Dramatic Need is a UK-registered charity (number 1119443) that sends international arts professionals (such as musicians, artists and actors) to host workshops in underprivileged and rural communities in Africa. The charity promotes creative expression as a tool for conflict resolution, social development, gender empowerment and the assimilation of health messages in underprivileged communities.
Dramatic Need also provides art, music and film-making equipment to schools in South Africa and Rwanda. Volunteers on the Dramatic Need programme work with the children towards producing a performance or exhibition based on the issues that directly affect their communities. The charity has been particularly effective in encouraging young people to discuss and challenge the stigma surrounding HIV/Aids. The Official Patron of Dramatic Need is Her Excellency Dr. Lindiwe Mabuza, former South African High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The Board of Trustees includes the Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle and South African-born actor Sir Antony Sher.
In an article for The Times in the United Kingdom on 11 November 2008, Dramatic Need trustee Danny Boyle described the charity's aims:
For children - and for many adults - art plays a vital role in helping them to express feelings and difficulties that they aren't otherwise able to articulate. Its importance is never greater than in post-conflict conditions. Of course, water, food, and first aid are essential during a crisis, but none of these things can restore human dignity to a person dying from disease or help a rape victim to cope with their outrage.
To suggest that the only things that maintain our humanity are those that serve our biological needs seems to me palpably incorrect. We are not just what we eat. We are also what we feel, what we fear, what we love and what we hate. Unexpressed tensions find their strength in violence....If there is not a means to move beyond the hatred of the past, we will never move past violence.
Significant supporters of the charity include Josh Hartnett, Helena Christensen and David Walliams. Hartnett has stated that he wishes to volunteer for Dramatic Need in the future.
On 14 November 2010, Dramatic Need sponsored the one time production of The Children's Monologues, directed by Danny Boyle. Held at the Old Vic Theatre in London, it featured the adapted stories of children’s first-hand experiences in South Africa being retold and re-interpreted by and performed by actors such as Sir Ben Kingsley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Gemma Arterton and Eddie Redmayne.
Dramatic Need presents The Children's Monologues directed by Danny Boyle
Oscar winner Ben Kingsley is one of a host of film and television big-hitters taking part in a one-off theatre performance at London's Old Vic. Kingsley, Gemma Arterton and Benedict Cumberbatch...
Frankenstein Q/A for Dramatic Need #3 (April 20, 2011)
Frankenstein Q/A at the National Theatre with Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller and Danny Boyle for Dramatic Need (April 20, 2011). They discuss how the performances have evolved during...
Frankenstein Q/A for Dramatic Need #6 (April 20, 2011)
Frankenstein Q/A at the National Theatre with Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller and Danny Boyle for Dramatic Need (April 20, 2011). In this video they talk about the Olivier theatre...
Frankenstein Q/A for Dramatic Need #2 (April 20, 2011)
Frankenstein Q/A at the National Theatre with Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller and Danny Boyle for Dramatic Need (April 20, 2011). In this video mostly Jonny answers the question...
Frankenstein Q/A for Dramatic Need #9 (April 20, 2011)
Frankenstein Q/A at the National Theatre with Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller and Danny Boyle for Dramatic Need (April 20, 2011). Jonny talks about NT Live and how the play is best...
Frankenstein Q/A for Dramatic Need #7 (April 20, 2011)
Frankenstein Q/A at the National Theatre with Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller and Danny Boyle for Dramatic Need (April 20, 2011). Benedict talks about an autopsy he went to as a...
Frankenstein Q/A for Dramatic Need #8 (April 20, 2011)
Frankenstein Q/A at the National Theatre with Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller and Danny Boyle for Dramatic Need (April 20, 2011). Benedict and Jonny being adorable.
Frankenstein Dramatic Need Q&A National Theatre - OLIVIER THEATRE
Late Night Q&A session for Frankenstein at the Royal National Theatre with Oscar-winning Director Danny Boyle and star actors Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch discussing the ...
Actress Amber Sainsbury on acting, Hex, founding Dramatic Need charity, and South Africa
In this interview Amber tells us about her former acting career, she gives advice for young people wanting to get into acting. Amber then talks about the charity she founded 'Dramatic Need.'...
Frankenstein Q/A for Dramatic Need #1 (April 20, 2011)
Frankenstein Q/A at the National Theatre with Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller and Danny Boyle for Dramatic Need (April 20, 2011). In this bit mostly Benedict answers the question...
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