Academy takes the stage

BATH Theatre Academy is taking to the stage at the Theatre Royal’s Egg for a three week residence from Thursday 12th May to Saturday 28th, ending with a production of Sondheim’s darkly comic musical, Sweeney Todd.

The residency by The Egg’s in-house training school starts with a double bill featuring It Snows and The Wardrobe, presented by 29 first year performing arts students, comprising 28 performers and a student technician working alongside the professional team.

Directed by Jenny Davies, Sam Holcroft’s drama The Wardrobe is a gripping tale of triumph and challenge, highlighting stories across the decades, through which one wardrobe stands true, strong and… safe?

Bryony Lavery’s It Snows transports audiences to a small town in the UK with the world laid bare and a chill in the air. Directed by Kate Pasco and written by Bryony Lavery, Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett, this play – originally staged by Frantic Assembly– is set in a blanketed world of new-fallen snow. Both works playfully explore worlds where everything changes and nothing changes, when the world stays the same but is very definitely different.

From Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st May, final year students perform Joy Wilkinson’s The Sweet Science of Bruising, staged in the round. Directed by Julia Head, the play is set in the fierce underbelly of Victorian London’s boxing scene. Surrounded by smoke, bowler-hats and bare-knuckle boys, four women controlled by men and constrained by corsets find an unexpected freedom in the boxing ring. This piece of theatre about suffrage and silence explores feminism, masculinity and fight. The culmination of two years of study in performing and production arts, The Sweet Science of Bruising is being staged by a company of 14 students, including two stage management students mentored by and working alongside professional technicians.

The final production, from Thursday 26th to Saturday 28th May, is Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The demon barber, turned butcher, is a wronged man on a quest for vengeance, but his road to revenge is a path of brutal savagery. Who will survive in a world where man devours man? The musical is directed by Lily Dyble and presented by 15 BTA students, including 14 actors and an assistant stage manager mentored by The Egg’s professional technicians.

Bath Theatre Academy’s performing and production arts course attracts students, aged 16 to 21 years, from the local area and further afield. Young people interested in applying to secure a place at the academy this September, can find out more at: www.bath.theatre.academy

Pictured: An archive photograph illustrating The Sweet Science of Bruising; An image from BTA’s production of Marie Antoninette; photograph by Extra Strong.