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West End actors lift the spirits of a child bullied for liking musical theatre

Earlier this month on 16 July, musical theatre actress Jacqueline Hughes took to Twitter to ask for help. Charlie, her voice student, had recently been teased, bullied, and physically abused in school for liking musicals. Hughes, who is best known for playing Elphaba at the West End's Apollo Victoria Theatre and on the Wicked international tour, asked her industry friends in a tweet whether they could send a video to cheer him up. What happened next was nothing short of amazing.

West End actors lift the spirits of a child bullied for liking musical theatre
Jacqueline Hughes as Elphaba in Wicked. Photo by Matt Crockett.

Child bullied for liking musicals receives emotional support from West End stars

Things were looking down when Jacqueline Hughes's (Wicked The Musical) family friend, Charlie, for whom she regularly gives vocal lessons, was beaten up at school by six nasty bullies and left to cry in the fetal position. The disturbing incident was the pinnacle of a long series of taunts that gradually built up and escalated into brutal violence. Charlie was allegedly called fat, gay, and stupid for his love of musical theatre.

In a bid to cheer Charlie up, Hughes asked her fellow actors and actresses on Twitter if they could send her motivational videos of them giving advice, sharing their own personal experiences with bullying, and demonstrating how they didn't let bullies stop them from following their dreams.

Who banded together to lift Charlie's spirits?

Following Hughe's plea, over 200 messages came flooding in from members of AladdinSIXMamma Mia!The Book of Mormon, Wicked, Kinky Boots, and Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Thus, the hashtag #CheerUpCharlie was born (taken from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and spread like wildfire. Charlie was even invited to meet the cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie directly in their dressing rooms at the Apollo Theatre.

The day after her initial tweet for help, Jacqueline Hughes took to social media again to thank everyone from the bottom of her heart for their overwhelmingly positive responses. "Our theatre community strikes again, united as one. THANK YOU!—  Hughes.

Charlie hopes that the #CheerUpCharlie hashtag will catch further wind and become part of a new anti-bullying campaign to assist other kids just like him.


See these West End shows that said 'NO' to bullying

Actors from these six top West End musicals showed their unwavering support for Charlie and these shows are all prime examples of bringing people from all walks of life together under one roof to do one thing: enjoy the show!

🎟 Book tickets to Wicked at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre now with no booking fees.
🎟 Book tickets for Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre here from £36.
🎟 Book tickets to SIX at the Arts Theatre from £22.
🎟 Book tickets to Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre from £18.
🎟 Book tickets to The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre now with no booking fees.
🎟 Book tickets to Everybody's Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre from £24.


Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

Ephram is a jack of all trades and enjoys attending theatre, classical music concerts and the opera.


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