A new audio play is launched, inspired by one of the museum’s prized paintings

Earlier this year Theatre West made an open call to writers in the southwest to write a 10-minute audio play taking inspiration from one of the Holburne Museum’s prized possessions, a portrait by Angelica Kauffman: Laura Henrietta Pulteney.

Making An Exhibition of Yourself saw writers from all over the southwest make submissions and the winner was announced a few weeks ago.

Clare Lyne wrote “The Unwanted Gift” and you can listen to it in the link below:


Notes from the writer

“Angelica Kaufman’s painting wasn’t my first choice, but when looking at the images again I was drawn to the happy face of a young girl. The light seemed to spotlight her fair skin against a sinister dark background, and I started to consider the possibility of danger lurking in the shadows, Henrietta being oblivious in her flower gathering. When trying to decide what the dangers could be, the idea came to me that she could be appreciating her portrait much, much later, reminiscing on happier times. As the picture is being exhibited I thought a modern setting and a long passage of time would give it a twist. The question then became, how could she still be looking at herself after more than two hundred years? I hope you enjoy the answer.”

About Claire Lyne 

I have had a variety of jobs over the years and gained a myriad of experience, but there was always something missing. Writing is something I always wanted to do and started to explore this more thoroughly about six years ago; I was finally on my way to following my dream. I really got stuck in with a script course in 2019 and loved every minute, I had found my ‘missing something’. I love bringing my ideas and characters to life, mainly in screenplays, but also in short stories. Competitions have been a way for me to focus my work and let my imagination unfold. Entering ‘Making an Exhibition of Yourself’ was a different genre for me, and an interesting challenge I was keen to pursue. I found Henrietta Pulteney’s portrait captivating and inspiring, so it was enjoyable creating the story; needless to say, I was delighted to be chosen as a finalist. I’m looking forward to setting more characters free, and hope people enjoy the results as much as I do creating them.

Theatre West are performing Gluck’s Flowers at the Holburne Museum 7th to 9th May.


Henrietta Laura Pulteney (1766-1808) by Angelica Kauffmann (1741-1807), oil on canvas c. 1777