The Arts Centre Box Office and the Red Carpet Review!

Hello all! I hope you’ve had a good start to October and are enjoying this spooky season (I know I am!).

I am writing this after going to one of the many theatre shows that are performed within Edge Hill itself in the Arts Centre! As a Performing Arts student, I practically live within the Arts Centre, and I couldn’t love it any more. There are so many wonderful rehearsal spaces, teachers who are there whenever you need them, but most of all there’s the Box Office and the lovely staff there to greet you! Here you can book tickets to see theatrical performances of all genres, or screenings of films or shows by the National Theatre or the Royal Shakespeare Company. And as an Edge Hill Uni student, you even get 4 free tickets a semester!

I did two posts previously on what is offered here, which I will link just below:

The Arts Centre Box Office- Theatre Galore!

The Arts Centre (FREE!) Membership

The main reason I am writing this article is because, although these tell you the fabulous stuff that you can be a part of within the Arts Centre, I’ve never given a full example of the kind of show you can see at the Arts Centre. There are comedies, tragedies, contemporary performances and classics. The one I’ll be reviewing is Red Carpet by the Confiança Collaborative Theatre Co., which was an intriguing collective of humour, dark and sensitive subject matter and amazing visuals!

The Confiança Collaborative Theatre Co. base their work around mental health issues which are very much not talked about in society- although we’ve come a long way with mental health awareness, it is still very taboo in many ways in society, so I think their work is much needed within such an expressive and meaningful medium as theatre. This show in particular has been scheduled at Edge Hill to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, with the first performance occurring yesterday at 6pm, the second and third occurring today at 2:30pm and 7:30pm and the last performance occurring on Saturday at 7:30.

Red Carpet, as described by the company, is “a comedy, a drama… a tragedy, a life!”. If I was to describe the show myself in a short sentence like that, it’d definitely be “a creative, funny, yet heartbreaking way to show the effects of depression and mental illness”. But it was so much more than that! Once the doors were open, we were allowed to walk into the Rose Theatre, where it was being performed, and was greeted by an amazing set of cascading white fabric on either side of the stage, littered with cans of soup, shopping baskets and other common life debris, a wedding dress hanging from the ceiling paired with red flowers, and what appeared to be a cafe. At the back stood the character of Susan, the main role in this play, eating slices of toast.

Once everyone was in and the show was starting, the opening scene showed a cafe day unfolding, laced with silly and pun-based humour. It was a lovely, lighthearted opening which introduced several of the characters beautifully, and this humour paved the way for the darker subject matter within the play to be performed and not leave the audience feeling miserable upon leaving the theatre- something that is super important when it comes to creating material based around mental health!

The afore-mentioned ‘darker subject matter’ surrounds the character of Susan, and the fact she has been suffering from depression, and has attempted to take her own life. The thing I loved the most about this play is that you don’t get all the information about what happened and what is happening onstage from the start- you piece things together from different scenes and I even learnt knew things about all the characters right in the very last few seconds of the play. This lends itself perfectly to the less comical moments, as you hear her family and friends talking to her in the hospital, which both gives you more of an idea of what happened, and also eases the audience into topics that might otherwise be jolting to an audience upon surfacing.

Overall, I will not hesitate to say that this is one of the best, creative and well-handled pieces of contemporary theatre and performance I have ever seen. Being someone who loves anything that promotes such a good thing as mental health awareness and also loves performances that have a dark edge to them, maybe it played right into my hands, but this is definitely the type of play that has something for everyone.

So, if you are interested in seeing one of the many performances on offer at the Uni and are around or close to Edge Hill for the performance tomorrow at 7:30 I’d recommend you do! Of course, it’s not the only genre and type of performance you can see at the Uni, but it’ll give you your first insight into what kind of stuff there is! If you are wanting to bring someone under the age of 12 though, they are not permitted due to the nature of the performance- there is some strong language, and obviously some strong subject matter!

Below I’ve linked a follow up to this blog where I talked to the cast about Red Carpet and what Edge Hill offers its students and alumni!

Interview with the Red Carpet Cast: Employability and Edge Hill’s Future Opportunities

A Night In On Campus

With University fast approaching, you might be panicked about the social side of thing. Making friends was something I worried about, but what about once you have friends – but don’t like the idea of clubbing? If you aren’t keen on going out, whether it be to Liverpool, Ormskirk or Social, but still want to socialise or do something different, here’s a bunch of options you might want to consider.

