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A Pupil by Jesse Briton at Park Theatre, London | Tickets

A Pupil by Jesse Briton
A Pupil. Photo credit – Meurig Marshall

Fringe First Award-winning company Bear Trap Theatre are set to celebrate their eighth anniversary with a new play by Evening Standard Award-nominated writer Jesse Briton. The world premiere production of A Pupil will be performed at Park Theatre from 31st October to 24th November 2018.

Merging live classical music and new writing, A Pupil explores the relationship between an ex-professional violinist who was once hailed as a prodigy, and has now hit rock bottom, and a young aspiring musician. At its heart the play explores the ideologies surrounding friendship, music and success. The official press night will be on Monday 5th November at 7pm.

A Pupil stars Lucy Sheen, Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Melanie Marshall and Carolyn Backhouse and is directed by Jessica Daniels (Resident Director – Girl From The North Country and Director of Pinch Punch at The Old Vic), with live original compositions by Colin Sell (I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, BBC Radio 4).

In a dilapidated North London bedsit, disgraced violinist Ye is preparing to end her life. The surprise arrival of Simona, an aspiring musician and wealthy heiress throws her plans into disarray. Together the pair embark on a series of lessons that will test the limits of friendship, music and success.

The role of Ye is played by Lucy Sheen. Training at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama, Lucy was one of the first British-Chinese actresses to be accepted into a recognised UK adult drama school. Recent stage work has included Midsummer (RSC) and The Scar Test (Soho Theatre). Lucy’s TV roles include being the first ever female British East Asian actress to appear in EastEnders (BBC), Julia Davis’ black comedy Nighty Night and more recently Call The Midwife (ITV) and Casualty (BBC).

Ye’s pupil, Simona, is played by Flora Spencer-Longhurst. Flora is best known for her role in CBBC series Leonardo. Other credits include Love’s Labour’s Won (also known as Much Ado About Nothing) and Love’s Labour’s Lost (both RSC), The Beggar’s Opera (Open Air Theatre), Once (Phoenix Theatre) and The Bastard Executioner (FOX 21).

The cast is completed by Mary (Melanie Marshall), Ye’s evangelical landlady, and Phyllida (Carolyn Backhouse), Ye’s former college friend and current head of department and The Royal Conservatoire.

Melanie Marshall’s theatre credits include Jane Eyre (Bristol Old Vic; NT & International Tour 2016; UK Tour 2017), Guys & Dolls (UK Tour; Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre), The Infidel (Theatre Royal Stratford East), FELA! (National Theatre, Broadway & World Tour), Hot Mikado (Watermill Theatre / UK Tour), Kiss Me Kate (Old Vic and Savoy Theatre) and Fame (Aldwych Theatre). Melanie is also an accomplished musician, and has performed with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and all the BBC orchestras.

Carolyn Backhouse’s theatre credits include Windows (Finborough Theatre), Some Girls (Park Theatre), A Kind of Alaska (Bristol Old Vic), Leaving, Private View, How To Be Happy, Green Wash, The Actor’s Nightmare (Orange Tree Theatre), Crash (West Yorkshire Playhouse) Hobson’s Choice, A Dream of People (RSC), The Handyman (National tour) and Storm in a Flower Vase (The Arts Theatre).

Writer Jesse Briton is also a theatre-maker and actor. His previous work includes: Reclaimed (UK tour), Derailed (HOME, Battersea Arts Centre and National Theatre), The Muddy Choir (UK tour), Hiraeth (UK and NZ tour), Enduring Song (Southwark Playhouse), and the Fringe First winning Bound (UK and Australia tour).

In collaboration with Somerset-based charity Wassail Theatre, A Pupil will be the first Park Theatre production to be filmed and screened into Somerset during the run.

There will also be a range of post-show talks, including a post-show panel discussion with guest Aimee Kwan (the youngest ever Royal Academy of Music entrant, who also features on Channel 4’s Child Genius) at 4:30pm after the matinee performance on Thursday 15th November.

Creative Team
Writer | Jesse Briton
Director | Jessica Daniels
Composer | Colin Sell
Designer | Jessica Staton
Lighting Designer | Jessica Hung Han Yun
Company Stage Manager | Niamh Graham
Assistant Director | Ella Donaldson’
Sound Design | Bear Trap Theatre
Production Consultant | Tim Boyd
Production Dramaturgy | Melli Marie
Photography & Film | Meurig Marshall

Producer for Kosky Productions | Anthony Kosky
Assistant Producer for Kosky Productions | Emma Kendall
Producer for Bear Trap | Jesse Briton
Assistant producer for Bear Trap | Josh Foyster

Outreach Partner Charity | Wassail Theatre

A Pupil
Venue: Park 90, Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, N4 3JP
Dates: 31 Oct – 24 Nov 2018
Press night: Monday 5th November 7pm
Performances: Mon – Sat Evenings 7.45pm, Thu & Sat Matinees 3.15pm
Age Guidance: 14+
Access Performances: Dementia Friendly performance: Thu 15 Nov, 13.00 and Audio Described performance: Fri 23 Nov, 19.45

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