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Sussex student to debut original play at Brighton Fringe Festival

The Tab Sussex chats to Sophie Pester

Third year Sophie Pester, currently finishing her degree in English and Drama, will be showcasing her original play, "A Glass Half Empty", at Brighton Fringe this month. The play was first performed by SUDS last term and this will be it's first showing with professional actors.

The tale itself centres on the power of friendship between two women; exploring the dynamics and intensity between two characters reunited after ten years of silence. Pester focuses on the bond between women, their role in society, and "addressing the complicated female experience of ageing".

The Tab Sussex spoke to Pester to discuss her play and the transition from a student performance to a fully fledged show at Brighton Fringe.

When discussing the inspiration behind "A Glass Half Empty", Pester told us; "It came from a conversation that I had with my friend, where she told me that if she had a daughter she wouldn't want her to be beautiful."

She continued; "It started off with these two characters having this conversation about beauty and having daughters. It then kind of grew from there, and that's the heart of it."

Upon discussing her own perspective on the dynamics in female friendships, Pester said; "I've also come to realise that some of the most intense relationships I've had in my life weren't romantic ones, but ones with my female friends. And I felt like that that's not often represented, how strong female friendship can be, and sometimes toxic, and in the play that's a big element of it."

"I was just really interested in how you don't see that there's so much romance; you expect just as much – if not more – from your friends throguhout your whole lifetime."

Alongisde putting on the show at Fringe, Pester is also having to complete her dissertation for English and a dissertation performance for Drama. But she claims that the experience will work in her favour; "I just realised that this is working out if this is ultimately what I want to do with my life, the only way I will really know is just to do it."

She added; "I thought that this would be such a good experience to learn the ropes in such a full on way, but yeah it's been really stressful. So many little things I didn't realise I had to do – like getting insurance, and having to write a contract. All these things I hadn't thought about but it's been really good in that respect, but it's just been a processs of time management."

The performance was originally put on by SUDS last term, and after a successful application to the Pebble Trust, Pester was successfully able to get a grant to make turning her student performance into a traditional one a reality.

Pester has encouraged students to come and see the play and to explore the Fringe Festival itself; "I feel like generally students really need to utilise the Fringe, as there's so much there."

"A Glass Half Empty" is to be shown at Sweet Works 2 – in the South Lanes – between the 21st and 24th of May. Tickets are £5 for students, and can be purchased here.