Amal and George Clooney offer ‘lifeline’ to save UK theater

Lebanese-British human rights lawyer Amal and US Hollywood star George bought their Berkshire home in 2014. (File/AFP)
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Updated 11 October 2020

Amal and George Clooney offer ‘lifeline’ to save UK theater

DUBAI: It turns out that living next door to Amal and George Clooney has its perks, as one struggling theater in the UK’s Berkshire found out after months of COVID-19-related setbacks.

The Mill at Sonning Theater took to Facebook late last week to thank, among others, the Clooneys for their support this the pandemic forced them to suspend performances.

“Since July, when the theatre celebrated its 38th birthday, The Mill has only been able to operate its adjoining restaurant with reduced seating, but this together with fundraising and donations from Mill Angel supporters and Hollywood star George Clooney and his wife Amal, who are near neighbors and regular attenders, have been a lifeline to ensure the venue’s survival,” the theater’s owners Tim and Eileen Richards posted on Facebook.

The theater is set to re-open on Oct. 30 with a newly named auditorium honoring playwright Ray Cooney due to his support for the venue during lockdown.

The Mill at Sonning is to re-open its theatre on 30 October and announces all its in-house theatre productions for...

Posted by The Mill at Sonning Theatre on Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Known for its water wheel bar, made from the old mill wheel, the original mill dates back to the 18th century, while most of the theatre building is from 1890.

The Clooneys, who live in a $12.5 million home nearby, kept mum on their donation. However, the move should come as no surprise considering their charitable exploits, including a recent donation of $100,000 to Lebanese aid organizations after the Aug. 4 explosion in Beirut.

Lebanese-British human rights lawyer Amal and US Hollywood star George bought their Berkshire home in 2014 and promptly carried out extensive renovation works, adding a swimming pool and a private cinema, according to Hello magazine.

“It was love at first sight,” George told Berkshire Life magazine in June 2020. “It needed some tender, loving care but I knew it would be a wonderful family home for us and it is on such a marvelous spot, a beautiful part of the Thames surrounded by countryside right by Sonning, which is a delight in itself and yet we would be only 40 miles from London. I couldn’t resist it.

“It’s where I hang my hat,” added the actor. “We also have a boat house and a motorboat, which we take out on the river now and then. It’s great fun and this is a lovely part of the world for messing about on the river.”

Expert advice for dealing with stressed-out skin

Updated 7 min 13 sec ago

Expert advice for dealing with stressed-out skin

DUBAI: If you felt like as soon as lockdown hit, your typically flawless complexion went haywire, you’re not alone. The effects of the current situation can affect more than just your mental health — it can also take a toll on your complexion. “Stress affects the skin in many ways,” said Dr. Constantin El-Habr, cosmetic dermatologist and FOREO brand partner, to Arab News. “Stress causes our body to produce more cortisol, the stress hormone, which can lead to several skin issues.” 

The increase of cortisol not only causes our body to produce more oil, which leads to breakouts, but it also increases inflammation. El-Habr explained, “Stress reduces our immune system causing inflammation to flare up. So if you already had a skin condition like psoriasis, eczema or dermatitis, it will get worse.” Furthermore, by causing inflammation in the dermis, stress directly affects the skin’s natural aging cycle, leading to premature wrinkle formation.

To deal with stress-related skin issues, the doctor suggests maintaining a healthy skin regimen by paring back our routines, thoroughly cleansing the dermis and exfoliating regularly. “Clean your skin diligently, followed by an adequate moisturizer for your skin type,” he said.

El-Habr also stressed (excuse the pun) the importance of regular exercise. “By staying active and sweating regularly, you are releasing toxins from your body and stimulating your blood circulation, which has the biggest effect not only on stress but also on your overall wellbeing,” he said. And don’t forget to incorporate a healthy diet into your daily life. “Drink plenty of water, limit your caffeine intake and eat a varied and seasonal diet of fruits and vegetables,” suggested the doctor. 

Here are more expert tips for dealing with stress-related skin concerns.


Acne and oily skin are the most common side effects of stress. “Breakouts are often the result of pollution and clogged pores, which have only one solution: A very good cleansing, toning and exfoliation treatment, morning and night,” expalined El-Habr, suggesting formulas with salicylic acid. “You can opt for a sonic brush, such as Foreo’s Luna 3, to blast away any dirt or makeup residue,” he added.


According to El-Habr, “dry skin can lose its glow and look wrinkled.” Those who have dry skin should look for products with AHA and retinol to soften fine lines and boost collagen. Just don’t forget to apply sunscreen when using these products as they can make the dermis more sensitive to the sun. 



Those who have irritated, sensitive and flushed skin need to be gentle with their dermis. The doctor suggests paring the skincare routine way back and sticking to natural and soothing products like niacinamide and squalene.  He also swears by the FOREO UFO 2 facial treatment, which offers a Cryo-Therapy option. “It’s heaven for irritated skin,” he proclaimed.


Should your skin need a little boost, El-Habr suggests reaching for a vitamin C-infused serum followed by a hyaluronic acid moisturizer. “Apply a hydrating mask at least twice a week,” he said.