ClassAction is an outstanding department where students achieve great things in academic, vocational and artistic studies. Performance preparation underpinned with academic rigour sits at the very heart of what we do here as the tutors facilitate strong performance work by being critical judges and simultaneous supporters, pushing our training practitioners to be the best versions of themselves as performers that they can be – and then nudging them beyond!
This ethos has again led to our alumni achieving great things when it comes to drama and dance school offers for September 2020. Again, anecdotal evidence shows the numbers of students going into high quality performance training after Godalming are way above national averages. Already our practitioners have been offered training places at some top schools including; East 15, Royal Welsh, Central, Alra, Mountview, Arts Ed and Emil Dale.
We take thoughtful risks in the work we select for our practitioners, pushing beyond the often all too regular diet of theatrical offerings in other institutions, and expect students to take creative risks in the way they engage in the process of making work. This is what attracts students to our college – this is why we are managing to have a healthy recruitment in the face of decimation of the arts at Key Stage 3 and 4 across the country. We want students to surprise themselves with what they are capable of, and we value being part of that experience, and are being surprised anew as our first year drama practitioners engage with devised theatre work in our studios today.
We began Season 2 in January with Let The Right One in, a new contemporary text based on the novel and film by John Ajvide Lindqvist. “Let The Right One In” is an enchanting, brutal vampire myth and a coming-of-age love story performed by our Performing Arts Diploma Company in a visually compelling production that covered STUDIO 816 in fake snow to evoke the Scandinavian setting of the original source material.
Hot on the heels of Let The Right One In was :INMOTION: an evening of performance in movement; contemporary technique and physical theatre. It was wonderful to see our students exploring text and physical theatre and creating mature and developed pieces of performance, they tackled the work with a drive and a passion, which they have taken into their own performance practice. The audience were treated to an eclectic mixture of dance, physical theatre and spoken word that aimed to question the world in which we live, the societies and communities we are creating and the language we use to both provoke and defend. During this time of division and attack, it was wonderful to witness – creative juices flowing, ideas being fired up; our antennae alive to all the possibilities - alive to what is happening; even if one of the productions was from the text “The Assassination of Katie Hopkins”.
The centerpiece of Season 2 is our 360 Degrees Festival of contemporary theatre, exploring current issues and current theatre practice; in all, our ClassAction practitioners created 11 re-interpretations of contemporary texts. We were interested here in exploring the idea of abuse and escape in a contemporary world and texts range from Simon Stephens’ Punk Rock to Patrick Marber’s After Miss Julie. This work is located in the real, and that is what gives it its strength and authenticity. It was wonderful that alumni Jack Sunderland, was able to return and work with our company of training practitioners on this work.