CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Wac Arts tutors hope to launch memorial fund to Keiran Taylor

Actor with multiple sclerosis a "shining example" of what a young person can achieve

03 August, 2017 — By William McLennan

Keiran Taylor was a “treasured member of the Wac family” 

TUTORS at a performing arts school are raising money for a memorial fund in honour of an “inspirational” former student.

Staff at Wac Arts, in Haverstock Hill, Belsize Park, want to set up a trust fund to support aspiring young performers following the death of actor Kieran Taylor. The 32-year-old died after collapsing in a car in Camden Street, Camden Town.

Tutors Niamh Webb and Ben Danso-Bennett have set up an online donation site after setting off on a fundraising four- day trek in Machu Picchu, Peru.

Mr Danso-Bennett said: “Kieran had been a student at Wac Arts and a treasured member of the Wac family, even being in the building passing on his experience, skills and advice in a workshop on the day he passed away.”

Mr Taylor, who performed as Kieran Nero, had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but Mr Danso-Bennett said: “All those who knew him would verify he never let it stop him.”

He added: “As former tutors we wish to honour Kieran and use the opportunity to raise money that will be part of a trust fund in his name to benefit young people in the arts in the near future.”

Mr Taylor appeared in the BBC Three documentary Defying the Label, in which he described living with MS. His mother, June, said that at a gathering to celebrate his life she had been overwhelmed by the impact he had made.

“I’ve never met so many people, young guys bawling their eyes out,” she said. “People who have known him for 20 or 30 years. Some have known him for two weeks and they all have a story to come and tell me.

“He has done more than most people who are 60 or 70. He crammed a lot into his life.”

She said her son, who had performed in theatres across Camden, was writing a play at the time of his death. “If he was here now, he would be impersonating people,” she said. “He was so good at that.”

Steve Medlin, head of drama at Wac Arts, said: “Kieran Taylor was not just an ex-student of Wac Arts but a shining example of how much a young person can achieve no matter what level of obstacles are placed in their way.

“He was an inspiration to all those around him. I can honestly say that I learnt far more from spending time with him than I could ever have hoped to teach in return.

“He will be missed but will always remain part of us as a reminder that no matter what struggle is directly in front of you, there is always the choice to approach it with good humour and spirit.”

Mr Taylor, who lived in Tottenham, fell ill while driving and pulled over to the side of the road on March 24. He was taken to hospital, where he died.

His family and friends have left tributes at the spot in Camden Street, along with a floral Arsenal badge and red and white ribbons.

To donate, visit https://goo.gl/qwWTPV

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