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Shakespeare event at Queen's Park raises funds for Kensal Rise Library

PUBLISHED: 06:45 28 April 2016 | UPDATED: 12:07 28 April 2016

The actors night raised money for Kensal Rise Community Library

The actors night raised money for Kensal Rise Community Library

Archant

A group of local actors and writers came together in Queen's Park to perform Shakespeare readings at a fundraising event for Kensal Rise Library.

The cast delivered offerings from As You Like It, Hamlet and Macbeth as well as some lesser-known gems, humourous parodies and sonnets at Queen’s Park Community School in Aylestone Avenue.

Tamsin Greig, Paterson Joseph, Ben Miles, Tim Lott, Emily Raymond, Richard Leaf, Stephanie Schonfield and Ron Cook were among the cast at the performance on Sunday.

Highlights on the night included a moving performance by Ms Greig of Constance’s “I am not mad” speech from King John and Ron Cook delivering a passage from Thomas More with stark relevance to today’s refugee crisis.

The event took place the day after the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.

Friends of Kensal Rise Library was formed after the council announced plans to close the reading room in Bathurst Gardens, which was opened by author Mark Twain in 1900.

The branch was closed alongside five others by Brent Council in 2011 to save £1million-a-year.

FKRL launched a successful battle to be allocated space within the building to open a community-run reading room.

The £2,200 raised on Sunday will go towards paying for resources for the space they have secured, rent-free.

Margaret Bailey, chairwoman of FKRL, said they need to raise a total of £200,000 of which £80,000 needs to be available by July 31.

She added: “We are heartened by the support shown to us by the many actors who participated in the event.

“We are also grateful to the support shown by Queens Park Community School who once again is true to its community.

“We have an enormous hill to climb to reach our goal but we have no doubt that we will get there as the support in the last five years shows that our community wants a library at its heart.”

To donate to the appeal visit savekensalriselibrary.org and press the MyDonate button.

In February a similar event raised £2,000 for FKRL.

In addition to a performance, the celebrities who included Tamsin Greig, Patterson Joseph, Hayden Gywnne, participated in a Q&A session at the event held at the Paradise Pub in Kensal Green.

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