Burnley director set for stage debut

Jessica Bainbridge will make her directorial debut with Stolen Moments.
Jessica Bainbridge will make her directorial debut with Stolen Moments.

A former Burnley College pupil is putting her budding theatrical talents to good use as she gears up to make her directorial debut with one of Manchester most anticipated new plays in years.

Jessica Bainbridge's Stolen Moments puts an experienced team of actors through their paces in a passionate play examining the consequences that an affair can have on a supposed happy family.

It may seem a daunting challenge for the 24-year-old, who once starred in a short history film 'The Towneley Time Travellers', but Jessica reckons her proud Burnley upbringing and education at Manchester Metropolitan University make her the perfect choice to direct a play that combines gritty realism with surreal movement and dance.

“Being a part of Stolen Moments has already been a wonderful experience and I am blessed to be able to work with such talented people,” Jessica said.

London theatre dance coach Amy Robinson will work on production, spurned wife Anna will be played by Sarah Wilkinson, and Jessica’s lead male is Shakespearian actor Pete Gibson.

Stolen Moments was written by leading lady Hadesa Sonné, who completed a drama degree at university with Jessica and who did not have to look far for a director for her deeply personal tale.

“To be a great director, you need to be a motivator, a trusted confidant, an organiser and be able to turn a vision into a reality," Hadesa said. "These are very mature skills and Jessica has them in abundance."

Stolen Moments' premiere will take place at the prestigious Z-Arts theatre on April 21st and 22nd and has just announced an additional matinee performance on Saturday, 22nd April at 3:30pm.

“There are high hopes that Stolen Moments will tour later in the year and I would love it if it visited Burnley," Jessica said. "Our town has a fantastic theatrical tradition and I think our beautifully crafted play will get a warm - and passionate - reception.”