Stars unite for charity Shakespeare performance

A host of stars will gather at the Harold Pinter Theatre on October 22 to perform scenes from Shakespeare’s plays in response to modern-day refugee video stories.

The cast for Whither Would You Go? includes Bertie Carvel, Lee Evans, Martin Freeman, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Wunmi Mosaku, James Norton, Jack Whitehall and Olivia Williams, who will come together to create the gala event in support of the millions of forcibly displaced people around the world.

The evening includes a special guest performance by actor Jay Abdo, himself a refugee of his native Syria.

Inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘refugee’ speech from The Book of Sir Thomas More – written as a plea for tolerance during the London riots of May 1517 (500 years ago this year) – Whither Would You Go? pairs scenes from Shakespeare with genuine refugee stories from around the world.

Whither Would You Go? is the creation of Ella Smith and Emma West, both actors and producers who wanted to harness the power of storytelling to bring tangible help to refugees.

Their inaugural production took place in Los Angeles in March and sold out. Further productions are now planned for New York and Sydney.

The evening will be directed by Jamie Lloyd. All profits go to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.