The Lewis Sewell Memorial Trust awards funds to Curve Young Company members Grace Ford and Molly Power

Fri 11 Mar 2022

Aspiring local actors Grace Ford and Molly Power have received support to pursue their performing arts dreams thanks to the Lewis Sewell Memorial Trust.

Both members of Curve’s Young Company, Grace Ford and Molly Power received grants from the trust at a presentation on Monday 7 March, following a performance of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. The funds will enable both Grace Ford and Molly Power to apply and audition for theatre schools and courses.

The Lewis Sewell Memorial Trust (registered charity no. 1194391) was established in memory of Lewis Sewell, a young actor and avid lover of theatre from Castle Donington, Leicestershire, who tragically died from a rare form of cancer in August 2020, aged 18.

In the months leading up to his death, Lewis worked to lay the foundations for the Lewis Sewell Memorial Trust, which was later established in 2021. The trust aims to support up to five young people each year, enabling recipients to realise their potential in theatre through financial support.

Grace Ford said:

“I am still in shock at the amazing opportunities this has opened up to me and I’m so thankful to be supported by such an incredible trust.”

Molly Power said:

“I feel truly honoured to have received this grant. It’s going to change my life and I am so grateful for all the kind people at the Lewis Sewell Memorial Trust for believing in me and my talents. Monday night was so unbelievably special and I will treasure it forever. I will always continue to support the incredible Lewis Sewell Memorial Trust, what a beautiful cause for a special boy.”

Gillian Sewell and Matt Sewell present the Lewis Sewell Memorial Trust Awards on Stage – photography by Kieran Vyas

In May 2021, Lewis’ family and friends completed an 18 mile walk each day for five days – one mile for each year of Lewis’ life – visiting theatres across the East Midlands, including Curve. The walk raised funds for the Lewis Sewell Memorial Trust and Rainbows children’s hospice, where Lewis spent the final days of his life.

Speaking at the grant presentation, Matt Sewell, Lewis’ older brother said:

The Lewis Sewell Memorial Trust was born from Lewis’ hospital bed to help aspiring young actors overcome financial barriers and achieve their dreams, with his number one criteria being that those receiving the award cannot be cocky.

“This award would not be what it is today without the hard work and dedication of Patron Dame Arlene Philips and West End actors Sabrina Aloueche and Cleve September, who would like to congratulate Grace Ford and Molly Power, the recipients of this award.

“For all that he has done in his short life I can safely say that I have never been prouder of my little brother and his legacy. I am extremely humbled to have been able to share his story with you all. It seems fitting for Lewis’ name to live on at Curve as well as the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama where the Lewis Sewell Scholarship is to be launched. I’m delighted the very first Lewis Sewell Memorial Award will be going not one but two outstanding recipients who both demonstrated significant passion and determination fitting of Lewis’s award.”

For further information about Curve, as well as the theatre’s Curve Young Company and details on bursary places, click here.

Molly Power and Grace Ford receive their awards from the Lewis Sewell Memorial Trust – photography by Kieran Vyas