The star wattage for the Old Vic’s 24 Hour Plays – in which six new plays are written, rehearsed and performed in a single day - is burning bright for the event’s second year. Amongst the high-profile stage and screen actors now confirmed to take part in the event on Sunday 19 June 2005 are: John Hurt (pictured), Rufus Sewell, Saffron Burrows, Hugh Dancy, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Damian Lewis, Gina McKee, Nina Sosanya, Indira Varma, Ewen Bremner, Eva Birthistle and Greg Wise.

Proceedings for this year’s event begin on the evening of Saturday 18 June when six writers – who this year will include Roy Williams (Sing Yer Heart out for the Lads, Fallout), Rebecca Lenkiewicz (The Night Season), Enda Walsh (Disco Pigs) and Steve Waters (World Music) - six directors and up to 24 actors gather at the West End theatre, bringing no more than a prop and costume each.

After working overnight and through the next day, the event culminates on Sunday evening when the resulting six ten-minute plays will be premiered before a live, gala audience. The event will be introduced by Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey.

Last year’s inaugural event – whose participants included Penelope Wilton, Alex Jennings, Rosamund Pike, Ray Winstone, Emilia Fox, Paul Nicholls, Catherine McCormack, Meera Syal, Neil Pearson, Jared Harris, Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Sophie Okenodo - raised £50,000 for the theatre’s Old Vic New Voices developmental work. This year, the concept is also being extended to budding actors, directors and writers who will be able to take part in a second event, sponsored by coffee chain Starbucks, on 31 July.

Ticket prices for the 19 June gala range from £50 to £500 for a VIP package. For further information, email the organisers or call 020 7620 0558.

- by Terri Paddock