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West End theatre experience for drama students in 'Take the Stage' project

Drama students were given the chance to work with a professional director and perform as a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ on the West End stage.

They were chosen from 900 applicants to join the Take the Stage project run by the Donmar Warehouse Theatre in Covent Garden where stars such as Lenny Henry, Gemma Arterton, Dominic West, Janet McTeer, Una Stubbs and many more have performed.

The project, based around the play Saint Joan, involved a series of workshops and rehearsals which took place both at the Donmar Theatre and also here in College with a theatre director.

Drama tutor Viccki Beck said: “The aim of the project is to create a performance that is a response to one of the productions that was part of the Donmar’s season, and our piece was based on Saint Joan.

“Students started by spending a day working with different theatre practitioners on character, movement and writing. The artistic director Josie Rouke also spoke to them about her interpretation of the text and then a theatre director came to College to work with the students, developing their ideas and the performance. They then went to Covent Garden to perform the work with students from other colleges who had been selected to take part.

“They had an amazing time. It was an excellent opportunity to develop their acting skills, experience and to work with professionals from a very highly regarded theatre.”

Student Sophie Ingram, who took part in the project, said: “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to get advice and coaching from professional theatre directors and then to perform on the famous Donmar stage in front of an audience.”

Photos: Richard Davenport