STAR’S BIG CHARITY NIGHT FOR ANIMALS
HE’S FAMOUS for being one of the most versatile actors in the business, turning his hand to everything from comedy to period drama.
But he’s also a passionate supporter of our four-legged friends and on Monday night he proved.
Peter Egan hosted a special charity night at The Mill at Sonning in aid of Animals Asia. His favourite charity aims to end animal cruelty in Asia.
Founded 20 years ago, it works to end the bear bile trade and lobbies governments in China and Vietnam to end the trade in cats and dogs for food.
It also wants to end abusive animal practices in zoos and safari parks.
Monday night’s charity event was hosted Mr Egan, famous for his role as Hugh ‘Shrimpie’ MacClare, Marquess of Flintshire in Downton Abbey and Paul
Ruman in Ever Decreasing Circles.
The evening also featured appearances by musician Rick Wakeman and fellow Downton star Lesley Nicol.
“I’ve had a long association with the beautiful Mill at Sonning going back to its beginning in early 1980, when it was converted from the last working mill in the UK into a restaurant theatre. It is a beautiful building in a magnificent setting and is superbly run by the CEO and owner Sally Hughes and her terrific team.
“On Monday, November 5, I presented our annual event there for my favourite charity Animals Asia. Sally very kindly hosts the evening for us.
“This is the third event I’ve done there with the brilliant Rick Wakeman.
“Their new head chef Kieron Daniels designed a special menu for us: a choice of delicious vegetarian or vegan food in the newly converted dining room. The dining room has recently been taken back to what is was like when I first saw it 40 years ago: lots of exposed wood and chunky wooden beams.
“I love the theatre at The
Mill. A semi-circular design the shape of a slice of lemon. It creates the perfect space for both performers and audience. From an audience perspective you feel like you are sitting in a room with the performer and, from the performers point of view you feel exactly the same.
“A bit like you’ve inviting a couple of hundred people into your very large living room for a good night out.
“We shared the space last night with the current play A Night in Provence so there was a holiday atmosphere from the start.
“I was joined by the wonderful Lesley Nicol, the brilliant Mrs Patmore in Downton Abbey, and the genius piano and keyboard player Rick Wakeman.
“We are all UK ambassadors for Animals Asia and are devoted to rescuing Moon Bears f rom the bile farms in China and Vietnam.
“Our other colleague, who provided the most amazing juggling act, was the indomitable Steve Rawlings who had the audience both in stitches and on the edge of theirs seats with his brilliant juggling and hysterical patter.
“It was a sensational evening all round in one of my favourite venues, The Mill at Sonning.
“If you haven’t already, it’s a place you must visit and if you’ve never heard of Animals
Asia, please visit them at www. animalsasia.org – I promi se you won’t regret doing both.”
Lesley Nicol, Rick Wakeman, Peter Egan and Steve Rawlings presented a special charity evening for Animals Asia at The Mill at Sonning