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The Play’s the Thing for Theatre Students

Pictured above are actors from Leeds Playhouse performing Partition. Photo copyright Leeds Playhouse.

Students from Notre Dame’s Theatre Arts Department were treated to two live theatre experiences in November: an in-house performance of Partition by Leeds Playhouse, and a trip to HOME in Manchester to watch Jean Genet’s The Maids.

Attending performances like this is vital for both our A level Drama & Theatre students and those taking BTEC Performing Arts. Not only are our students required to review live theatre as part of their course, but when they are tasked with creating their own pieces, they can draw inspiration from what they have seen.

On Thursday 22 November, actors from Leeds Playhouse performed on the stage in our lecture theatre, before taking part in a Q&A session with students. According to the Leeds Playhouse website, Partition was ‘first created as a radio play live in front of audiences to commemorate the 70th anniversary of India’s partition and the creation of Pakistan.’ The Q&A after the performance allowed students to interact with these creative theatre makers and also to engage with the process of acting out a radio drama in front of a live theatre audience. One of the students said: ‘I really enjoyed Partition: I enjoyed learning about the historical context of the events that happened.’

On Thursday 29 November, 38 Theatre Arts students attended a performance of Jean Genet’s The Maids at HOME in Manchester. The play is described on HOME’s website as ‘A deadly game of ritual, role-play and rubber gloves.’ This was a new translation by Martin Crimp and was very much enjoyed by all. Another student commented: ‘I really liked the clever way visual effects were produced in the performance.’