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Anglia Ruskin Community Theatre launches with Michael the Recycling Champion

Published: 22 March 2017 at 15:38

A costumed superhero holding a bin lid as a shield with two female drama students outside the Covent Garden Drama studio in Cambridge

Student troupe to tour local primary schools

Spring 2017 sees the launch of Anglia Ruskin’s new Community Theatre Company, beginning with a funded professional partnership for a Theatre in Education tour.

The student performers will tour local primary schools with an interactive performance about Michael, the recycling champion for East Cambridgeshire District Council.

As well as offering an opportunity for Anglia Ruskin’s Drama and Performing Arts students to experience being part of a touring company, each year one fortunate student will be selected to complete an official work placement with the group.  For this project, it is third year BA (Hons) Drama student Rachel McCook. 

The students will also find out what it’s like to work under a professional director, Matthew Townshend of MT Productions, who also wrote the script for the production. Matthew has a history with educational theatre, having previously been a member of the National Youth Theatre as well as Artistic Director of the Young National Trust Theatre.

He said of the project:

"This educational workshop is designed to encourage children to use their imaginations, identify problems and find solutions. It’s engaging, exciting and involves a green-clad superhero who needs the help of his friends in the audience to become a real recycling star.”

Michael’s costume was designed by nine-year-old Brooke Smith, a Year Four pupil at Littleport Community Primary School, following a competition organised by the Council.

Seventeen Drama and Performing Arts Students, across all three year groups, have already signed up to the company, and Senior Lecturer in Drama Heather Lilley is also hoping to recruit students from other courses such as Film Studies to help record the project. She said:

“This is a wonderful project that our students have been very keen to get involved with. Our team of actors, alongside a production crew, have brought the script to life. We are thrilled that they are getting some hands-on experience while delivering an important message to young people about recycling.”

The company will tour ten primary schools during the last week of March and from 17-21 April, and has been busy rehearsing for most of this Semester.

They will also be arranging a performance of the piece in Covent Garden Drama Studio Cambridge for invited parties including the council, local press, local schools, University staff and families of the students taking part.