Swindon’s New College have announced their entry into hj1act 2015!
Just before Christmas the college’s A2 drama students performed their devised plays at the Pheonix Theatre and we went along to watch. You can read our story about it HERE
Over two nights we were treated to four very different plays which were entirely devised, written, directed and performed by the students as part of their A2 course. There to assess the performances were head of drama Natalie Kitching and her drama teacher colleague Claire Smart. ‘We’re looking for good performances of course’, said Natalie, ‘but we also want to see each group working well as a team across the whole process; from the initial collaboration to how well they worked together to bring their plays to the stage’.
The first night we saw:
by Rebecca Crumbie, Liam Duke, Lucy Phelps, Yasim Rees and Kiara Wakely
Marked follows three youths at the time of the Holocaust. Based on true stories, tragedy, fear and tyranny await the characters as fate comes knocking. We follow Eva, Elliot and Evangeline on their struggle to survive what life throws at them.
‘Our Cold Society’
by Keegan Backhouse, Daniella Faircloth, David Lloyd, Phillip Olagoke, Amber Sheppard and Trisha Telles.
Our Cold Society was based on the stimulus ‘Iron Sky’ (a song by Paulo Nutini) and was about dictatorship in the world.
The second night’s performances were:
by Celine Clitherow, Karolina Huntley, Henry Leigh and Rebecca Watson.
Waking Reality was based on a piece of Banksy art as a stimulus and was about the reality of following your dreams.
‘Under the Bridge’
by Saskia Clarke, David Howard, Luke Pevereal, Bradley Stallard and Bethany Rawsthorn.
Set in a dystopian future, this play explores the origins, motivations and mentality of internet trolls. Four stories are interwoven to examine those who overcome the psychology of fear, and those who don’t make it out.
Under the Bridge!!
by Saskia Clarke, David Howard, Luke Pevereal, Bradley Stallard and Bethany Rawsthorn
Natalie Kitching gave us her thoughts on the winning play:
‘Under the Bridge was selected because it was a clever and thought provoking depiction of internet trolling. This is a contemporary issue and the group successfully highlighted a social issue that made the audience think. It was also highly stylised and a polished piece of theatre’.
We would certainly agree with that! But what about the course itself? What does it prepare the students for?
‘The A Level in Drama at New College is a creative but demanding course’ says Natalie. ‘My aim is for students to study Drama and Theatre History in a fun and creative environment but also apply the discipline and professionalism needed in the industry. We study a vast amount of different theatre disciplines and have a flourishing Drama department which attracts like minded students who want to throw themselves into this all consuming subject!’
It’s certainly an exciting and challenging course! So what about hj1act? How do the students benefit from being part of our festival?
‘I think the One Act Festival is a fantastic event and opportunity for my students to perform professionally. Past students have said that the feedback from the festival judges has been constructive and inspiring. A few of our students have even won awards! The chance to perform in the festival gives the students something else to aim for, other than their actual exam performances’.
Thanks so much to Natalie, Claire and all the New College A2 students who worked so hard on their plays and brought us those great performances. And congratulations to the winning team and their production of ‘Under the Bridge’. I think we can agree that our festival is lucky to have these talented stars of the future and we wish them luck with their performance at hj1act 2015 in April!
NEXT UP: Our 2015 line-up is announced!
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If you have a story you’d like us to include here in our blog, or if there’s something you’d like us to write about, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org So long as it’s festival/drama/local theatre centred, we’ll definitely give it a look!