West End stars have joined forces with ten-year-old Anti-Bullying Ambassador Charlie Kristensen for a charity fundraising single.
A cover of Dear Evan Hansen's You Will Be Found has been released in aid of youth charity The Diana Award.
Auburn Jam Music has released the single by #CheerUpCharlie & West End Friends to tie in with the start of National Anti-Bullying Week (16-20 November).
The star-studded single is led by ten-year-old Charlie Kristensen from Wokingham, whose experience of being bullied started the viral #CheerUpCharlie campaign. Charlie is joined on the song by numerous stage and screen stars including Wendi Peters, Layton Williams and Michael Xavier, with Iain Armitage, Michael Ball, Rufus Hound, and Faye Tozer amongst many famous faces reading their supportive messages on the song’s video.
The single is available now on iTunes, Deezer, Spotify and Tidal at https://ditto.fm/you-will-be-found.
Charlie won over the hearts of the West End theatre industry and the public last year and hit the national headlines when, encouraged by his singing teacher West End performer Jacqueline Hughes, he launched his #CheerUpCharlie campaign to help others, channelling his own traumatic experiences of being bullied for his love of musical theatre, and the support he received from hundreds of performers from the West End, Broadway and even Hollywood who identified with Charlie’s story.
Subsequently Charlie was trained as an Ambassador by The Diana Award which runs the UK’s leading anti-bullying programme. Charlie has also set up his weekly online Musical Chairs chat show on YouTube interviewing actors, presenters and others in the spotlight.
Music producers Nikki and Joe Davison from Auburn Jam Music have written a new pop orchestration and arrangement of the song after seeing Charlie’s story on Twitter last year and inviting Jacqueline to bring Charlie to their studio to have his first experience of recording.
Alongside the song, a music video has been released featuring studio footage along with some of the amazing messages of support Charlie received from stars of stage and screen. They hope that through this they can raise awareness and financial support for the brilliant work that The Diana Award does.
Charlie Kristensen said: “It is an amazing feeling to have a single released and especially one that is so spectacular and sincere. I want people to associate the single with hope, determination and strength especially at this current time.
"I want everyone to recognise this song and for it to help people understand life isn't perfect, we aren't perfect but we are amazing just the way we are.”
Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Charlie and all his West End Friends for their support. Charlie’s courage in the face of his own bullying experience is an inspiration to us and the thousands of young people who will hear about his story.
"He reminds us daily how important it is to do the right thing, not the easy thing. He is a fantastic Anti-Bullying ambassador and everyone at The Diana Award is proud of him.”
Singing alongside Charlie Kristensen on the single are (in alphabetical order): Daniel Boys (Nativity), Matthew Croke (Aladdin), Alice Fearn (Wicked), Lyndsey Gardiner (The Phantom of the Opera), Adrian Hansel (Hairspray), Jacqueline Hughes (Mary Poppins), Melissa Jacques (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Caroline Kay (The Space Between), Nathaniel Morrison (Waitress), Nadim Naaman (The Phantom of the Opera), Wendi Peters (Coronation Street), Zizi Strallen (Mary Poppins), Layton Williams (Bad Education) and Michael Xavier (Sunset Boulevard).
Messages of support seen in the video are from (in order of appearance): Iain Armitage (Young Sheldon), Danny Hatchard (EastEnders), Michael Ball (Les Misérables), Nina West (Ru-Paul’s Drag Race), Mark Evans (Mrs Doubtfire on Broadway), Jason Leigh Winter (Frozen), Hannah Waddingham (Game of Thrones), Louise Dearman (Wicked), Giles Terera (Hamilton), Maiya Quansah-Breed (SIX The Musical), Charlie Stemp (Mary Poppins), Steps star Faye Tozer (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Sierra Boggess (The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway), Grace Mouat (SIX The Musical), comedian and actor Rufus Hound (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Wicked’s Elphaba and Glinda Sophie Evans & Alice Fearn, West End cast of Matilda The Musical, West End cast of Come From Away, West End cast of The Phantom of the Opera, Broadway cast of Be More Chill, West End cast of Hamilton, West End cast of Aladdin, UK Tour of Annie The Musical, UK Tour of Kinky Boots, Off-West End cast of The View Upstairs, West End cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and West End cast of Dear Evan Hansen