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Drama students acting up on an international stage

Drama students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) had an exciting chance to perform on an international stage and learn from their peers, following a recent #DMUglobal trip to Belgium.

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Second year Drama Studies students performed at RITU-Liege at the end of February, an annual international festival of university theatre established in 1983.

They shared a stage with groups from all over the world including countries such as Estonia, Russia, Spain, Canada, France, Switzerland and Poland.

The performance was based on Craig Taylor’s One Million Tiny Plays About Britain, a collection of short plays challenging the notions of Britishness.

It moved peripheral stories of people passed on the street or overheard on the train to the centre stage, while celebrating the simple, the curious, the tragic and the mundane.

Head of Drama at DMU, Dr Tracy Cruickshank, said: “This was the group’s first piece as a new ensemble, following a new module for 2016. I’m very impressed with their level of professionalism."

Courtney Richter, one of the 18 students who went on the trip, described performing on an international stage as a ‘surreal’ experience.

She said: “There were some very intense performances which were really exciting to watch.

“We were worried that an international audience wouldn’t get our performance, but they loved it and laughed with us. This made me confident in mine and the group’s ability for future performances.”

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As a Derbyshire girl who had never been abroad before, Courtney found the trip personally enriching.

She said: “In between preparing and performing, we also got to explore Liege. One of the best things was climbing the 374 steps of the Montagne de Bueren and being rewarded with stunning views.

“My personal highlight was finding a padlock at the local flea market on our last day. Me and my boyfriend, who is also doing Drama at DMU, engraved our initials on it and locked it to a bridge.

“As this was my first time away, it felt special to be leaving a piece of myself behind.”

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Despite initial reservations, Courtney was relieved to discover that language was not a limitation to enjoying the other performances, saying:

“Luckily, performance and movement are powerful and open to personal interpretation.”

Courtney learned a few key phrases before the trip and enjoyed improving her French language skills while she was in Liege. In fact, she had such a great time she ‘didn’t want to come home’.

She said: “I loved every minute of it. We had such an amazing time!”

“I’ve always wanted to travel, but #DMUglobal made it possible in terms of funding and help with getting my passport. I couldn’t have done it without them and now I want to travel so much more.”

 

Photos by Kerri Steere and Hannah Pugh, third year Photography and Video students.

Posted on Thursday 31st March 2016

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