Actor and dancer Larissa Pinkham is swapping the busy streets of New York for the sleepy lanes of her native Cornwall later this month, as she returns to her creative roots for a one-off performance at the theatre that kick-started her career.
Larissa, who grew up in the South East Cornwall village of Stoke Climsland and attended Callington Community College, plays the eponymous role in The Invisible Monkey, which comes to Sterts Theatre at Upton Cross, near Liskeard, on August 22.
A graduate of Sterts’ youth company, Larissa performed in a number of popular shows over the years, including Oliver, Children of Eden, Peter Pan, Guys and Dolls, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Cornish Phoenix and Sweeney Todd, as well as with Nicky Brice Ballet School.
At 18, she moved to London to pursue a career as a performer, and has since appeared in TV’s Doc Martin, was a dancer in the Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris music video, Miracle, toured the UK and Europe as a puppeteer with The Lips, and was commissioned by Cornwall’s own Kneehigh Theatre for its final project, Random Acts of Art. She has also worked on new plays at venues in London, and even acted as a hand-double for the new Barbie movie.
Recently returned from a five-week residency in New York, she was invited to join the cast of Kernow Chamber Players for its latest tour. Written in rhyme, The Invisible Monkey is a family show that promises fun, laughter and songs. It follows the story of Jen, who longs for a pet of her own but lives with a wicked aunt who goes out at night to catch and eat cats and dogs, guinea pigs and hamsters. Jen eventually escapes from the house and meets a magical pet peddler who sells strange animals, like sillipedes, haterpillars and an invisible monkey.
“Audiences will see the monkey playing tricks on the auntie and creating chaos for her,” said Larissa. “You’ll be surprised how it all turns out – spectacles fly off noses, fish land between your toes, and tasty meals suddenly slip off plates and out the door. What caused the mayhem? Maybe it was the monkey nobody sees.”
Written by David Crook, directed by Tama Matheson, and with music by Harriet Bushman, The Invisible Monkey is at Sterts on August 22 at 6.30pm. For tickets, visit sterts.co.uk or kernowchamberplayers.com