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Review of the University Of Northampton BA (Hons) Acting Graduate Showcase at Leicester Square Theatre, London

The Graduate Showcase was pretty exciting even for me, so heaven knows how it was for the actors actually taking part. Here I was in a gathering of around twenty people (all others infinitely more important than me) at a special closed event at a West End theatre, complete with free drinks and buffet. Fortunately I had Mr Jim aka @mudbeast76 to keep me on the straight and narrow of juices after the one alcoholic one went straight to the head drink. Then as if it wasn't a surreal world as it was, there only goes and walks in Lukewarm himself, Christopher Biggins!

However, this isn't about me, this is about the thirty six ultra talented individuals who after I have followed them for a bit over a year are about to venture forth into the big competitive world of the acting community. They have though the double advantage of not only coming through the excellent three years University Of Northampton training and also being rather talented to help them in this.

This being my first showcase, I knew only a little of what to expect, mostly grilled out of Mr Jim. What I saw though was a seamless transition of pieces derived from small segments of plays interspersed with snippets of their own Flash Festival performances. These Flash moments were excellently selected considering the totally out of context nature of many of them and it was wonderful to see them again, even if they were only about ninety seconds.

The new groups of twos and threes that had been formed for each segment were also a revelation, almost all perfect in every way including the pairing up of my favourite man and woman performers from Flash. They were all seemingly perfectly selected even those that were actually a surprise at first worked.

Director Simon Cole certainly also kept a very busy seventy to eighty minute show flowing and somehow still managed to get all thirty six their equal moment of stage time, which was vital for this performance unlike their previous pieces in the course which greatly varied with performance time.

So the role call of honours are due, so to (in order of appearance) Samantha Colden, Dale Endacott, Sarah Kirk, Riley Stephen, Kate Fenwick, Ashlee Sopher, Ben Stacey, Joseph Clift, Jamie Park, Hannah Mitchell, Jenny Styles, Leanne Dallman, Rachel Sherborne, Sam Skinner, Jessica Kay, Julia-Louise Nolan, Samantha Ahweyevu, Sophie Poyntz-Lloyd, Matt Larsson, Catherine Garlick, Ryan Manning, Chloe Emery, Nikki Murray, Rochelle Halsall, Matt Hirst, Antonia Underwood, Zoe Davey, John Shelly, Mellissa Michelle, Michael Whelbourne, Abigail Benson-Ross, Tara Lawrence, Lydia Rose Blagg, Jack Smith, Steve Banks and Sam Billy Behan congratulations. The three years are over, the big world is open to you. Go and conquer it in anyway that you wish to. I await to see you on stage again soon.

A final thanks to Simon Cole, and Dr Ross Prior to making this stray out of place person feel like he was very welcome at this event. With thanks also to Dr Sally Cook and Chris Burdett and to any other people who are busy behind the scenes making this course, event and star making happen.

It is with pain that I let these thirty six leave me, but with the thought that I am certain that I shall be seeing them again. Onward and upward!

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