Art inspires actors for final show

4th July 2022

Acting students from Stratford-upon-Avon College have taken inspiration from a piece of art to create their incredible final show of the year.

The students have spent a year learning about a range of styles and honing techniques and this project allowed them a chance to utilise all their skills in both creation and performance.

Plastic sheet scene

The students were split into four groups, and each reacted to the stimuli differently. From then they selected short sections from a range of published plays which they then edited and adapted.

The four pieces, which together were entitled Can’t Help Myself, were all very different. The first piece, Us, contained themes of Mental Health, Dissociative Identity Disorder and suicide using a series of monologue and physical theatre sequences.

This was followed by Labour of Women which explores the oppression of women and abuse against women, Psychiatric, a piece using the plays of Sarah Kane to address issues of mental health set in a Psychiatric hospital space and the final piece was Waiting for the Endgame, using extracts from Samuel Beckett’s plays exploring existentialism through absurd performance.

With incredible lighting and sound by Backstage Production Arts students, the audience were taken on a journey of anger, fear, love, passion and laughter. The students showcased amazing performances throughout.

In the first piece, amazing choreography was delivered by the four actors, choreographed incredibly by Sean Andrews (one of the actors in the piece). The trust between the four was displayed in a beautiful movement sequence. Extraordinary intensity was delivered by Myron Byfield as he explored anger through his performance.

The second piece showed the struggle of women; fertility, love and abuse just a few of the issues raised. Mai Worth and Kenzie Parson’s onstage relationship was honest and nuanced.

When exploring mental health for the third piece Chloe Tuckey and Leandro Thomas O Connor delivered beautifully powerful performances.

Niamh Ray provided linking sections between each piece and provided light and laughter in her wonderful performance whilst sat in a bin. This broke up the dark themes found in three of the pieces. This also was seen in performances by Sammy Lees and Ryan McCloud who both provided stunning comic performances.

The talent showcased by these students after just one year of training was astonishing. We can’t wait to see what they will get up to in their second year!

Find out more about the College’s Performing & Production Arts courses: SUAC Onstage