaelwharley.com


23/05/2017 MW

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