YOUNG actors are to dramatise an ancient poem to raise money for Oxford Children’s Hospital and the Pegasus Youth Theatre.

They will stage After Gilgamesh at the Magdalen Road theatre from Wednesday, March 30, until Saturday, April 2.

The one-and-a-half-hour play has been specially commissioned by the Pegasus, and explores the poem The Epic of Gilgamesh, about ancient gods.

Cheney School pupil Kema Daley, 17, is among the cast.

He said: “The thing I really love about Pegasus is that it welcomes people from all backgrounds and lets everyone have a go – so I have seen kids who have quite a lot of trouble in their lives really transformed by taking part in a production.

“When I heard that we were doing this show to raise money for Pegasus and the Children’s Hospital I thought it was a great idea. “ Friend George Collins, 16, has special reason to thank the hospital, part of the John Radcliffe complex in Headington, after a car accident left him and his sister in need of expert care.

He said: “When I was nine had to spend a week in hospital and my sister was very badly hurt and had to spend three months there. She had several operations and suffered a cardiac arrest at one point.

“At the time they were planning the new Children’s Hospital and the hospital consulted us, and other children, about how staff should treat young people and what the patients really wanted.

He said: “Loads of local kids have been treated there, so it’s like the two local groups are joining forces to support each other.”

Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, will present a special gala performance on Friday, April 1, to be followed by a light supper at the Aziz restaurant, in Cowley Road.

The author, who is a patron of the Pegasus and was also involved with the fundraising to build the hospital, praised the project.

He said: “I’m delighted to see this connection between Pegasus and the Children’s Hospital.

“The well-being of children and young people is at the heart of both organisations in their different ways. Both do great good, and both deserve support and celebration.

“I hope this connection will strengthen both the theatre and hospital.”

Tickets for the performance on April 1 cost £50, including food. Under-18s will be admitted free, if accompanied by an adult.

For more information, and to book tickets call 01865 8122150 or see