Best Panto award for former student

26th May 2023

A former student from Stratford-upon-Avon College has recently celebrated starring in an award-winning Pantomime!

Alice McKenna, who studied Musical Theatre at the college from 2011-2013 performed in Theatr Clwyd’s Robin Hood which won Best Pantomime (under 500 seats) in the Pantomime Awards.

Alice with award
Alice with the Award!

Alice didn’t originally imagine a career in the arts, but after joining a soul band at 17, taking part in open mic nights and covering a part in a show her first year of sixth form, she realised that her passion lay in performance. So she decided to train at Stratford-upon-Avon College: “I knew that it was the place to go for performing arts and musical theatre training and it completely set me up for what was to come!”

Alice loved her time at college. A particular highlight was her final performance in Musical’s ROCK; a musical showcase for the performing arts students: “That particular year we were lucky enough to perform the show at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Courtyard Theatre. As a college student it was so exciting to be in such an amazing external venue. Singing Defying Gravity on that stage is something I will always remember.”

Alice in Musicals Rock singing
Alice singing in Musical's ROCK

Now Alice is working as a professional Actor Musician; she works as an actor whilst utilising her musical skills during performance. Alice also thanks the College for helping her develop those skills: “I always played music, even at college I used my instruments for a few projects. When I graduated, I was auditioning for actor musician jobs and that’s where my path led. My Musical Theatre training has really helped me in that area.”

The Robin Hood Pantomime was an actor musician production with Alice playing a range of instruments as her character Scarlet. She was so pleased that the production and theatre did so well at the awards: “It was amazing to win! It’s a theatre I’d love to work at again and again. Theatr Clwyd make everyone who works there feel valued, I’ve never worked anywhere that made me feel so well looked after and protected. The award was definitely deserved, as someone who worked there and knows how much went into it – it’s magical.”

Left: Alice in the Robin Hood Panto taken from Theatr Clwyd’s website – Credit Kristen McTernan. Right: Alice’s headshot.

Musical Theatre lecturer, Alex Dengate, is so pleased Alice’s career has developed so well: “Alice was always a grafter at college who, despite often enjoying narrating bizarre and humorous stories she had created to staff and students at the college, would always knuckle down and give her very best to all she did. This wrapped up with her being a genuinely lovely person has meant she has enjoyed tremendous success as an industry professional whom we could not be more proud to call a SUAC alumna.”

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