PRU new comedy about a group of teens struggling to navigate adolescence in a pupil referral unit, a school for excluded kids. Written by Alex Tenenbaum and Nathaniel Stevens and told through the eyes of four charismatic but complex young people, for whom sometimes even the smallest of obstacles can feel like the end of the world.
The 6 part series some amazing fresh TV talent: Sienna – Nkechi Simms , Belle – Pia Somersby , Halil – Jaye Ersavas , Jaeden – Michael ‘MBbants’ Boahen , Jean – Hannah Walters , Anthony – Tom Moutchi , Ruben – Tolu Sona , Noah – Will Hislop, Michael – Richie Campbell , Gemma – Laura Smyth , Berdan – Umit Ulgen
It’s an exciting series that follows the lives of four really interesting young people as they go on a journey throughout a PRU (Pupil Referral Unit). It covers a lot of different themes such as family cycles, the PRU to prison pipeline, being mis medicated… I think it covers so many relevant topics that young people today will be able to relate to.
How did you get involved?
I saw through the Fully Focused Instagram page that there was an open casting for PRU and that they were casting for the role of Sienna. And so, with the support of my theatre company, The Big House, I sent in a self-tape and then five rounds of auditions later, I got the part and I was really excited.
Tell us more about Sienna?
She is a very complicated character. She has a big heart and means well but her actions don’t always reflect that. I think she sees things as quite black and white and over her journey whilst at the PRU, she starts to realise that there is a bit of a grey area in life and she begins to connect with her peers and the people around her and really discovers who she is and finds her voice.
What did you draw inspiration from when preparing for the role?
I definitely drew inspiration from my own experiences in a PRU and all the different types of people I met and observed and I drew elements from my younger self. I was very much one of those teenagers who thought I knew best and did what I thought was right and I think that’s a strong trait of Sienna’s that I already had myself so it was just sort of developing that further.
How was it on set?
I had the best time on set. It’s honestly something I’ll remember until I’m old and grey. It was so much fun. Everyone was so positive and supportive. It was just a great experience. I think a lot of us ended up developing really similar relationships with each other as our characters have with one another. Even in between filming, you couldn’t really differentiate us from our characters. We really embodied the roles and turned back into fifteen and sixteen-year-olds for three months.
Describe the show in three words?
Hilarious, heartfelt and clever.
What can viewers expect when they tune into the series on BBC Three?
I think viewers can expect to come back to their own youth. They can expect to laugh a lot, gain a new understanding and perspective of the young people that we’re talking about and maybe the young people in their own lives. I’m really proud of the way that we’ve tied some really serious emotive themes into the show, but we did it in a really funny, comedic and relatable way. I really believe that there isn’t anything else like PRU out there.
PRU launches on Thursday 26th May on BBC Three at 10pm, with all episodes available from 6am as a boxset release on BBC iPlayer