A Sonnet a Day – the Jermyn Street Theatre project. William Russell

The jewel of the West End, the tiny Jermyn Street Theatre, is, like every other theatre closed and fighting to survive, a battle intensified because on 8 April just days after closure a burst pipe in a neighbouring empty building flooded its basement with five feet of water, destroying its workshop, technical stores, office and dressing rooms. The fight back began with the Sonnet Project launched on 21 March when HannahMorrish read the first of Shakespeare’s sonnets – since when there has been a sonnet a day. They are being read by actors famous and established, and by 55 actors newly graduated from drama school who would now have been embarking upon their careers. The established names include the Dames Penelope Wilton and Penelope Keith, Olivia Colman, Timothy West, Tobias Menzies, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Grace Saif, Jamael Westman, and David Suchet who read Sonnet 34 on Shakespeare’s birthday.
Insurance will meet some of the repair costs, but the theatre otherwise faces financial ruin – it receives no funding. The appeal for fund is working well but every little helps so if a sonnet a day helps you face the new day what better way than to contribute to ensuring Jermyn Street has a future. It closed on 16 March with a marvellous production of The Tempest starring Michael Pennington as Prospero – this a e theatre which invariably punches above it weight.
The readings will run unti late August and end with Sonnet 54. Rge video readins are free and will be performed from all sorts of rooms and gardens. They can be found on Twitter, Instagram, You Tube and the theatre’s own web site.
David Suchet – Camera Press, ChrisMcAndrew

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