Two-time Oscar winner and acting legend Dame Emma Thompson has been named a patron of Marlow performance company District64 in recognition of its “pioneering and innovative” work with young performers.

The theatrical company, created by BAFTA award-winning actor Jane Trainer together with Josh Barrow, Anthony Mackey and Leanne Molloy, is based in Marlow and Maidenhead and works with nine to 20-year-olds from across the region – creating theatre for young people, by young people.

Dame Emma, famed for her roles in The Remains of the Day, Howards, Nanny McPhee and the Harry Potter series, said she was drawn to the company due to its commitment to encourage their young performance to champion the issues and topics that young people are passionate about.

She said: “I am delighted to be District64’s patron and to support their work and purpose.

“It’s such a joy to see young people using their creativity within the arts in such a powerful and positive way—to elicit change and inspire conversation—about the important issues we all face in the world.

“District64 is such an exciting, innovative and talented young company and I am proud to be District.”

Co-Artistic director Anthony Mackey said: “We are beyond honoured and thrilled to have such an iconic Patron of District64.

“To have her affirmation and endorsement of the work we do and what we stand for means so much to all District64 members.

“Emma is not only a wonderful actor and outstanding role model, but also an activist and passionate voice for many incredible causes which are also dear to District64’s hearts.

“We can’t wait to welcome her to our performances at the Edinburgh Festival in August and are excited about our future work together.”