Staying in, not drinking

If you’re not a fan of drinking – don’t fret! You’re not the only one, and you’ll be sure to find others you aren’t that keen on it either; societies and the fresher’s Facebook page/group are a great resource for finding others. (Of course, maybe you do like to drink, but just not this particular night).

Why not host a movie night? Either decide on a genre or specific film beforehand or vote once everyone has gathered (try and persuade the guest with the best tv/most comfortable seats to host 😉 ). If you’re not feeling a film, you could play some board/tabletop games, nothing tests a friendship like a game of Monopoly (and did you know that Edge Hill have their very own version?) Still fancy a game but not of the board variety? Why not play a murder mystery or a DnD campaign?

Staying in, but drinking

So you ARE a fan of drinking but still don’t (feel) like clubbing. The above options still apply obviously, but if you feel like it, you could co-opt most of the above to include drinking. For example, a movie night featuring some drinking games – my

suggestions would be the Rocky Horror drinking game, a Harry Potter drinking game, or anime roulette. Many board games too can be adapted to include drinking, including chess! Outside of board games, there are always the usual drinking games (eg. Irish poker, Ring of Fire, the Picolo app), but might I bring Paranoia to your attention – it’s not a drinking game, but better played not quite sober.

Another thing to consider is a live reading drinking game – very similar to the movie drinking games, but this time with a book or my personal favourite, a fanfiction – specifically My Immortal.

(Just remember to respect your flatmates and neighbours by keeping the noise down when it gets late and following securities wishes if you get a noise complaint.)

Something else on campus

Let’s not forget that Edge Hill campus’ Art’s Centre hosts a number of events throughout the year. There’s Free Film Friday, an amazing event held almost every Friday of the academic year that I have made use of many times; Open Mic Nights, held numerous times a year; and plenty of other performances and productions held all across the year.

Theatre Screenings- National Theatre, RCS and more!

Hello all, hope you’ve had a wonderful week so far!

I’ve made previous posts on what Edge Hill’s own wonderful Arts Centre offer to students and the surrounding public (these will be linked at the bottom of the post!), and although I’ve mentioned the Theatre Screenings briefly, I thought I’d provide a little more detail on these!

These screenings usually occur in the Studio Theatre, which has a huge projection screen; it’s like being at the movies! The screenings are streamed live from the best London theatres, and as they are filmed from several angles, you get to see theatre like you never have done before! I went to see Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera, and what I loved about it was that there were some camera angles that I never would have seen unless I’d bought really expensive seats for the theatre it was filmed from.

There have been many screenings over the past 7 months I’ve spent at the University, and more are yet to come!

Coming up, there’s the Royal Shakespeare Company’s renditions of Julius Caeser and Antony and Cleopatra, and there’s also the National Theatre’s renditions of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Twelfth Night and Angels in America (parts one and two are split between two nights). So lots of shows you might be interested in or want to see if you’ll enjoy! One of the best things about being a student is that if you sign up for the free Arts Centre membership you can get tickets to see these screenings for free! If you’re near Ormskirk and want to check out some of these screenings, click here to be taken to the webpage that will give you more details on dates and tickets!

 

Find my previous posts here:

The Arts Centre Box Office- Theatre Galore!

The Arts Centre (FREE!) Membership

Love Film?

What Can I Watch in The Arts Centre?

Edge Hill’s Arts Centre has a lot of different productions and events throughout the year, from professional productions to student-run shows. They run a special membership scheme for students where you get a number of free tickets per term. Recently, I had the opportunity to watch a play written by one of my creative writing tutors called Borderland, put on by Public Burning Theatre. I really enjoyed it and I’d like to share a review of it with you to give an idea of what you can expect from the Arts Centre.

Cast

  • Lucky Sanghera as Aminah
  • Chloe McLauglin as Kayla
  • Rob Ward as Terry

Storyline

Kayla, an aspiring boxer and Aminah, a muslim girl become friends after the girls end up in detention together. Kayla saved Aminah from a group of girls who were bullying her and makes it plain that she expects Aminah to be grateful, which doesn’t set them off on the right foot. However, they grow closer, despite the threat and forbidden nature of their relationship. Terry, Kayla’s uncle and boxing coach finds out about their friendship and is furious. They carry on seeing each other regardless and they finally realise they have feelings for each other. They must battle with their feelings and what they are taught is right. They then meet years later when Aminah is married, though unable to conceive children and Kayla has a partner and a daughter.

