News: Cast and creatives announced for This Might Not Be It

This Might Not Be It, a new play that unflinchingly confronts the hard truths of our crumbling NHS mental health services, opens at the Bush Theatre on 30 January 2024.

This candid portrayal of human lives at the mercy of the system is written by former Bush Emerging Writers’ Group member Sophia Chetin-Leuner, directed by Ed Madden (Octopolis, Hampstead) and produced by Broccoli Arts (Salty Irina, Summerhall) in association with Jessie Anand Productions (Orlando, 59E59).  The cast are Denzel Baidoo, Debra Baker and Dolly Webb.

Bush Theatre Artistic Director Lynette Linton said, ‘We first encountered ‘This Might Not Be It’ following Sophia’s time on our Emerging Writer’s Group five years ago. Its reflection on the state of our mental health provision was urgent then, and it feels as urgent now – especially considering the impact of the pandemic on our NHS mental health services. It is such an important, funny and groundbreaking piece, and we are so happy to be working with Broccoli Arts and Jessie Anand Productions to be able to have it in our space and continue to support Sophia. It’s always so special when we have long-term relationships with artists, and I’m glad that this is a space she is excited to return to.’

‘You care a lot, that’s nice. It shows your age.’

Jay’s new. He’s just started as a temp at an NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service office. He arrives with little more than a fledgling desk plant and well-meaning plans to change the broken system.

Angela’s seen it all. She’s been working in this building for over 30 years, and nothing seems to faze her – except perhaps this eager new hire who seems determined to challenge her at every turn. Exhausted by archaic protocol, Jay starts to bend the rules to breaking point in a desperate attempt to help their patients. Trust is shattered, professional boundaries are crossed, and Jay discovers the reality of what is truly at stake.

Sophia Chetin-Leuner is a writer and teacher from London. Her first play, Save+Quit, toured the UK and Ireland, becoming an Irish Times Pick of the Week and ending up at VAULT Festival, where it was published by Nick Hern Books as part of their Best of the Vaults in 2017.  Sophia received the Dalio Foundation Scholarship to study on NYU Tisch’s Dramatic Writing MFA (2016-8). On returning to London, Sophia was in the Bush Theatre’s Emerging Writers’ Group (2019). Whilst there, she developed This Might Not Be It, which was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Playwriting and longlisted for the Verity Bargate Award (2020). Her other play, Porn Play, was also shortlisted for the Women’s Prize and the Verity Bargate Award (2022). Sophia also writes TV and film. She was part of the BBC Writer’s Room (2022-3) and her TV pilot FIX was shortlisted for the C21 Drama Script competition (2021).

Director Ed Madden’s productions include The Limit (Royal Ballet); Octopolis (Hampstead);  Yellowfin (Southwark); A Table Tennis Play (Underbelly, Edinburgh Fringe); A Number (The Other Room, Cardiff); The World’s Wife (Welsh National Opera) and Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons (Warwick Arts Centre, Edinburgh Fringe, UK Tour).

Denzel Baidoo will play Jay. He trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and is currently playing ‘Bukayo Saka’ in the West End transfer of the National Theatre’s Dear England. His film credits include The Last SwimRestless. TV credits include Suspicion (Apple TV), Kirkmoore (BBC Three), Screw and Consent (both Channel 4), as well as short films Gates (NFTS) and Reflection (BFI). He made his stage debut in The Nutcracker at Bristol Old Vic.

Debra Baker will play Angela. Her TV credits include Supacell (Netflix), It’s A Sin (Ch4), King Gary (BBC), The Emily Atack Show (ITV), Holby City (BBC1), Home (Ch4), Coronation Street (ITV1), Call the Midwife (BBC1), Doctors (BBC1), Sliced (UKTV), Close to the Enemy (BBC1), The Five (Sky1), and Phoneshop (Ch4). On film she has appeared in Re-AwakeningBody of WaterLondon Road, Lie Low and Night Bus. Theatre credits include Orlando (Garrick Theatre, West End), Glacier (Old Fire Station), SAD (Omnibus Theatre, Clapham), The Witchfinder’s Sister (Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch), Big Guns (Yard Theatre), Home Theatre (Theatre Royal Stratford East) and Radiant Vermin (Soho Theatre & New York). Debra has also worked in the BBC Radio Drama Company for Radio 4.

Dolly Webb plays Steph. She trained at Guildhall School of Music and is an Open Door Alumni. Most recently she has finished filming a pilot called The Business of Delusion and has been part of several independent short films. In 2022 Dolly was accepted onto the ‘Introduction to Playwriting’ course at the Royal Court. Dolly will be making her professional debut at the Bush Theatre.

Set and Costume Designer Alys Whitehead has been an Associate Designer of Dissident Theatre and NDT Broadgate. Her previous theatre credits include The Angry Brigade (LAMDA); Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea (Park); Snowflakes (Park); The Retreat (Finborough); Lysistrata (Lyric Hammersmith); SAD (Omnibus); Maddie (Arcola).  

Lighting Designer Laura Howard trained at LAMDA as a recipient of the William and Katherine Longman Charitable Trust Scholarship. Laura’s previous credits for the  Bush Theatre: InvisibleClutchElephant and The Kola Nut Does Not Speak English.

Sound designer Max Pappenheim’s recent theatre include The Night of the Iguana and Cruise (West End); A Doll’s House Part 2AssemblyThe Way of the World (Donmar Warehouse); Henry V (Shakespeare’s Globe/Headlong); Village Idiot (Nottingham Playhouse/Ramps on the Moon/Stratford East).  Online credits include The SystemBarnes’ PeopleThe Haunting of Alice Bowles (Original Theatre) and 15 Heroines (Digital Theatre). His work in opera and ballet includes The Marriage of Figaro (Salzburg Festival); Miranda (Opéra Comique, Paris); Hansel and Gretel (BYO/Opera Holland Park); Scraww (Trebah Gardens) and Carmen: Remastered (ROH/Barbican). Radio credits include Home Front on BBC Radio 4. Max is an Associate Artist of The Faction and Silent Opera.

This Might Not Be Itwas shortlisted for The Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2020 and longlisted for the Verity Bargate Award 2020

Tickets for This Might Not Be It are priced from £15 (concessions available) and can be booked at or at the Box Office on 020 8743 5050.

Bush Connect free membership is now available for all Under 30s and full-time students. This year the discount has been doubled – you can now get up to £10 off tickets! See Bush Theatre’s website for details.

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