Star Wars actor John Boyega backs fundraising campaign at childhood theatre
Star Wars actor John Boyega is swapping the seat of an X-wing fighter for a seat in his childhood theatre as he has become a patron of Theatre Peckham.
Boyega, who shot to fame as stormtrooper Finn in The Force Awakens, was a member of the theatre company between the ages of nine and 14.
He will launch a name a seat campaign to raise money for his local theatre before he treads the boards again himself in 2017 in Jack Thorne's new version of Woyzeck by Georg Buchner at the Old Vic.
Boyega said: " As a graduate of the company, I am honoured to be in a position to give back to Theatre Peckham, beginning with the name a seat fundraising campaign which supports the theatre's new home in Peckham,
"I admire Theatre Peckham's continued mission to increase diversity in the creative industries, inspiring young people like myself to be the change we want to see in this industry."
Teresa Early, artistic director and founder of the theatre, added: "I am so proud of all our young people - John saying he would be honoured to be a patron will be a huge boost for our young members, now there's an act for them to follow!"
Boyega is currently filming Episode VIII of the Star Wars franchise, which will arrive in UK cinemas on December 15 2017. The film, which is being directed by Looper creator Rian Johnson, will see him reunited with co-stars Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "John Boyega's inspiring story is something every Londoner should be proud of.
"As a young south London boy he learnt his craft at a local theatre, and has gone on to become a star in one of the highest grossing movies of all time.
"It is fantastic that Theatre Peckham, one of this city's local cultural gems, gave him this wonderful opportunity. As mayor for all Londoners, I will do everything I can to support the next generation to pursue an interest in culture, enrich their lives and help maintain London's position as a global beacon of the arts."