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Welcome back to York, Bella!

Bella in her production
Mount old scholar, Bella Heesom, performs this weekend in York. Photo ©BellaHeesom.

This weekend, York welcomes back actor, writer and theatre maker Bella Heesom, who will perform her critically acclaimed play, My World Has Exploded A Little Bit at York Theatre Royal on Saturday 28 April.

Bella is an old scholar of The Mount.  Her former teacher, Jan Wilson, said, “In 2001, Bella was one of the stars in our Junior production of The Wizard of Oz.  At the time, our Dance teacher was Isobel Dunn, who was well known in York.  After the production, Isobel came up to me and said, “That was the best production you have ever done. You’re very lucky with your principal actors because all of them will end up on the stage, you mark my words.”

“Well, of those pupils: Bella is a critically-acclaimed actor and writer, Naomi Sheldon has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and her one-woman show Good Girl has just opened in the West End, Tamsin Barnes is an excellent speech and drama teacher and Laura Attridge is a professional writer and director working primarily in opera.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that Bella is doing something she loves and deploying her creativity and her ferocious intelligence to explore the mysteries of life that we all wrestle with.”

Bella’s play, My World Has Exploded A Little Bit tells the deeply personal story of loss and love, through a darkly comic guide to bereavement. The show received critical and audience acclaim at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe, the 2017 Vault Festival and on national tour.

The Mount has a history for educating outstanding actors. Alumnae include Judi Dench, Margaret Drabble, Mary Ure, Naomi Sheldon. Plans are underway at the school to build a new Performing Arts Hub.

Bella at Tregelles
Bella performed in many Mount productions

Article from the York Press ©YorkPress:

Bella Heesom returns to York with step-by-step guide to dealing with grief

by Charles Hutchinson

Brought up in Fulford, schooled at The Mount, Bella Heesom became an actor, writer and theatre maker. On Saturday, she returns to York to present her debut play My World Has Exploded A Little Bit at the Theatre Royal Studio.  “I grew up in York, so this one-off performance is especially significant for me, as it’s a bit of a homecoming,” she says.

Click here to read more on the York Press website 

“My friends and fellow pupils at The Mount supported me through my mum’s illness and even helped run events to raise money for her to receive experimental treatment.”

Bella was last involved in a theatre show in York while studying at The Mount. “It makes you feel old trying to remember,” she says. “I directed the Lower Sixth production in 2001, and my strongest memory of a play I was in was Macbeth, playing Macduff, throwing a stool across the stage when she discovers her family has been killed.

“There was also Helen of Troy, where I was on stage all the time, never stopped crying and would look at the bright stage lights to get my eyes to water.”

Hence she says she has “very happy memories of York”, not least of Dame Judi Dench, the city’s most celebrated acting talent. “As a budding actor, I was thrilled to meet Mount old scholar Judi Dench, who was kind enough to support me in my theatrical endeavours later in life,” says Bella.

“She made a contribution to a charitable production of Some Explicit Polaroids that I performed in while studying philosophy at Cambridge University, and even generously gave me some money towards the fees for my training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art when I was worried I wouldn’t be able to accept my place due to financial difficulties.”

Looking forward to being in York once more, Bella says: “It will be special to bring the play home to York, where so many happy memories with my mum, Yasmin, were made.” 

Content ©YorkPress2018 and Newsquest.