Sunday for Sammy is a biennial entertainment extravaganza held in memory of the late actor Sammy Johnson.
First held in 2000, the shows feature a galaxy of stars from the worlds of TV, theatre and music. They sell out in minutes, raising funds for creative, talented and enthusiastic young performing artists from the North East.
Past performers have included Tim Healy, Kevin Whately, Jimmy Nail, Denise Welch, Timothy Spall, Brendan Healy, Charlie Hardwick, Billy Mitchell and Jill Halfpenny: while many of the cast appear regularly in the show, the final bill is never made public and surprise guests in recent years have included AC/DC's Brian Johnson and Mark Knopfler.
Space is also made on the bill for some of the young performers who have received financial support from the Sunday for Sammy Trust, giving them a valuable opportunity to share the stage with some of the North East's most high profile entertainers.
Sunday for Sammy... it's the hottest ticket in town!
Get the Sunday for Sammy shows on DVD, and laugh at the sketches, sing the songs and enjoy the fantastic up-and-coming talent again and again...
28th February 2016... SOLD OUT!
The Sunday for Sammy Trust has provided valuable financial assistance to many young performing artists. Here's some of our recent beneficiaries...
"The grant I received from The Sammy Johnson Memorial Fund allowed me to invest in industry standard equipment, and move forward with my career.
Since then I have toured extensively and internationally as a session musician with renowned artists The 1975, and La Roux. I have performed on some of the most historic stages in the world, including the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival, The San Francisco Fillmore, and The Royal Albert Hall."
The Sunday For Sammy Memorial fund assisted Carly with her fees.
She recently graduated from Mountview Academy and has just been cast in her first professional role as the Acid Queen in the Greenwich Theatre production of Tommy the Musical.
Sunday for Sammy funded Emma's dance studies.
"I Just thought i would share some of my graduation photos as its thanks to your funding that helped me get my degree. I am so happy - I got a 2:1 BA Honours in dance. I am so grateful for the funding given to me!"
While his fans knew him as Sammy, to his pals in the industry and on the Springwell Estate in Gateshead where he grew up, he would always be known by his real name, Ronnie.
A keen musician, he learned to play the guitar at an early age and one of his first bands was ‘Pigmeat’ with Jim Murray and Ray Stubbs. However, a job playing bass guitar at a Live Theatre panto in Newcastle led to a part in the show – and the beginning of his acting career.
He applied for membership of the actors’ union Equity but they already had a Ron Johnson so he used his father’s name; Sammy. He went on to appear in several TV productions including ‘Auf Wiedersehen Pet’ and - his first big break - as 'Stick' in ‘Spender’, a TV detective series written by Jimmy Nail and Ian La Frenais. It was this role more than any other that endeared Sammy to the public.
Following his success in 'Spender' Sammy began to turn his hand to scriptwriting and moved house to live near Malaga in Spain, and it was while jogging in the hills there in 1998 that he collapsed and died. He was 49-years-old.
Sunday for Sammy Trust was formed to help provide funding for creative, talented and enthusiastic young people from the North East who are looking for a career in performing arts.
The Trust raises money from ticket sales from the Sunday for Sammy concerts and the sale of related merchandise and also accepts gift donations from individuals and private companies. It then invests the money to provide grants for young actors, musicians, singers, dancers, comedy acts and other performers to help towards the cost of their training or equipment.
Applications for funding are welcome at any time of the year: applicants should aged 16 or over, and and each application must be supported by a letter of recommendation, either from a course tutor or someone equally able to comment objectively on the applicant’s ability.
It isn’t essential for applicants to be attending a training course - what we are looking for are enthusiasm, creative talent and determination. The applications are reviewed every six months and then auditions are held in Newcastle for the Trustees to meet and assess the applicants and to consider supporting them with a grant.
The Trustees are: Tim Healy (Chairman), Lynn O’ Sullivan, Ray Stubbs, Geoff Wonfor, Billy Mitchell, Frank Gibbon & Jason Cook. Administrator: Ray Laidlaw.
Sunday for Sammy Trust
391 Benton Road
Four Lane Ends
Newcastle upon Tyne