UCLan students to bring award-winning play Pentecost to Preston
St Peter's Arts Centre production open to the public
Students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are bringing their version of David Edgar’s award-winning play ‘Pentecost’ to Preston in a production that is open to the public.
Starting on the 8 February, Pentecost will be performed by third year students from the BA (Hons) Acting course at St Peter’s Arts Centre on campus.
Pentecost was written in 1994 by the British playwright David Edgar and is named after the Jewish and Christian festival of Pentecost. Set during the early 1990s, a painting similar to The Lamentation of Christ by Giotto is unearthed in an abandoned church in Eastern Europe and will revolutionise western art if proved to pre-date the master's work. The discovery causes a dramatic struggle as representatives from the worlds of art history, religion, and politics stake their claims for the ultimate prize. The unexpected arrival of twelve refugees sets events spiralling toward an explosive climax.
The theme of the play resonates even more today than when it was written back in 1994 as we learn each day about recent events in Syria, mass migration and the rise of nationalism.
"It’s been such an exciting process and I’m looking forward to sharing it with an audience, particularly with everything that’s going on in the world at the moment."
Terence Chapman, the director of Pentecost and also the course leader for acting, said he has the pleasure of working with a very culturally diverse group of actors. Performer Lauren Bugg said: “It’s been such an exciting process and I’m looking forward to sharing it with an audience, particularly with everything that’s going on in the world at the moment.”
The performance venue is a listed building that was previously a church and is used to host larger scale productions, accommodating an audience of up to 250 people.
Terence described the venue as “beautiful” and, reminiscing about his first time at the Arts Centre, he said: “I first visited St Peter’s back in 2004 as an actor, performing in a touring theatre production, and I remember just how special it felt. The building has an amazing atmosphere and makes a wonderfully versatile theatre space, which paradoxically evokes a feeling of intimacy along with a sense of grandeur.”
With all third year acting productions taking place in St Peters, this will be the 10th production Terence has directed in the Centre since he started working at UCLan in 2008.
“Each of those productions has been an amazing and unforgettable experience, this is not only down to the teaching, technical staff and students that create these wonderful productions but in part to the building itself. St Peter’s has become the spiritual home of the BA (Hons) Acting and it is hard to imagine a more fitting venue for David Edgar’s Pentecost.”
"Each of those productions has been an amazing and unforgettable experience, this is not only down to the teaching, technical staff and students that create these wonderful productions but in part to the building itself."
Jessica Anderson, a third year acting student, said about her time on the course: “The BA (Hons) Acting course truly prepares you for the professional world. In the past two and a half years I have developed my acting skills and with just a week until the opening of our third year production, Pentecost, I feel I have had the perfect opportunity to put all of my new skills into practice. Performing to a paying public audience for seven shows will be an invaluable learning experience.”
There will be seven performances of Pentecost across four days, running from the 8 – 11 February at 7.00pm with matinees at 2.00pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The production will be the second of three performances in the academic year by the third year students, with the first, Yerma, taking place back in December. Yerma was directed by Helen Tolson and described by Pulse Media as “brilliant and emotional.”