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Arts

West End showcase for Cumbria students

Final rehearsals underway before this week's London Showcase.
Final rehearsals underway before this week’s London Showcase.

“The hidden gem of university drama courses” is how Adam Morley, the artistic director of the Baroque Theatre Company, describes the University of Cumbria as students from the Institute of the Arts prepare to take part in a London Showcase of their work.

Seventeen performers – nine actors and eight musical theatre performers – are taking part in the first of two showcase events this month, aimed at giving students a platform to meet potential employers.

The Arts Theatre, Great Newport Street, London will play host to the fifth London Showcase arranged by the Institute of the Arts on Wednesday 5 April.

“As a university committed to the education of creative professionals, the Final Year Actor and Musical Theatre Showcase is a shining example of our ability to excel across a range of disciplines within the performing arts,” Roddy Hunter, the director of the Institute of the Arts said.

In the past students from the university have gone on to work in shows such as Bend it Like Beckham and The Railway Children in the West End, national tours, TV and a range of regional and touring theatre shows and cruise ships.

“I’m delighted to support my first showcase with the university,” Professor Graeme Danby, professor of practice in performing arts, said “It’s a golden opportunity for our students to appear before talent spotters and agents in London and Manchester. The University of Cumbria has an impressive track record in securing contracts for students and I’m sure this year will be the best yet.”

Anthony Williams of Keddie Scott Ltd will direct the event with Nicholas Butters as musical director.

“Our approach with the students is a nurturing one and as such each student we are showcasing has a strong and individual identity to offer,” Alexandra Ward, theatre manager and showcase producer said.

A second showcase event will take place at Hope Mill Theatre, Pollard Street, Manchester on Monday 10 April.

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