St. James Theatre

Sell-out show raises over £18,000

Our Foot in the Door Partner for the month of February was The St James Theatre. The Centre was delighted to be selected as the chosen charity of the St. James Theatre in late 2015, but we could not have anticipated their recent fundraising efforts. During the sell-our run of The Pianist of Willesden Lane, which ran at the Theatre from 20 January – 27 February 2016, an incredible £18,667 was raised for the Centre.

The Pianist of Willesden Lane tells the true story of Lisa Jura, who fled her native Vienna in 1938 on the Kindertransport. Almost eighty years later, Lisa’s daughter Mona Golabek has brought the story of her mother’s experience to London following critically acclaimed, sell-out runs in the U.S.

At the end of each performance at the St. James Theatre, Mona Golabek spoke directly to the audience, crediting the British people for her mother’s survival and encouraging the audience to support the Centre’s work.

Star of the show Mona Golabek, plays piano surrounded by images of her family.

The parallels between Lisa Jura’s story and those of so many of the clients of the Cardinal Hume Centre in 2016 are startling. Lisa lived in a hostel in London and she was supported to realise her dreams, as the hostel residents at the Centre are.

Currently in the Centre’s hostel are eight unaccompanied minors who came to Britain under similar circumstances to Lisa, with nowhere to go once in the UK. The Centre has been there for them, offering a lifeline and the support to settle into a new country without their families.

Mona Golabek in The Pianist of Willesden Lane 01. Photo credit Hershey F...Mona Golabek commented

“It has been the greatest privilege to perform at the St. James Theatre and share the story of my mother, Lisa Jura, with audiences in London. And what has made it even more meaningful is having the opportunity to tell the audience about the Cardinal Hume Centre, ironically a centre just like where my mother, as a young frightened teenager refugee, found herself, upon arriving in London prior to the start of WW2.

I am proud to speak about this Centre to the world, a place that provides so much precious help and caring to so many in need. Now more than ever, we must never forget our humanity, and the Cardinal Hume Centre is such a shining example of that humanity.”

A huge thank you to Mona and the St. James Theatre for the support they have given the Centre.

Could your company help? Contact Patricia Marron to find out more about our company partnerships programme Foot in the Door.