Several West End casts shared messages of support to a young kid who was being bullied for his love of musical theatre.
It all started when actress Jacqueline Hughes took to Twitter on Tuesday (16 July) to ask her theatre friends for some help.
‘Industry friends — I need a wee favor,’ she tweeted. ‘Sadly, a little boy I teach, Charlie, who is also a dear family friend is sadly being bullied at school for his love of [musical theatre], being called gay, fat, stupid… the list goes on. Today he was beaten up by six boys and left curled up, crying.’
She then added: ‘I know many people face bullies everyday and many have in their lifetime. But I wondered if you wouldn’t mind, if you have time sending me a little video to cheer him up, maybe some advice, your own stories, how you didn’t let them stop you, what you are doing now.’
West End actors, directors, producers and casts then began sending in videos of love and support to Charlie.
Among them was English comedian Rufus Hound.
‘Hey dude,’ he said in a video. ‘Rough stuff. When you’re surrounded by unhappy people, they want to make you unhappy. But I’m guessing enough people have already told you that that you know.
‘So, what to say? Well, screw ’em. They will live perfectly unhappy lives while you will be sparkly and sing and dance and do whatever you want to do. So don’t let the bastards grind you down,’ he said.
Here are all of the West End casts of shows that sent messages of love and support to Charlie:
We love you Charlie 👊🏽 pic.twitter.com/d4kl5oBAHj
— The Sultan 👳🏾 (@IrvineIqbal) July 18, 2019
— Jodie Prenger (@MsJodiePrenger) July 18, 2019
Be More Chill
— Be More Chill Musical (@BeMoreChill) July 18, 2019
Come From Away
Charlie! 🤗 Sending you love from everyone here at Come From Away! 💙💛 pic.twitter.com/Bpcy1Cr5LT
— ComeFromAwayUK (@ComeFromAwayUK) July 17, 2019
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
#CheerUpCharlie ! I welcome him at my next @ProFromTheShows workshop 🎭 Please let his parents know and ask them to get in touch. We’re all thinking about him at @JamieMusical today – this ones for him! 💙 pic.twitter.com/TzOYOuK9BU
— Layton Williams (@LaytonWilliams) July 17, 2019
— Hamilton West End (@HamiltonWestEnd) July 17, 2019
— Lizzie Bea (@LizzieBea3) July 17, 2019
💙💙💙 WE LOVE YOU CHARLIE!!! Xxx pic.twitter.com/GV8WY5MsCN
— lucy may barker (@lucymaybarker) July 17, 2019
— Matilda The Musical (@MatildaMusical) July 18, 2019
Charlie, we’re sending our support from Dublin! Know that the MT community is among the most supportive in the world! Lots of love from Riverdance ☘️♥️ pic.twitter.com/mPW6ym8mhq
— Riverdance (@Riverdance) July 17, 2019
— Jaye’J | Jarnéia Richard – Noel 🌸 (@_jrichardnoel) July 17, 2019
The Book of Mormon
— J͎a͎d͎e͎ ͎J͎o͎h͎n͎s͎o͎n͎☁️ (@JadeJohnson96) July 17, 2019
The Lion King
— The Nightingales (@2Nightingales) July 17, 2019
The Play That Goes Wrong
— Louisa Sexton (@Louisa_Sexton) July 17, 2019
Glinda and Elphaba just wanted to let you know that you’re absolutely WONDERFUL and we all love you! Stay strong and keep defying gravity! 💚✨ pic.twitter.com/Xk7ClC9ULr
— Wicked UK (@WickedUK) July 17, 2019
Charlie’s response to the outpouring of love
Hughes took to Twitter on Wednesday (17 July) to share her reaction to the hundreds of messages of support.
‘Oh my goodness, the response to my message has been incredible,’ she tweeted. ‘I’m not sure I can reply to you all today but I will! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Our theatre community strikes again, united as one, THANK YOU!’
Hughes also posted a video of herself and Charlie thanking everyone for their outpouring of love. They then sang a duet of Elton John’s hit-song I’m Still Standing.
So Charlie has just left crying “happy tears” he is so overwhelmed, seeing his little face light up with each and every message! Needless to say we didn’t get much singing done today! So here’s a thank you from Charlie, doing what he loves xxx #CheerUpCharlie pic.twitter.com/223dw70lq7
— Jacqueline Hughes (@_jacquelinehugh) July 17, 2019