Actress Jen steps into Shakespeare spotlight

The Royal Shakespeare Company's Open Stages is a project that aims to embrace, develop and celebrate amateur theatre and re-forge its bond with the world of professional theatre.  ''The People's Theatre is delighted to be part of the initiative with QUICK BRIGHT THINGS, a new play that takes its inspiration from one of Shakespeare's most popular and enduring comedies. Focussing on the character of Helena, the play imagines her life before, during and after A Midsummer Night's DreamThe four Helenas - (L-R) Penny Lamport, Grace Dickson, Jen Carss & Moira Valentine
The Royal Shakespeare Company's Open Stages is a project that aims to embrace, develop and celebrate amateur theatre and re-forge its bond with the world of professional theatre. ''The People's Theatre is delighted to be part of the initiative with QUICK BRIGHT THINGS, a new play that takes its inspiration from one of Shakespeare's most popular and enduring comedies. Focussing on the character of Helena, the play imagines her life before, during and after A Midsummer Night's DreamThe four Helenas - (L-R) Penny Lamport, Grace Dickson, Jen Carss & Moira Valentine
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A MORPETH teenager is looking forward to making her debut at one of Newcastle’s main theatres.

Jen Carss is one of four actresses taking on the lead role of Shakespeare character Helena in Quick Bright Things, a play which imagines her life before, during and after A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The 18-year-old, who went to King Edward VI School and is currently working at Northern Stage, plays lovelorn ‘middle’ Helena who pursues the man she loves into the forest.

Unfortunately for her, he is besotted with her best friend, but some mistakes and magic find her caught up in an unexpected love triangle.

The People’s Theatre in Heaton is the venue, although it may be a little while before Jen performs there for the second time as she heads off to Manchester Metropolitan University in September to take a place on its BA Acting course.

“Everyone has been really welcoming and friendly and to see the other Helenas, where the character comes from and where she goes, makes it really interesting,” she said.

“It’s such an exciting play to be part of and you don’t need to have read or seen A Midsummer Night’s Dream to see this play as everything you need is included.”

The production has been written by award-winning North East playwright Alison Carr.

It includes Helena’s teenage friendship and rivalry with Hermia, a whistle-stop visit to her adventures in Shakespeare’s play and years later examining what kind of life can she lead with a man bewitched to love her.

This is a promenade performance so rather than sitting in the auditorium watching the actors up on stage, the audience will travel through the building and stop-off in areas that would usually be off limits.

Quick Bright Things runs from Tuesday to Saturday, April 21, with two performances a night starting at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £8.

For more information and to book tickets, telephone 0191 2655020.