Coronation Street actress Kerri Quinn has become a patron of Omagh-based learning disability drama group Skyzdalimit.
The Corrie star, who plays Vicki Jefferies in the hit ITV show, was an audience guest at the groups Lion King inspired, ‘Prince of Africa’ production in the Strule Arts Centre in June.
She was so impressed by the sensational performance Kerri offered her assistance to get the group recognition and has now officially become their patron.
She will also make a cameo appearance as Lady Gaga in their upcoming production of ‘The Greatest Showman’.
“I was just blown away,” explained Kerri. “The production, from powerful musical score, the original humorous script, fabulous costumes, beautiful backdrops, lighting, exciting and exhilarating dancing, skilful acting was incredible.
“The cast were so professional in their approach that you forgot they had a learning disability and just revelled in their performance. These guys are inspirational and as their patron I want to ensure that they get the recognition they deserve and can perform to a wider audience.”
Skyzdalimit are a cross community theatre group for adults with a learning disability and autism, they aim to empower people with disabilities through theatre and music.
They are a part of the Mencap network of local community groups.
Chairperson, Sheena McCooey, described having Kerrie as a patron as “a dream come true”.
She continued, “For ten years we have been trying to highlight the skills and enthusiasm of our members to attempt to persuade mainstream audiences to come to see our production, but we had limited success. The learning disability label meant it was usually a show supported by family, friends and carers of our members.
“Kerri’s support will assist us in changing people’s perceptions and give validation to our members, focusing on their commitment and professionalism as performers.”
Kerri will be formally inducted as Skyzdalimit patron at the group’s Film Premiere Grand Gala Ball at the Mellon Country Inn on September 14.
Skyzdalimit director/producer, Pearse McCloskey revealed, with Kerri on board, the group will take The Greatest Showman, first to Belfast in 2020, followed by a tour of the island of Ireland and the UK.
He said, “It’s a watershed moment for disability musical theatre when people will get a chance to experience the power and magic of a Skyzdalimit production.”
Skyzdalimit return to rehearsals on Monday, September 2 at South West College at 7pm.
Anyone interested in joining Skyzdalimit for their upcoming production should contact Patricia on 07969006925 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.