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Rose Ayling-Ellis announced as patron of Deafinitely Youth Theatre

The Strictly and EastEnders star is currently making her West End debut

Rose Ayling-Ellis in Mobile Phone – directed by Steve Webb – as part of National Theatre Connections
© Deafinitely Theatre

EastEnders and Strictly Come Dancing star Rose Ayling-Ellis has been announced as the new patron of Deafinitely Youth Theatre.

Ayling-Ellis is currently making her West End debut in Josie Rourke's well-received production of As You Like It, running at new venue @sohoplace.

The performer started her acting journey with the company in 2012, before moving up to Deafinitely Theatre's HUB development programme to further develop her training. She said today, "I am delighted to become a patron of Deafinitely Youth Theatre, a fantastic charity that is so special to me, and supporting the work they do is important to me. DYT, under the direction of Paula Garfield, was my first experience of deaf performing arts and I loved my time there.

"It provides such as exciting opportunity 14 to 21 year-olds to take part in drama activities, attend live theatre, meet other deaf young people and learn about getting involved in theatre. Without DYT, so many deaf young people would have limited opportunities to explore or develop their sense of deaf identity. DYT believed in who I was as an actress and who I could be, which is something I want for generations of aspiring deaf actors and theatre makers in the years to come."

Artistic director Paula Garfield said: "We are delighted that Rose is now a Patron of our Youth Theatre. Having a role model is so important, especially for young deaf people who may not have had opportunities to meet others like themselves, and Rose continues to be a role model providing inspiration, hope and positivity to the deaf community and beyond, proving that deaf people can achieve big dreams.

"Rose recognises Deafinitely Youth Theatre's importance for not only meeting other deaf people, but also learning new skills and learning about the theatre industry from deaf creatives, as we aim to build confidence in a safe, friendly, and accessible environment. It means a lot to us and the future of Deafinitely Youth Theatre that Rose is a patron, and we look forward to working with her."

As You Like It continues to run in the West End – you can read our review here.