Manchester’s Christie Hospital has established itself as one of the biggest and best causes to raise money for. The largest cancer centre in Europe, it treats in excess of 40,000 patients each year. Many fundraisers are gearing up for next weekend’s Great Manchester Run to raise money in support of the Christie, but over in Salford, Manchester’s theatre scene has clubbed together to take down cancer.
30 talented individuals have donated their time and effort into producing The C Project, a new showcase of sharp and moving drama with 7 new short plays premiering tonight and tomorrow at The Lowry.
The evening’s performance will include cast members from shows like In the Flesh, Coronation Street, Prisoners Wives and many acclaimed theatre productions throughout the region with new writing from Becky Garrod and Sarah McDonald Hughes (Once in a House on Fire), Chris Hoyle (Tinned Up), Ian Townsend (All The Bens), Francesca Waite (Stars Are Fire), Rob Ward (Away From Home), Rebekah Harrison (Behind Closed Doors), James Leach (My Arms) and Jo Kirtley-Pritchard (Loaded).
This new venture is the brainchild of Jo Kirtley and Rob Ward, better known as the theatre company Working Progress who recently took Manchester by storm with their smash hit and double Manchester Theatre Award winning Away From Home. But for Kirtley, The C Project runs very close to home: “My Mam was diagnosed Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma a few years ago. It was devastating, but I’m happy to say she’s doing well and is now in remission. Around the same time, I was involved in the 24:7 Theatre Festival and was surrounded by so many amazingly talented people. I thought it was an ideal opportunity to mark my Mam’s recovery and help raise vital funds and awareness for such a fantastic charity who provide care and support for families like mine. I am overwhelmed and tremendously grateful to everyone involved on the project, but also to my Mam, my inspiration.”
The Christie is in need as much support as possible. The pioneering and essential treatment for sufferers of cancer is supported by fundraising activities which help to make The Christie “more than a hospital”. Past fundraising activities have helped to fund projects such as a community radiotherapy unit in Oldham, bringing treatment closer to patient’s homes and helping to fund academic posts at the new Manchester Cancer Research Centre talking giant leaps in cancer research.
My mum has needed treatment at the Christie. Chances are that many of you reading this will know at least one person who has received help from them. Your support is ever more vital in the fight against cancer. Community Fundraising Officer at the Christie, Stef Underhill, agress; “The C Project is such an interesting and unusual idea so we’re delighted Jo came to us with this proposal in aid of The Christie charity. We’re also really grateful to the group of talented writers and actors who are giving their time to the project for free. Let’s hope both nights are sell outs. All funds raised will help make a difference to cancer patients at The Christie.”
It’s great and rewarding to see the theatre community coming together in support of such a great and local cause. If you can, you’d be thoroughly recommended to make your way down to the Lowry and show your support in the war against cancer.