George Hull

Fantasy auction

Fantasy auction
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Have you ever felt the urge to rush backstage, brushing aside the objections of minders, and introduce yourself to a favourite actor? Or perhaps you’ve fantasised about dressing up in the old clothes of a Hollywood star?

Don’t blush and walk away! We can reveal exclusively that you have nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary, the future of British theatre could well be in your hands…

Starting out as a producer of big commercial shows like Yes, Prime Minister or South Pacific is a hazardous business. It takes not just an eye for a good idea, and a firm managerial hand, but a hefty capital investment to boot. And if putting money into new arts projects seems foolish to private investors at the best of times, at times like these it can easily appear deranged.

So there is a clear role for a charity like Stage One, which prepares young producers through workshops and bursaries, and in some cases puts up £25,000 for their first big show. Recognising this, actors and theatres have been quick to donate rare opportunities and collectibles to an online auction, West End Lots, in aid of Stage One.

The ever-growing list of lots includes a walk-on part alongside Mark Rylance (above) in Jerusalem, backstage passes for Rock of Ages and Woman in Black, and an Armani tie worn by Christian Slater. Tempted? Instead of nursing unacted-on desires, you might want to visit and do all theatre-lovers a favour.