Hastings actor Steve Corke has let his new stage role quite literally go to his head – he has shaved off all of his hair for charity!
Steve, who is performing this week as ‘The King’ in The Hastleons’ production of “The King and I” at The White Rock Theatre this week has decided to follow the example of actor Yul Brynner from the famous 1956 film, and go completely bald.
And by going for the chop, kind-hearted Steve has raised over £1,000 for St Michael’s Hospice.
Father-of-two Steve, aged 48, of Normandy Road, Hastings, first became involved with the hospice in 2003 when it helped care for his mother-in-law Dora.
Since then he has been involved in a number of fundraising events, but this is by far the most unusual to date!
Steve’s hair was cut and shaved by his regular barber Kenny Wilson of Unique Boutique in Parkstone Road, Hastings, who not only waived his fee, but also donated to Steve’s cause.
Other donations have come from family, friends, work colleagues, the cast of The King and I and the wider acting community; all of whom have helped Steve not only reach, but smash his target – raising an impressive £1,215.
Steve first performed with The Hastleons – Hastings’ oldest community theatre group – aged just 15. Since then he has appeared in many of their other productions, including The King and I in 1997, when he played the character Lun Tha opposite actress Zola Thomas, who was his doomed lover Tuptim.
Incredibly the pair have been reunited 22 years later, as Zola is playing governess Anna to Steve’s King this week.
And when he won the part Steve knew immediately that he would get completely into character, he say: “When I was cast as The King I decided straight away I would shave my head.
“Previous actors who have played this role have merely put their hair in a ponytail or worn a bald cap, but I didn’t want to waste the opportunity of playing this wonderful part, and it seemed an excellent way to raise much needed funds for St Michael’s Hospice.
“Amazingly it only took 15 minutes for my barber Kenny to cut all of my hair off. I look like a billiard ball and I am feeling the cold, but it is worth it – for the hospice and for the role. People have been very complimentary, even though seeing me like this will probably put them off baked potatoes for life!”
Steve, a compact sequence sorter with the Royal Mail in St Leonard’s on Sea, is also a founder member of The Renaissance Theatre Company, with whom he played the title role of Sweeney Todd in May. Renaissance Theatre was set up in 2009 to raise funds for St. Michael’s Hospice.
The Hastleons – a charity that has been providing musical entertainment to the town for an astonishing 93 years – have been bringing The King and I and the ancient court of Siam to life for six incredible, live shows this week.
The King and I is at The White Rock Theatre tonight at 7.30pm and tomorrow there is a matinee at 2.30pm and the 7.30pm performance too.
For tickets, please call the box office on: 01424 462288. Or go online: https://whiterocktheatre.org.uk/Online/tickets-the-king-and-i-hastings-2019.
To donate to Steve’s Just Giving page, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/steve-corke
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