Charlie Kristensen, the 11 year old passionate anti-bullying campaigner and much-loved host of the online chat show Musical Chairs with #CheerUpCharlie, will be joined by an exciting line-up for his fundraising gala #CheerUpCharlie – The Show on Sunday 31 October 2021 at 7.30pm at The Actor’s Church in Covent Garden, London.
Produced by Mark Robert Petty and hosted by Ben Stock and Hilary O’Neil, with Musical Direction by Tom Knowles, the evening will feature a whole host of the West End’s much-loved top musical theatre performers: Lewis Asquith, Lizzie Bea, Nikki Bentley, Daniel Boys, Kieran Brown, Robin Cousins, Maria Coyne, Ferris & Milnes, Adrian Hansel, Jacqueline Hughes, Sophie Isaacs, Melissa Jacques, Alison Jiear, Gemma Knight Jones, Carolyn Maitland, Nadim Naaman, Sara Poyzer, Oliver Savile, Jon Tarcy, Shona White and Jacinta Whyte as well as Joseph Fletcher and Natasha Volley from DMD+ (Deaf Men Dancing+, founded by Mark Smith), country cross-over duo One Trick Pony, This One’s For You – A Tribute To Elton John (with Dougie Carter, Ben Barrow and Sam Ebenezer), the cast of Rumi: The Musical, mind-reader Matt Daniel-Baker and ventriloquist Max Fulham. They will be joined by students from ASA Theatre Arts, London School of Musical Theatre, MX Masterclass and The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Charlie also has some special surprises up his sleeve.
Profits from ticket sales will be split between Acting For Others, which provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities, and The National Deaf Children’s Society which is the leading charity for deaf children. They support the UK’s 50,000 deaf children and young people and their families, and they are there for every deaf child who needs them – no matter what their level or type of deafness or how they communicate. (Charlie overcame a severe infection, which has left him mainly deaf in his left ear and required 15 operations).
Charlie started his ‘#CheerUpCharlie’ campaign in 2019. Having been bullied severely for over 18 months, in part due to his love of performing, Charlie couldn’t take any more. When he opened up to his performance coach West End actress Jacqueline Hughes, she rallied support from the theatre industry via Twitter.
Hundreds of performers and creatives from the West End, Broadway and even Hollywood identified with Charlie’s story, and inundated him with video messages of support. This led to backstage invitations and national media interviews including BBC Breakfast and Michael Ball’s BBC Radio 2 show. Charlie then knew he wanted to channel his own traumatic experiences, and use the support he had received, to help him fight for others. He trained as an Ambassador for The Diana Award and in June 2021, he was recognised with the The Diana Award himself – the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts. Earlier in 2021, Charlie’s work was celebrated with a What’s On Stage Angel Award, after being nominated by his theatrical peers for having gone above and beyond to provide joy in the midst of the pandemic.