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Posted: 15/03/16

Students give Splendid performances at theatre workshop

Performing arts students at West Nottinghamshire College have been discovering new theatrical styles thanks to a London-based theatre company.

Students learnt more about political theatre and translating complex themes to an audience

Splendid Productions is a theatre company and an education company which creates challenging and vibrant theatre for those training in the industry.

As they come towards the end of their tour of their adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey, Kerry Pilcher, curriculum manager for performing arts at the college, invited them in to give level 2 and 3 students some practical and theoretical challenges through a workshop in the drama studio.

On Friday (11 March) artistic director for Splendid Productions, Kerry Frampton, introduced the budding actors to performing in a political style akin to the works of 20th century playwright and theatre director – Bertolt Brecht.

Kerry said: “This workshop has been about providing the students with the practical tools to make political theatre work and be understood simply. They’ve had some challenges but they’ve faced them brilliantly and have turned the concepts into understandable theatre.”

The Level 2 and 3 students worked in mixed groups to ensure they were working with different students and enjoyed constructive criticism on their skills from the team at Splendid Productions.

The afternoon was rounded up by Splendid Productions’ performance of Odyssey – in the style of Brecht, using episodic structure and incorporating Greek theatre conventions. A cast of three actors played the 12 roles associated with the performance and used physical theatre, clowning, audience interaction and puppetry and song.

Kerry Pilcher said: “It’s always a pleasure to have Splendid perform for us. Their skilful interpretations make literature like this accessible to our students, who not only love the energy, pace and humour of their shows, but fully appreciate the skill that’s used to create such clever, witty work.

“Watching Splendid allows students to see the theory they have learned about, in practice, making it much easier to grasp. We were privileged to watch a masterclass today!”