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Stage star Jason Donovan becomes Misfit in Bristol for the day

Media Assets

Image icon Misfits meet Jason Donovan 300813 29.jpg

Actor and musician Jason Donovan took time out from his Priscilla Queen of the Desert rehearsals today to break the fantastic news to members of the Misfits Theatre Company, that they have been named the UK’s favourite arts project.

Jason made the surprise visit to Bristol to congratulate all involved in the theatre group on winning a National Lottery Award.

Jason, who has appeared in numerous stage productions throughout his acting career, joined the innovative theatre company of 35 members who all have a learning difficulty - seven of whom are Directors of the company. As well as workshops and performances, the Misfits receive training about social inclusion and disability issues. 

Jason said: “It’s been amazing meeting the Misfits and experiencing firsthand the fantastic work they do - not only in their workshops but in their performances as well.”

“The level of enthusiasm is infectious and it’s a real privilege being around actors so passionate about what they are doing. I love their ethos and dedication to helping change attitudes towards people with learning difficulties.  I’ve always believed theatre is a creative outlet for absolutely everyone and Misfits is a great example of this.

“Misfits is a brilliant success story and I am delighted they have been recognised as the nation’s favourite arts project in the National Lottery Awards.  National Lottery players should be really proud that their money is supporting a group like this.”

Tony Holdom, Company Manager, says: “It’s taken my breath away! It’s absolutely amazing that people with learning disabilities have won this award.

“Being part of the awards has been a real rollercoaster for all of us.  We campaigned hard for votes and it looks like all our hard work paid off.  It’s amazing to think that there are so many people out there who took the time to vote for us.

“We can’t thank National Lottery players enough.  It’s been the best possible use of Lottery funding we can imagine, helping so many people gain confidence and improve their lives.”


Notes to the editor

About the project:
The Misfits Theatre Company comprises of 35 members who all have a learning difficulty - seven of whom are Directors of the company. As well as workshops and performances, the Misfits receive training about social inclusion and disability issues. 
The Misfits Theatre Company received £149,659 of National Lottery funding through BIG Lottery Fund to help fund seven part-time members of staff with learning difficulties to help deliver issues-based performances.  The funding also enabled the group to develop a marketing strategy to promote their work.

About the Awards:
There are seven categories in the National Lottery Awards, reflecting the main areas of Lottery funding: arts, education, environment, health, heritage, sport, and voluntary/charity. 
The Misfits Theatre Company beat off six other challengers in a public vote to win the best arts project. They will receive a £2,000 cash prize to spend on their project as well as a coveted National Lottery Awards trophy. They will also feature at a star-studded awards ceremony hosted by John Barrowman and broadcast on BBC One in September 11.  

Ends

For further information please contact The National Lottery Awards:
Vicci Moyles on 0207 842 4236 or email vicci.moyles@lotterygoodcauses.org.uk

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