Bristol student writes, directs and performs in own play

A 17-year-old student has written, directed and starred in her own play.

Eleanor Jones, from Bristol, staged "Kid Again" in front of a full house at the Alma Tavern on 7 August.

She set up The Lighthouse Ensemble theatre company with her friend, Iola Budden.

The pair said: "In a country where the arts are undervalued and underfunded, it's important for young people like us to take and make as many opportunities as possible."

"Kid Again" is set in the 1980s and focuses on some of the key events spanning the decade, including the miners' strikes, the AIDS crisis, as well as timeless themes such as intergenerational connection, grief and coming of age.

Ms Jones began writing the script in January 2023, four months before The Lighthouse Ensemble was formed.

She said the pair set up the company because it gave them more opportunities to stage productions at venues.

Ms Jones said: "One second we were trying to brainstorm for a name and then the next we were signing contracts for The Lighthouse Ensemble."

The independently funded show opened to a "very loud", full-capacity audience.

"We were told because we're not a renowned company and its the middle of summer that it won't sell out.

"It was really nice - especially when it's sold out, the energy is so good," said Ms Jones.

She credited the rest of the cast and crew for making the experience possible.

"If I didn't have help from these people none of this would have happened," she said.

In the future, Ms Jones is hoping to continue with her theatre endeavours alongside her A-Levels and work as an extra, and next year she plans on applying to drama school.

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