Leah and Mhairi Gayer, former pupils at RWS, are both now at drama schools and also part of the Wind-Up Penguin Theatre Company.
At Wind-Up Penguin, we have been bringing music theatre for the past five years to children in Romania, Bulgaria, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, India, Germany, and Belgium. We've performed to over 10000 children in orphanages, hospitals, special needs centres, rural schools, and refugee centres, and don't intend on stopping anytime soon!
Leah and Mhairi, along with 5 other RADA and Guildhall students will be travelling to refugee camps across Greece for 10 days over Easter. Tens of thousands of migrants are currently stuck in Greece's refugee camps. Among these, many children, having fled their war-ridden countries, are confronted daily with the angst and trauma of having no place to call home and no guarantee of a safe future. No child should go through such distressing events at such a young age.
In February the group were featured in a UN Refugee Agency article:
“I think it is so rewarding,” said Mhairi Gayer, 21, a Guildhall acting student, who along with twin sister Leah, of the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts (RADA), hopes to bring a little colour and inspiration into the lives of children stuck in often drab and remote centres or camps. “There is a different energy in the air when you leave from when you arrive.”
..."The Wind-Up Penguin performance divides into three parts: a show, which incorporates the puppets (in addition to ‘boy’ there is ‘girl’); a show-and-tell segment, where the actors show off their individual skills and give the audience an opportunity to meet the puppets; and finally a workshop element, where the children get a chance to try some new skills."
...The group is determined to play a positive role going forward."
You can read the article in full here: UN Article - read More...
Leah and Mhairi say:
"Please help us in our goal of bringing crucial elements of a healthy childhood: laughter, stories, games, and a safe space to play and be creative, to these refugee children.
We need help fundraising to make this happen!
If you can support us with a donation, however small, take a look at our Just Giving page.
YOU can help make this kind of work happen!"
They have already reached their initial £1000 target, but the more they receive the more they can help... The Wind-Up Penguin Theatre Company is run entirely by students and young graduates. They fund all their projects themselves, so all donations, even the smallest, are much appreciated - helping towards covering their costs (flights, accommodation, and transport), and helping them bring smiles and laughter and spark the creativity of hundreds of children who are currently stuck in refugee camps.
We wish them well for their mission this Easter and look forward to hearing about it on their return.