Hollywood star backs extra funding for youth theatre
HOLLYWOOD star Michael Sheen has welcomed a funding boost to the theatre group that helped launch his career.
West Glamorgan Youth Theatre (WGYT) has been given a cash injection from Swansea Council of £28,000 a year.
As well as Sheen, the group's former members include actress Joanna Page and Doctor Who designer Edward Thomas.
The Baglan actor, who has always acknowledged the role of WGYT in his development, said he was delighted with the news.
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"It's simple — this area has the best youth theatre in the world," said Sheen, who has been recently snapped with girlfriend Rachel McAdams with an injured right arm.
"Its work is of an extraordinary standard and it changes countless young people's lives, whether they go on to work professionally or not. For Swansea Council to once more join Neath Port Talbot in funding it, the WGYT can continue to exist.
"Without their support in the past, my life would never have gone the way it has, and so I hope that the alliance of the WGYT and the Swansea/Neath Port Talbot Councils can now continue changing people's lives for generations to come."
Councillor Nick Bradley, Swansea Council's cabinet member for regeneration, said: "Like Michael Sheen, the council recognises the value and significance of WGYT in the cultural life of Swansea Bay.
"That's why we are very pleased to be able to provide financial support for the group to assist it in continuing to engage and inspire young people in all aspects of theatre."
Mr Bradley added: "The youth theatre gives young people confidence and skills for whatever career they go on to pursue in later life.
"I'm delighted the council is making this financial commitment to the theatre company so that young people can continue to benefit in the future."
Sheen, 43, who has reportedly been cut from the new Terrence Malick film, has several new projects coming up in the next year including filming the thriller Cut Bank.