AN RSC actor is currently treading the boards and pounding the pavements in Stratford.
Graeme Brookes, who is performing on stage in The Duchess of Malfi and The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich, is also training for the London Marathon, which he will be running in aid of the National Children’s Deaf Society (NDCS).
The 34-year-old – who used to weigh in at a hefty 24 stone – admitted he did not like running but his typecasting of ‘fat roles’ prompted him to take up the sport.
And after ‘accidentally’ running a marathon over two days, the former children’s services worker decided he would take on the grueling 26 miles challenge and help make a difference along the way.
The actor, whose grandparents were both deaf, was brought up among a deaf community and learned sign language from an early age.
Before his acting days, Graeme worked with vulnerable children in a number of services.
He said: “I have seen with my own eyes and ears, situations where families have been under significant strain due to having a child who is profoundly deaf, has hearing issues or a parent who is deaf or perhaps losing their hearing and there was very little in the way of support for them.
“This added onto my upbringing in the deaf community made the choice of representing the NDCS an absolutely perfect fit for me.
“They’re not only supporting but they’re cultivating the future of the deaf community and if I can help them like my grandparents didn’t get the help – then I know my nan would very happy so that was the decision made.”
Graeme, who hails from Walsall, has suffered multiple injuries since he embarked on his training programme, including a torn bicep, and calf muscle which he injured during the Mrs Rich rehearsals, but he is confident he will be on the starting line for the marathon in the capital on Sunday April 22.
He added: “I am still feeling mentally strong which is good so I still know for a fact that I will be finishing the London Marathon. If I have to army crawl, I will finish.”
Visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search Graeme Brookes to donate.