Black Sheep Productions, a new film and theatre company, have produced a gripping new play called Tyke. This unique production, written by Rebecca Monks, utilises puppetry to explore morality, animal nature and other powerful themes. It imagines the events that led up to the true story of Tyke's - an abused circus elephant - tragic break for freedom. ALRA alumni, Andrew Armitage, Maia Kirkman-Richards and Alice Sillett, are heavily involved in the production in various aspects.
Armitage, who graduated from our Three Year Acting BA (Hons) programme in 2014, will be playing the role of Stephan, a ringmaster protégé tasked with teaching Tyke increasingly demanding new tricks. Kirkman-Richards, who graduated from the same course in 2013, is a member of the Tyke creative team, featuring as the Puppet Maker.
Sillett, one of ALRA's Postgraduate Acting 2011 graduates, also features on the creative team as the Puppet Director. She is also the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Illuminate Festival as well as critically-acclaimed puppetry company, Moon On A Stick, of which Kirkman-Richards is an Associate Artist.
The cast and crew of Tyke have produced a bold piece which explores one of the most infamous deaths of a wild animal in captivity, raising serious questions of the morality and power of human beings.
The production recently ran three previews at Above The Arts Theatre in London's West End and will also be heading to Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer from 6 - 27 August and will be not be ticketed, relying solely on audience donations at the end of each show. 10% of all takings will go to a carefully selected animal welfare charity.
ALRA wish our alumni and their team on this production much success.