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Haverhill actor finds a silver lining in the lockdown cloud

Unable to work because of the coronavirus lockdown, an actor from Haverhill has taken the chance to revive a dramatic society first launched 17 years ago by his late mum.

Like most in his profession, London-based Charlie MacGechan is in the midst of an enforced hiatus.

Charlie has, over the last three months, been busy reviving Run At It Shouting, a project started in Haverhill by his late mum Frances.

Charlie MacGechan (left) as Jester in We Die Young. Picture courtesy of Signature Entertainment
Charlie MacGechan (left) as Jester in We Die Young. Picture courtesy of Signature Entertainment

The introduction on Run At It Shouting’s website, written by Charlie, explains its origins and purpose: “Run At It Shouting’’ was a dramatic society based in Haverhill, founded by Frances MacGechan in 2003.

“Frances worked passionately with members of the community, producing theatre and performing arts courses.

“Sadly her passing in February 2007 left a huge void in many of our lives and subsequently everything stopped for Run At It Shouting.

The Run at it SHOUTING logo (36249072)
The Run at it SHOUTING logo (36249072)

“Now, it specialises in acting workshops, industry Q&As and film production.”

Charlie added: “I’m trying to give something back during lockdown. So far we have been able to support many charities including MIND, NHS Masks For Heroes (PPE for NHS staff), The NIA Project (supporting females subjected to sexual and domestic violence), Lambeth Age UK and Addingham Visor Army (PPE for care homes).”

Charlie has put on a number of remote events over the past few weeks, with more to come.

The next of these - via Zoom this Saturday - represents something of a personal coup for Charlie as it will be a Q&A with renowned film director Mike Leigh.

The director of many iconic films including Nuts in May, Secrets and Lies, Meantime, Abigails Party and, most recently, in 2018, Peterloo, was a personal favourite of Frances.

Charlie said: “It is just lovely that it is her favourite director who has agreed to do a Q&A for her old company.”

This event is now sold out, but keep up to date with future events at www.runatitshouting.co.uk; Instagram; @Runatitshouting: Facebook; @Runatitshoutingpage and Twitter; @RunSHOUTING

For now, said Charlie, Run At It Shouting, is London-based, but in the future it would be nice to one day bring something to Haverhill, In his mum’s memory, that could help the community.