Ahead of directing Frankenstein at the National Theatre next year, Danny Boyle will helm an ensemble of stars, including Benedict Cumberbatch (who will appear in Frankenstein), Ben Kingsley and Gemma Arterton in a one-off gala performance at the Old Vic on 14 November 2010.

Boyle is staging The Children’s Monologues - which gives voice to 12 real children, who struggle with rape, violence and poverty in rural South Africa - to raise funds for a new independent arts and drama centre in the country, and to raise awareness of the charity Dramatic Need.

Writers, including Pulitzer prize winner Lynn Nottage, Roy Williams, Bola Agbaje, Polly Stenham, Dennis Kelly, Anya Reiss, Joel Horwood, Gabriel Bisset-Smith, Jamie Minoprio and Oladipo Agboluaje have adapted 12 powerful monologues from original testimonies written by the children Dramatic Need works with in South Africa.

Alongside Cumberbatch, Kingsley and Arterton, the stellar cast includes: Eddie Redmayne, Nonso Anozie, Jenny Jules, Olivia Grant, Tom Hiddleston, Kerry Fox, Hattie Morahan, Charlie Cox, Wunmi Mosaku, Lucian Msamati, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Romola Garai and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett.

Music for the Children's Monologues will be arranged by award-winning British composer Paul Gladstone-Reid. The score will include original recordings of the children reading their stories in Sesotho and Tswana drawn into the music.

Boyle, whose film directing credits include 28 Days Later and Trainspotting won an Oscar for his 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire. He is returning to theatre after a considerable break having directed Howard Brenton's Genius and Edward Bond's Saved for the Royal Court in the early 1980's; he also directed five productions for the RSC.

For more information and tickets to The Children’s Monologues, visit www.dramaticneed.org