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Dreams of London performance for student actors

Published: March 9, 2020

 A group of student actors from Cornwall are hoping their production will put them in the spotlight for performing on a renowned London stage.

The young actors, all studying with Launch Theatre & Performance Company at Cornwall College St Austell, have been preparing ‘Crusaders’ by Frances Poet, as part of their involvement in the National Theatre’s Connections competition. The performance will take place on Thursday 19th March at 7pm in the College’s Keay Theatre.

Connections is an annual celebration of theatre for young people and involves schools, colleges and youth theatre groups from around the country performing ten newly commissioned plays from some of the UK’s most exciting writers.

Performing Arts Lecturer Lydia Day said she is “extremely proud” of her students and their “dedication to this important performance”.

“We have been challenged with a new contemporary script by Frances Poet,” she explained.

The piece explores multiple timeframes, places, faiths, beliefs, religions and themes, but ultimately was written with the Children’s Crusade 1212 at the forefront of the playwrights mind.

“The actors decided, upon reading the script a few times that it required a physicalised approach in performance and they wanted to bring the text to life through physical theatre,” Lydia added.

Applying the techniques of Steven Berkoff, famous for his abstract approach to performance, Lydia explained that the students are aiming to “defy and manipulate the norms” of the script.

“The result is a piece that is somewhat chaotic and stylised, yet intriguing for this very reason. They have taken a metaphorical approach to the text and have been challenged to expand their creative thinking and physical performance skills.”

Following the performance at the Keay Theatre, the students will also perform at The Theatre Royal in Plymouth on Friday 27th March and if selected could get the opportunity to perform in London at The National Theatre later in the year.

Nineteen-year-old Sophie Filbey from St Austell progressed from Penrice Academy onto the Acting Extended Diploma at Cornwall College.

For Sophie, working towards a place on a London stage is a “dream come true”.

Sophie said: “I love studying with Launch at Cornwall College St Austell. We’re given so many amazing opportunities that allow us to work with professionals in the industry. I feel lucky to have amazing facilities like the Keay Theatre where we can make our performances come to life.”

You can watch trailers and daily teasers for the show at the Launch Theatre & Performance Company Instagram page @launchcornwallcollege

The performance of Crusaders will take place at The Keay Theatre, Cornwall College St Austell on 19th March 2020 at 7pm. Call 01726 226454 to purchase your tickets at £7 per person (£5 concessions). 

Launch Theatre & Performance Training is part of the Creative Academy, a new learning environment at Cornwall College St Austell offering a range of courses linked to the Arts. Find out more at www.cornwall.ac.uk or call 0330 123 2523.




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