We've operated a no extensions policy in the Drama department for a while now. It seems to suit both students and staff and ensures work comes to us early rather than squeaking in on deadline day.
The University have decided now to introduce a form to allow students to apply for extensions - however departmental discretion will continue to operate. Thus, the form is filled out by the student and then sent to administrator Sue, who passes it on the relevant programme director. This Programme director then fills in a form refusing the extension and this is given back, via Sue, to the student. It's a much better system!
Yesterday was another crazy day - but fine relief in the evening at Theatre 503 where my friend Lara is appearing in Barbershopera, which had great critical acclaim in Edinburgh, leading to this run.
I went along with Lara's flatmate Vix, fresh and apparently unscathed from working on Imagine This, and met up with another old friend Matt, who's working as art director on Holby City. In previous lives all of us were part of the Bare and Ragged company that each summer used to flood the Edinburgh fringe with eight to ten shows of varying quality. In the days before we all got sensible-ish jobs, it was riotous good fun.
The show is a blast! Tony and the Guys, one barber shop singer down, for the Eurovision Christmas Barber Shop Contest, draft in an Opera Singer to make up the numbers and overcome their arch rivals, the ruthless -(in accapella singing at any rate)- Swiss.
It's all very silly and very stupid, but so full of giggles and clever fooling that you can't help but leave the auditorium with a huge smile on your face. Irresistible stuff!
Afterwards lots of plaudits for Lara in the bar. We tried not to show it too much, but, she was very good, and we were all very proud of her.
Mark is the Academic Director of the Drama Programmes at St Mary's University in Twickenham. He has worked internationally as a theatre director and educator for the past 15 years, focused mostly on youth, community, and conflict resolution work.
As a lecturer Mark taught at Goldsmiths College, Coventry University and was Head of Performing Arts at Canterbury College prior to joining St Mary’s in 2006.
His Professional directing credits include Henry V (One of US?) and Valhalla for RSC Education; The Wind in the Willows, Jack Cade, The Red, Red Robin for Sevenoaks Playhouse; Tender Souls, The Quality of Mercy and Playhouse Creatures for the Ambassadors Theatre group.
Mark is a director of subVERSE Theatre company for whom has directed fringe premieres of Chief, Dinnertime and OxfamC**t at Theatre 503.
Site specific work includes Purka and Shadow on Icelandic volcanoes and Novocento with students from the University of Genoa.