Theatre & Opera Magazine

10 Downing Street

Posted on the 17 January 2012 by Anya17 @anyaseventeen
Ben Kaye ~ Immigration Minister Damian Green ~ HTF Chairman Anthony Steen at 10 Downing Street

Ben Kaye visits 10 Downing Street: Ben Kaye ~ Immigration Minister Damian Green ~ HTF Chairman Anthony Steen

Amidst the grandeur of Whitehall, you could easily miss Downing Street. Without the Cenotaph as a nearby guide, this rather unobtrusive street is marked only by black railings and the ubiquitous London ‘Bobby’.

Inside the gates however, things are rather different; security abounds and one can’t help but feel that the uniformed, armed Officers on display are only the tip of the iceberg. Expecting to see the famous number ‘10’ on the black door I scanned the street and was somewhat surprised when I couldn’t see it; my confusion was due to the fact that the door to No. 10 was already open.

I have to say that I’ve been to some tough interviews in my time, but I don’t think I have ever been so nervous as I crossed that threshold into what I can only describe as a slightly surreal film set. A few more formalities and then up the famous staircase lined with portraits of previous Prime Ministers. I barely had time to muse that originally the term ‘Prime Minister’ was in fact a derogatory one before being greeted by Anthony Steen, Baroness Butler Schloss and others.

Then to work. Casting aside my incredulity at finding myself in such a situation, I had to remember that I was there to represent Anya17, Adam Gorb, and our wonderful volunteers Anna, Stu, Lauren and Hayley, all of whom have worked so hard on Anya17. Having previously had the opportunity to talk to Peter Bone MP (Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking) and many others at The House of Lords, I was determined to use my time effectively at No. 10 to spread the message about using art to raise awareness of the issues.

It was a great opportunity therefore to discuss Anya17 with figures as diverse as Immigration Minister Damian Green MP, representatives from the Italian Senate and with UK and international charities.

Then came the speeches. Human Trafficking Foundation Chairman Anthony Steen outlined the steps needed to be taken by Government, and this was followed by a strong condemnation of Human Trafficking and a commitment by Prime Minister, David Cameron, to eradicate modern day Slavery from the UK.

A short time then followed to use my presence to best advantage before leaving the door of No. 10 behind me and hurrying off to Kings Cross for a train to Edinburgh. It was quite a day!

I hope to bring you news shortly of the Anya17 auditions at the RNCM on October 31st, as well as the forthcoming ‘Unchosen’ film festival in London on November 1st. As to the possibility of the performance of Anya17 in Strasbourg courtesy of the UK’s Presidency of The Council of Europe, I may have to wait until I have more space!

Until then…

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