Hull born star of stage and screen, Michael Jibson is joining forces with city based director and producer Andrew Pearson to create a bursary scheme for young people living in the area. The funding will allow aspiring actors, musicians, dancers and those wishing to pursue a career in the performing arts access to prestigious arts training.
Jibson, who has appeared in films such as Les Miserables and The Last Jedi and recently won an Olivier award for his portrayal of King George III in the hit musical Hamilton said: “I wanted there to be an opportunity for young people with talent in Hull and the surrounding areas who may feel it’s too difficult financially to pursue a career in the Arts.”
Andrew Pearson, who is the artistic director of E52 and produced the acclaimed adaptation of Dark Winter recently at Hull Truck said: “Many of the leading colleges for drama, music and dance training are in London so
travel and accommodation alone can set someone back hundreds of pounds even before they’ve paid the expensive audition fees. We want to try and take some of the pressure off at this stage.”
Jibson continued: “We’re looking for businesses to get on board and sponsor the incredibly talented young people of Hull and East Yorkshire so that there continues to be a northern voice in the arts and access is still open to people from all backgrounds in the area. When I went to Drama School in 2002, I could only afford it because of the Dance and Drama Award (DADA Award) grant brought in by the government at the time and I wrote to local businesses asking for sponsorship so that I could afford the fees for the National Youth Music Theatre.”
The scheme would not only offer financial support for those applying to higher education in the arts but would also help support young people participating in productions by nationally renowned youth theatre organisations.
Pearson said: “Both myself and Michael were members of the National Youth Music Theatre (Jibson is now a patron of the company) and it gave us both a great grounding in theatre, before going to Drama School in London. Hull has produced some amazing young performers over the years and we feel it’s important to keep that going.”
As well as the financial support, it is also planned that successful applicants will be able to receive advice and mentoring from some of the city’s most successful alumni.
Jibson said: “It’s an opportunity to give something back to the City of Hull. Both Andy and I have worked with some amazing performers over the years, many of whom are from Hull and we feel sure that they will want to give their time and expertise to help develop the talent of tomorrow.”
If you would like more information about the scheme or would like to support a young person, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org