UCW students bring the house down with overseas shows

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University Centre Weston (UCW) students recently wowed audiences with their singing, dancing and acting talents during three sold out performances at the prestigious George Ciprian Theatre in Buzau, southeast Romania.

The students, from UCW’s degree in Musical Theatre, performed a show called Broadway Legends featuring much-loved songs from musicals including Miss Saigon, Cabaret, Annie, Mamma Mia!, West Side Story and Hairspray.

The shows went down so well with the audiences that the performers were rewarded with standing ovations and requests for encores on all three nights.

The performers – Aemelia Hurst, Amelia Jolliffe, Adam Salvesen, Ben Hazell, Sian Davis and Saraswathi Nickson – were accompanied on the trip by UCW lecturer Kyle Davies, who also directed the show.

Connor Edwards, who is studying for a degree in Performing Arts at UCW, provided technical support, and Musical Theatre students Nancy Ling and Lucy Morrish choreographed the routines.

This special performance opportunity came about after George Ciprian theatre director Marina Hanganu visited UCW and invited the students to perform in Buzau as part of the traditional ‘Martisor’ spring celebrations being held in the city.

She said: “Right from the start, I was so impressed with the students’ great capacity to convey emotion, switching swiftly and successfully between the various characters in the musical numbers they enthusiastically brought to life.

“The compilation of musical fragments was also very well organised, which allowed the actors to play with different emotional registers.

“Most importantly, I could sense the show growing every evening, as Kyle would give the students useful feedback after each performance.

“This attests to the students’ great responsiveness and to the professional and well-crafted tutoring they receive at UCW.”

Kyle, who has enjoyed success as a director in both the UK and US, added: “Performing at the George Ciprian Theatre was a unique and potentially seminal experience for the students.

“It introduced them to the challenges of professional touring and exposed them to a country and culture they had little real knowledge or awareness of, hopefully helping them to become better global citizens.

“The cast truly rose to the challenge, and their hard work paid off with performances that exceeded all of our expectations.

“We are looking forward to building upon this production and establishing a larger and lasting exchange with Marina and the team at the George Ciprian Theatre.”

UCW’s performing arts degrees are delivered in partnership with Bath Spa University.