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Review of the University Of Northampton BA (Hons) Acting Graduate Showcase 2016 at Tristan Bates Theatre, London

For the second year running, I was honoured to be invited to the Graduate Showcase in the heart of London, at which this years BA Actors made their final appearance together. These were the third group that I have been able to follow to the end, and the group I had spent the longest following, so it was emosh for all of us.

Our venue this year was the Tristan Bates Theatre within The Actors Centre at Covent Garden. I have to admit that personally I wasn't particularly struck on the venue, the studio space was a little dingy and a tad strong on the echo. However venue is second, the talent at it was key, and like previous years this group have been of a tremendous standard.

This year the format of the showcase, under director Simon Cole, had been tweaked a little and the snippets of the actors Flash pieces had been dispensed with in favour of longer pieces from seventeen plays. This year I had actually seen two of the plays featured; Citizenship this year at Connections, and Rainbow Kiss, more interestingly for me (and certainly no one else) the first play I ever saw performed in London, at the Royal Court in 2006.

All of the selections were cleverly picked in their own right, as once again were the pairings. Many that you might not pick yourself, but under wise decisions, tremendously successful. It was once again a frenetic seventy to eighty minute show, full of humour and high drama and performed with relish from the group for that final time in front of an impressively large audience compared to the year before (no Christopher Biggins though)

I am not going into more detail over performances this time, as I have said my opinions over the last two years of this group and no one during this production let the side down. Therefore in order of appearance, my thanks and best wishes for the future got to: Tom Stone, Benjamin Williams, Aoife Smyth, Elizabeth Adejimi, Elliot Holden, Patrick Morgan, Grace Aitken, Annalise Taylor, Penelope May, Stuart Warren, Kathryn McKerrow, Neizan Fernandez Birchwood, Amber Mae, Jake Rivers, Madeleine Hagerty, Danni-Louise Ryan, Cynthia Lebbos, Connor McAvoy, Cîara Goldsberry, Suzannah Cassels, Sharni Tapako-Brown, Jaryd Headley, Daniel Hadjivarnava, Jared Gregory, Kieran Hansell, Sophie Guiver, Rory Sayers, Rhiana Young, Ellen Shersby-Wignall. Stephanie Waugh, Daniel Gray, Vandreas Marc, Lucy Kitson, Sophie-Rose Darby, Charlie Clee, Jack Newhouse. Also those not performing on the day Caroline Avis, Megan Burda, Yolanda Lake, Amy Weaver, Matilda Hunt and George Marlow.

A final thanks to everyone behind the scenes that has helped run the course, teach these stars and make the two years so enjoyable. I hope in the future to see as many of these perform once again and follow their futures with interest. I have said it before, however once again I say to you all, go forward and do what you want to do and continue to be the special that you already are.

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