Two Successful World Premieres at ArtsEd


ArtsEd has staged two memorable world premieres for the second year running. This year’s brand new plays have again proved a success and the third year BA Acting students enjoyed working with the writers to help shape the plays in the year-long process.

Sonny, written and directed by Deborah Bruce, ran in The Andrew Lloyd Webber Theatre from 16-20 May and was a play about the ‘haves’, the ‘have-nots’ and everyone in between.


Deborah was delighted to work with ArtsEd students:

'As a writer/director this was a very rewarding experience. With a blank page and an open mind I met a fantastic year of committed and enthusiastic students to explore ideas and themes that resonated with us as a group. I was then able to write specifically for them, and see the project through into rehearsals for their final show, continuing to work with them on a company owned piece, as they turned into professional actors. I found there was a very satisfying sense of completion about the whole project.'  

You can still catch Philip Ridley’s The Beast of Blue Yonder – Studio Theatre, 23-27 May, 7.30pm – BOOK NOW

In 1930’s Hollywood, Tex Maverick is casting his new film. He doesn't need a great actress. He just needs someone who can scream. In 1980’s Essex, four young people enjoy a summer’s day. They play Frisbee and make plans. Then something happens that changes their lives forever. In 1960’s East London, Scott is mourning the death of his wife. He wants to talk to her again. Then he meets someone who makes that happen.

Three different stories from three different times, but all hurtling towards the same thing. The thing everyone fears the most…The Beast of Blue Yonder.

‘Very well written, intriguing and the cast were fantastic’ said Principal Jane Harrison.

While Director of Acting Gareth Farr commented:

'To witness the development of two brand new plays written by two hugely successful playwrights alongside the development of our students has been incredible. The students work with the writers for over a year, building a solid working relationship and feeding directly into the process. Their voices are woven into the fabric of these plays. This is a truly special project for both student and writer. The plays are exceptional, the knock on effects of the student experience is far reaching.'

Philip Ridley summed it all up:

I've just been on the most amazing journey. It's called Working with ArtsEd Students for Eighteen Months. Together we've explored lots of new places and experienced lots of different stories. We talked, we played, and – we as we did all these things – so I started to write. And, as I wrote, it became clear that the play was going to be a bit of an epic. Of course it was. I was surrounded by epic talent. And the play kept twisting and changing, juggling genres and different time lines, becoming more and more challenging, and every challenge I threw at the students, they rose to. They rose and they soared. The play would not have been possible without them. I have enjoyed every single moment of this Eighteen Month Journey. I wish I could do it all over again!