Cabaret for Ukraine

Performing arts students in Sunderland are donating all the proceeds from their cabaret show to support families fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Each year, second-year students put together a cabaret show at a City Centre venue as part of their Performing Arts Degree at the University of Sunderland.

Showcasing the students’ talents in areas such as comedy, music and burlesque, the fundraising evening this year takes place at The Peacock, in High Street West.

Traditionally, any money raised during the annual cabaret event is ploughed back into funding other student performances, but this year, responding to the desperate plight of millions of Ukrainians crossing European borders to safety, the students decided the money should go towards charities supporting those people impacted by the war.

Student Paula Zbrehova, from Czechoslovakia, who will be starring in the show, says: “Our reason for changing this cabaret into a fundraising event is because we want to use our platform to support people who are suffering and losing their homes due to war.

“We can’t imagine how it must be to leave everything you know and have behind and run to different countries where you don’t speak the language and don’t know the people.

“While we were creating this piece of performance somewhere on the other side of Europe someone had to fight for their life. That is why we want to dedicate this performance to everyone who had to experience war.

“We hope we can help at least in some way, while keeping in mind all of those who suffer.”

Paula added: “What you can expect from this evening is a lot of fun but also eye-opening and moving pieces. From original works such as sketches and dances to some adaptations of already well-known songs or poems. It’ll be a night to remember.”

Dr Adelle Hulsmeier, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts and Programme Leader for Screen Performance, said: “The cabaret performance always showcases a high standard of creative work from the students. The work asks the audience to question some of the political situations we are facing in our society today; it is done with humour but is simultaneously and innovatively thought-provoking. This is probably one of the best placed modules on the degree to fund raise for such a worthy cause. We commend the students for their hard work, dedication and maturity in approaching complex issues. We would love to see lots of faces to support the work on April 5.”

Barry Hyde, Director of Northern Academy of Music Education (NAME), Business Operator/General Manager at The Peacock and frontman of the Futureheads, said: “NAME is delighted to be hosting some of the University’s performing arts students next week for a special cabaret show. Not only is the show for a pertinent and worthy cause, but it is also a chance for NAME to share one of its resources as part of an academic assessment for the University.

“We hope, as a partner college, that this event is the first of many collaborations and we are delighted that’s it’s occurring in the heart of the City’s Cultural Quarter.”

The show takes place on Tuesday, April 5, doors open at 6.30pm, and tickets are priced £5 on the door.

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