Students from across UCA saw their hard work showcased in ACT’s collaborative performance of Noye’s Fludde by Benjamin Britten, in Picardy, France last month. This one-act opera, composed in 1957, has become a major collaborative piece, funded by ACT, that has seen the involvement of students from UCA as well as Melbourne Village College, the Royal Opera House Learning and Participation and Southend YMCA.
Many staff and students at UCA from a range of courses have taken part:
- Computer Arts & Animation with Phil Gomm & graduates who were involved in the concept, research & designs for pop-up features such as kite, ark, moon, stars & sun.
- Creative Arts for Theatre and Film with Chris Hunt, Colin Bean, Graduate Teaching Assistants and 4 dedicated students who were involved in the concept, design and fabrication of main character costumes.
- Graphic Design: Visual Communication with Hugh Harwood & students who produced graphic images for marketing material in a competition & were involved in documenting the performances.
- Broadcast Media: students are involved in documenting the performances.
Joy Golsbrough a student on Creative Arts for Theatre and Film student and costume designer for NF, said,
I thought the performance was beautiful, it was lovely seeing everything work together; the colourful rainbow set, seeing the children’s animal headdresses and LED lights, hearing the orchestra play and the actors sing.The Gossips looked fabulous and the costumes worked well with their characters. Although it wasn’t in the design, I liked the way they had incorporated belts around their waists and attached their shawls to their shoulders. The patterns on their gowns worked really well and you could distinguish them from a distance. They were bright and colourful. They were better than I imagined them to be.The highlight of the trip for me was speaking to the actor who played Jaffeth, he was so happy with the costume that I had designed for him, and so were his parents. Being a part of a collaboration and working on a live brief was exciting. It meant the work you put in would actually pay off and be recognised by the public. Obviously it is great to add the work to a portfolio and CV. Working with ACT was valuable as it gave more experience outside of UCA and meant you could meet new people in the industry and have an idea of other people’s jobs. Going to France to see the performance and having a posh dinner out was a bonus as well.
Liam Hollingham, Graphic Design: Visual Communication student and poster designer for NF, said
Through doing ACT project for the last year and a half and watching performances like the one that we did I must say that this performance was the most intimate out of the three; it gave a great feeling that you were made part of it. The highlight was the use of interaction and the combination of theatre and orchestra that moulded so well together .
It brought the theatre company together and really brought the characters alive. I was amazed by everything that came out on stage as it was the first time that I had ever seen the costumes or anything that represented something in such a minimalistic approach.
I think anything more than a live brief like the ones I have worked on the past it make all what you are doing at uni become real in a sense; it builds contacts and understanding the world of work, as well. I learnt that working at uni is a place to learn skills that you can then use in these situations; these projects bring you in to the reality of the world of design work .
Chris Hunt, Course Leader for Creative Arts Theatre and Film, said
This was a great experience for students. Working as designers on a professional, large-scale production like this is something which students rarely get the chance to do, and the four costume designers involved – Keri Johnston, Joy Goldsborough, Fenella Barr and Steph Bolduc – really got their teeth into it. They designed costumes which in essence are modern and colourful but which also resonate with past cultures and Biblical themes. It was a real challenge for them to work on individual designs and then meet to adjust their designs so that the ensemble worked as a whole, and they managed this process of individual development and co-operation admirably well.
The show will be performed again in England on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 March at Cambridge at Melbourne Village College.