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Review of the University Of Northampton BA (Hons) Acting Graduate Showcase 2017 at Tristan Bates Theatre, London

For the third year running, I had the pleasure of being allowed to see another batch of talented actors strut their stuff on a London stage in front of the agents and directors of the acting world. This is always a key and very final moment of the course, and at no point will these people perform together again (although wouldn't that be neat to have performance reunions in years to come!).

There is little point in my going into too much detail again over the performers really as I have done this elsewhere in my final review (click me!). However, the show under the direction of Simon Cole was a neat "showcase" of their talents once again, whipping between scenes featuring duos or trios glued together by swift scene changes. It really was a seize the moment as the actors never got very long to prove themselves.

The format (and some of the content) was the same as last year, and a couple of my picks were Diary of a Madman featuring two superb comic moments from Karr Kennedy and Jessica Bichard, while there was tense stuff from Olivia Sarah Jayne Noyce and Benjamin Hampton in the snippet of Patrick Marber's Closer. I really enjoyed seeing a tiny moment again of Let the Right One In featuring Kundai Kanyama and Ben Barton, although for those who haven't see the full and really quite brilliant play might have struggled on the context.

Luke Mortimore and Tom Garland creeped us out with their piece from Perve and the lady trio of Jennifer Wyndham, Becky Fowler and Jessica Bridge entertained with the rather random scene from Di and Viv and Rose. There finally it all culminated with a brilliant finish of a scene from Morning, where Daniel Ambrose-Jones as his wide-eyed character got more than he bargained for from a menage-a-trois with Jennifer Etherington and Rachel Graham-Brown.

At the end of the show, there was a gathering of everyone in a nicely relaxed meeting where finally myself and fellow blogger The Real Chrisparkle finally got to speak to a few more of the students. There were sandwiches and prosecco and much frivolity from this likeable group of students. They have always mostly been very likeable over the four years I have followed them and that must surely be a strength to be such in this field. However, beyond that, they need strength and drive to move them in a crowded field. I hope like all previous ones they do have this, they were a great bunch, all of them and as always at this departing time, I wish them all tremendous success in the future. Go conquer!


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