Animals Asia’s bears, cats and dogs were the very grateful recipients of some wonderful seasonal generosity from the Birmingham Stage Company and its Director, Neal Foster. On 22 December 2009, in the depths of freezing, snowy weather, they gave a fabulous performance of David Almond’s award-winning story Skellig at the UCL Bloomsbury Theatre - all in support of Animals Asia’s vital work. Although the final total for the evening is not yet in, the auction and donations alone raised £2,680.
Skellig is the story of a sick, emaciated creature found alone in a dark rundown shed by young Michael and his friend Mina. Initially afraid and a little repulsed by the hostility of the creature, they’re determined to befriend him and bring him back to full health. Imagine their joy and awe when they find that Skellig is an angel, who eventually repays their kindness by saving Michael’s very sick baby sister. As Jill said in her post-production speech, “does this story sound familiar?!”
Skellig was the perfect choice for a magical evening for all of Animals Asia’s friends and supporters who braved the freezing temperatures and snowdrifts, arriving in their droves from across the country. We are so grateful to them for making such a great effort, especially in such snowy conditions and when present wrapping and Christmas preparations also beckoned!
We would also like to express our thanks to our wonderful UK patron, BBC’s Paul Martin, who brilliantly conducted the post-performance auction.
Jill and the UK team are thrilled by such a upbeat ending to a successful year for Animals Asia and look forward to more events in 2010. The ever-generous Neal Foster has already mentioned the possibility for next year’s Christmas gala – Roald Dahl’s “George’s Marvellous Medicine”. This will be the first production of this children’s classic performed in London, so make space in your diaries now!!
Our thanks also to Suzie Marsh, Heather Shuckburgh of the Luxury Collection, Robbie Bartington, William Lee and Jill Rogers for their auction items. For anyone wishing to find out more about Suzie’s moon bear sculptures or Will’s chainsaw carvings, please click here.