Theatre students from the University of Worcester will be showcasing their final degree work in Worcester over the coming week as part of a week-long arts festival in the City.
The students, who have just finished their Integrated Masters in Touring Theatre degree, are due to perform as part of the inaugural Worcester Fringe Festival.
Some of the students performing recently took the Brighton Fringe Festival by storm, receiving a number of positive reviews.
The first Worcester Fringe Festival, organised by Worcester Live, runs from Saturday (July 24) to Sunday August 1 and features comedy, theatre, dance, spoken word and new writing across several venues. As part of a collaboration between the University and Worcester Live, the final year students will be performing a wide range of pieces, devised and written by themselves, at the Swan Theatre throughout the week.
Dr Jane George, Head of Theatre and Performance at the University, said: “This Festival represents a really exciting new phase in the collaboration between the University of Worcester and Worcester Live, and will help bring brilliant new theatre back to Worcester, after the difficulties of the last 18 months. Our talented students have had great success so far in showcasing their work, so this is a great chance for people in Worcester to see some of the creative and thought-provoking pieces that they have come up with for themselves.”
The four-year integrated Masters course combines an undergraduate degree with a Masters-level degree in Touring Theatre, giving students experience of touring theatre while developing the related business, financial and marketing skills.
At the Brighton Fringe Festival in June, students Tisa Klicek and Celeszta Ondreasz delivered one-woman shows they had created, both to critical acclaim. Lauren Gardner, Elly Datson and Neve Ricketts’ show Truth Be Told was a sell-out performance, and they have since been working on new projects for Worcester.
Neve Ricketts, who has just finished the course, said: “The reviews in Brighton were so positive and we just didn’t expect it with a student show. I have seen the posters going up in the City, as they were in Brighton, and it’s such a positive feeling. The arts have really struggled in the last year and it’s important to remember the arts and celebrate that in Worcester and see what students at the University are producing. Brighton was a different experience out of my comfort zone, but it will be nice in Worcester to be able to give back to the staff and lecturers, so we’re really looking forward to it. The course is a great launchpad; it’s fantastic in setting you up to go into the world so you don’t have to start from scratch. It gives you the toolkit that you need, but also something to run with so we can go and enter festivals and have that fringe festival experience under our belt.”
Featuring at the Worcester Fringe are:
- Tisa Klicek’s new show, created in collaboration with local chefs, How to Chop An Onion is on Friday, July 30, at 7.45pm.
- Truth Be Told can be seen on Sunday, August 1, at 7.45pm.
- Cast member Lauren Gardener’s solo show, Short Term, is on Saturday (July 24).
- Elly Datson has written a new show, The Will To Live, to be performed by The Young Rep Company on Sunday (July 25), at 7.45pm.
- Solo theatre maker, Shea Doherty, presents his unusual perspective on the world in Hard Graft on Thursday, July 29, at 7.45pm.
- Graduate theatre maker, Aaron Corbett, presents his solo debut, Say Less, on Monday (July 26), at 7.45pm.
- Graduate theatre company, Strange Futures, present their visually stunning new family show The BrollyFolk on Saturday, July 31, at 2pm.
Whilst these shows have received direct funding and support through the University of Worcester, many other students, graduates and staff are presenting work at the Fringe, as well as operating as technical and production support for the Worcester Fringe Festival as a whole.
For full programme details for the Worcester Fringe Festival visit the Worcester Live Events webpage.
Student shows at Worcester Fringe Festival