Aspiring actors tackle the concept of justice in post-modern Production
26th June 2014
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A group of Level 3 Acting learners from Bolton College have finished their final term with a political bang by performing their interpretation of German playwright Brecht’s renowned play ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’.

The 12 learners, who played multiple roles throughout the evening, took a post-modern approach with the staging of the timeless story, which is centred on a revolution that takes place in a mythical city. This post-modern approach was reinforced by the contributions of some Level 3 Art & Design and Hair & Media Make-up learners, who worked on the costume and make-up to create a minimalist look that reinforced the story’s powerful premise.   

This year’s end-of-term play was a far cry from last year’s magical open-air performance of Shakespeare’s comedy ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. The reason for which Brecht’s piece of epic theatre was chosen this year was its principal theme: the concept of justice and its corruption. The issues that are raised – injustice and social inequality – are reminiscent of certain conflicts that are currently occurring around the world.

Russell Lane, Curriculum Leader for Performing Arts, said: “When I first thought of directing the play, my head was filled with the daily news images of the crisis in Syria, and it struck me that Brecht’s play was not a throwback to a bygone age, but a vital and relevant piece of work that touches our lives today. As rehearsals began, the situation in Ukraine began to unfold and this shone further light on why it was important to produce the play.”

In addition to several proud members of staff who have witnessed the progression of the Level 3 students, also in attendance on the opening night were a number of agents from Manchester and Julie Hesmondhalgh – the actress behind the well-loved character Hayley Cropper in ITV soap opera Coronation Street. Julie, a friend of Russell’s, is not the only industry professional from whom the students have been able to receive valuable advice and guidance; in November, former Corrie star Julia Howarth, who played Claire Peacock in the soap, held a masterclass at the College and gave out handy hints on how to make it in the competitive industry.

19-year-old Ryan Kerfoot, who played soldier Simon Shashava on the night and who is coincidentally considering a career in the Army after finishing his course, said: “To get this opportunity to perform in front of industry professionals is absolutely brilliant. The fact that there are agents in the audience is pretty good for a college experience – especially for our final show!”

Actress Julie Hesmondhalgh, who watched the performance from the front row and was quick to congratulate the learners at the end, commented: “I’m absolutely blown away by the students’ professionalism, commitment and vocal ability. I love this play as well, and it was great to see it done in the traditional way.”


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Faz P

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