Funny Women Awards alum, Kerry Godliman will be starring in a new BBC comedy series, PRU. The show tells the story of unruly pupils who have been taken out of mainstream education and four episodes are set to air on BBC Three from 2nd March.
Kerry plays a ‘weary art teacher’ Jean at the PRU (Pupil Referral Unit), who “has the best of intentions but is a little tired! She started the job with a sense of ‘I’m going to change the world and I’m going to pull out the best of these kids’.
“The reality of that world has slightly ground her down. However, she still wants the kids to do well and make them recognise their talents and abilities, even if they don’t particularly want to see that.”
Kerry says her character “feels very hopeful and optimistic about what can be achieved in a sense of a community capacity but then being ground down by reality…
“I think, especially now, with the cuts that have been made to youth services, it makes me sad that young people aren’t valued more through government funding.
“When I was growing up, I used to go to a Youth Theatre which was publicly funded. I don’t know how much of that is available for young people now. Also, friends of mine who are teachers and have been teaching for over a decade tell me that recent cuts have had such an impact on young people.”
The cast is populated with actors who have experienced education in PRUs by working with organisation Fully Focused who helps young people from underrepresented backgrounds get into creative industries.
Kerry said: “I hope we can de-stigmatise these environments, pull them into the mainstream and discuss why they exist, how they exist, how people work, and what the objective is for those communities and the hopeful futures that those kids.”
PRU will be available on BBC iPlayer from 6am on Tuesday 2nd March.