Nicole Kidman and FKA Twigs join The Children's Monologues cast
Hollywood star Nicole Kidman, singer FKA Twigs and David Thewlis are the latest stars to join Danny Boyle's theatre production, The Children's Monologues.
They join an all-star cast that already includes Benedict Cumberbatch, James McAvoy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kit Harington, Josh Hartnett, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and more.
The play, inspired by 15 children from rural parts of South Africa, will tell their stories as part of a special, one-night only production.
Academy Award winner Boyle will be hosting the production in aid of his arts charity, Dramatic Need.
Sherlock star Cumberbatch, who appeared in the 2010 production of The Children's Monologues, said that while the stories can be "heartbreaking and shocking", "these are children, so their stories are also funny and touching and tender".
He added: "The point of the Children's Monologues is to give those stories a presence in our minds. That's part of the power and importance of testimony-based drama like this.
"It helps to create connections with others that stretch our capacity for empathy. We're not human without it.
"And empathising with our fellow humans seems particularly relevant when you look at what is going on in Calais and the shores of Italy and Greece, in Syria ... when we lose that ability to connect we become less human ourselves.
"This production is a gentle reminder that people's stories - particularly children's stories - no matter how different from our own experience, deserve to be heard. That's why I think Dramatic Need is such a great cause - it is all about fostering connections between people."
The Children's Monologues dramatises the stories of young children growing up in Rammulotsi, a township in South Africa's Free State province.
The children tell their stories in their native language, Sesotho, and range from uplifting moments to heartbreaking stories of having to watch their parents die because of inadequate medical treatment.
Apart from the star-studded cast, an impressive array of writers have joined the cause to adapt the monologues, including Sir David Hare, Neil LaBute, James Graham, Laura Wade, Jack Thorne, Roy Williams OBE and Tanika Gupta MBE.
The founder of Dramatic Need, Amber Sainsbury, said: " Dramatic Need works through the creative arts to help vulnerable children in rural Southern Africa to tell their stories: to their families, communities and to each other. This creates room for accountability, acceptance and hopefully resolution of the issues these kids are facing on a daily basis.
"The Children's Monologues allows them to share these experiences with an international audience, so that we too can bear witness to what these kids have lived through. That some of the world's most celebrated actors, directors and dramatists are once again coming together to create a unique piece of work, is a testament to both the power of the arts to reach across cultures, and to the strength of these individual children's stories."
All proceeds will go towards building a new, moveable arts centre for the township communities that the charity works in.
Dramatic Needs works towards helping children change their lives through dance, drama, art, music, film and photography.
The one-off show will be held at the Royal Court Theatre on Sunday October 25.