Performing Arts graduates from Bournemouth & Poole College will be taking to the London stage next month. The ensemble, known as Ardent8, will perform the world premiere of Sacrifice at the Soho Theatre, Upstairs from 31st July until 4th August.
The play written by Andrew Muir, who is Writer in Residence at the College, explores what sacrifices a young group of outsiders are willing to make to survive.
Ardent8 is an ensemble of eight young actors selected to participate in the year-long Ardent Theatre Company programme to offer artistic support to recent graduates who have found it difficult to make the leap from the regions to London.
Through various workshops with carefully selected practitioners, the ensemble is able to access opportunities within the industry they have otherwise found inaccessible, but which Ardent Theatre Company believes is no more than an equal opportunity. Following a workshop from which a new play is developed specifically for the ensemble, the programme culminates in a two-week residency in London when the company rehearse and perform the word première.
The former Bournemouth & Poole College students performing in Sacrifice are Clare Hawkins, Nathan Linsdell, Garry Skimins, Sophie Coulter and Sam Weston.
Sophie Coulter said "I learnt so much from my two years spent doing the Foundation Degree in Performing Arts at the Bournemouth & Poole College. The lecturers were always so kind and supportive and full of knowledge. And now I'm about to take that learning into a full scale production at the Soho Theatre in London – sometimes I have to keep pinching myself!"
Andrew Muir said "There has always been so much talent here at the college and I have always wanted to find a way to support those graduates who I believe deserve a chance of accessing an industry that tends to only favour those who can afford it. Ardent Theatre Company now has the chance to provide a platform for a group young people who we believe deserve it."
Julie Walters said “It is so refreshing to come across a theatre company aiming to cut through the wall of privilege and provide an equal opportunity for all regardless of background – this is a project I support.”
Ardent Theatre Company was founded by Andrew Muir and Mark Sands. The company believes theatre is a place where no one feels like an outsider and that theatre should be for everyone, irrespective of their background or economic circumstances.
Ardent8 is supported by Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, London Community Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, Arts Council England, Boris Karloff Charitable Foundation and Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, and leading industry figures including Julie Walters.
Tickets cost £10 or £8 concession. To book call the theatre box office on 0207 478 0100 or visit www.sohotheatre.com