Thoughts

I found this play to be very powerful, it’s subject matter was so relevant and really made you think about the prejudice in the world. The character were incredible relatable, the actresses brought them through their realistic portrayals. The set design was very cleverly made use of. There was a row of lockers that held costume pieces and props that were brought out when needed – I thought that was very Brechtian (there goes my A level drama). Above all I found the play hilarious but the ending was so heart-breaking – this balance was what struck me the most as it kept me interested and wasn’t all comedy or drama but a good mixture of both. The ending had me conflicted though; from a writers point of view I thought it was very clever and very well written but from an audience point of view it tore my heart to shreds!

So, this is the kind of thing you can expect to see at The Arts Centre, but there is so much more! The Arts Centre is one of my favourite places to go on campus as it has such a huge variety of events and shows.

Until next time! 🙂

With the beast inside, there’s no where we can hide.

Imagine Dragons fans will recognize the title of this weeks entry as lyrics from the song ‘Demons’. I’ve deliberately chosen those lyrics as the title of this post because on Monday night I went to the Rose Theater to see a production of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic sci-fi horror novel Jekyll and Hyde. The song fits the piece because Edward Hyde (the antagonist) is the inner demons of Dr Henry Jekyll bought to life.

The production I saw on Monday night was interesting because it was the story set in a futuristic steam punk style London. The synopsis was that Jekyll has created a serum (drug) to rid the world of cancer and on night he decides to use it on himself. In doing so he unleashes the darkest side of him, his evil alter ego Edward Hyde. Horrors then unfold when Jekyll becomes this human devil and over the course of the play he becomes addicted to taking the drug. Other characters in the play included Jekyll’s dear friend Utterson and his colleague Dr Lanyon.

I really liked how the play had been created and the cast of three actors were excellent (making this another example of how good a play can be, even with a small number of actors playing multiple roles as the female also played more minor characters like Jekyll’s house keeper).

I also have to say that all the plays and films I have seen at Edge Hill in the Rose and Short Cuts theatre have been well worth going to and you can find a list of what’s coming up here:

http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/artscentre/whats-on/

The Arts Centre

Hello one and all!

For those who are still on campus, you should be settling in right now.
I hope you all are enjoying your time at Edge Hill University.

For those that are now starting to look at go to Edge Hill University, you’ll wonder what it is you can do at Edge Hill, what courses, where to live and what to do to relax?

One I have spoken about at many times, and blogged about before, is the Arts Centre

What is the Arts Centre?

The Arts Centre is the home of the Performing Arts Department and the Rose and Studio Theatres.

It hosts a wide range of productions, all of which are designed to entertain students as well as local and regional communities.
They have even quite recently upgraded the Rose Theatre.

Recently, I have had the Honor of performing at the Art’s Centre at the Open Mic Night they had last Wednesday (part of which you can see here)

If you’d like to find out more about the Art’s Centre, just follow this link here

Hopefully you will enjoy your time there when you turn up

— —

Quote of the Day
“In every man’s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty”

The Arts Centre

Located right near the front of campus is The Arts Centre. It’s big and red so it’s pretty hard to miss which is great since doing so would be an awful shame. During my first year I spent a lot of evenings down at The Arts Centre, and still visit now whenever I can.

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The Arts Centre is open to the public, but Edge Hill students get a discount on ticket prices, which is always a bonus! Inside The Arts Centre is the Rose Theatre, The Studio Theatre and The Red Bar. The Rose Theatre normally features plays, dance shows, literature readings, music performances and, my favourite, stand up comedy nights. There is always such a wide range of things going on that everyone is bound to find something that interests them and you’re always guaranteed to have a great night.

The Studio Theatre is home to Short Cuts Cinema which shows a great range of films, normally those that have recently been released on DVD.  Since there’s no cinema in Ormskirk, it’s fantastic having one on campus.

The Red Bar is a really lovely restaurant and bar. It’s open pretty much all day and serves hot and cold food. In the evenings, it’s a nice, sophisticated place to go for a drink if you want to escape the more clubby atmosphere of The Quad.

One of my favourite things about The Arts Centre is that it gives me the opportunity to appreciate all of the talented students that I attend university with. There’s a lot of student productions on in the Rose Theatre, including dance shows and plays. I have seen some student made films there before and was very impressed. I’ve also been to Open Mic Nights where everyone got to show off their talents – at one I recently attended there was even a mime!

To check out what’s on currently at The Arts Centre, you can click here.