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A Pupil - Park Theatre

A Pupil. Photo by Meurig Marshall.

FRINGE First Award-winning company, Bear Trap Theatre, are to celebrate their eighth anniversary with a new play by Evening Standard Award nominated writer Jesse Briton. Entitled A Pupil, it will receive its world premiere at Park Theatre (Park90) from October 31 to November 24, 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.

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.

A Pupil stars Lucy Sheen (as Ye), Flora Spencer-Longhurst (Simona), Melanie Marshall (Ye’s evangelical landlady) and Carolyn Backhouse (Ye’s former college friend and current head of department and The Royal Conservatoire).

The production 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).

Lucy Sheen was one of the first British-Chinese actresses to be accepted into a recognised UK adult drama school. Recent stage work includes Midsummer (RSC) and The Scar Test (Soho Theatre). Her TV roles include being the first female British East Asian actress to appear in EastEnders, as well as Julia Davis’ black comedy Nighty Night, Call The Midwife and Casualty.

Flora Spencer-Longhurst is best known for her role in CBBC series Leonardo. Her 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).

Melanie Marshall’s theatre credits include Jane Eyre (Bristol Old Vic/NT and 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/Savoy Theatre) and Fame (Aldwych Theatre). Marshall 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 (Arts Theatre).

Writer Jesse Briton is also a theatre-maker and actor. His previous work includes: Reclaimed (UK tour), Derailed (HOME/Battersea Arts Centre/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, November 15.

A Pupil is suitable for ages 14+.

Image: A Pupil. Photo by Meurig Marshall.

Tickets: Previews £14.50, Standard £18, Concessions £16.50, Child (Under 16) £13, Young Patrons (October 31 to November 7) £10, Groups – buy 10 tickets, get the 11th free. To book, call the box office on 020 7870 6876 or visit www.parktheatre.co.uk/.

Times: Monday to Saturday evenings at 7.45pm, Thursday and Saturday matinees at 3.15pm.

Dementia Friendly performance: Thursday, November 15 at 1pm.

Audio Described performance: Friday, November 23 at 7.45pm.

Also in Park90: Distance, which shines a light on male mental health and suicide (until September 29) and Bullet Hole, which explores the relationship between three Black, British born women who are survivors of Female Genital Mutilation (October 2 to October 27, 2018).