News Archive

In Search of Stardom

Subscribe to RSS RSSMonday, 17th May, 2010

Students from Birmingham School of Acting (BSA), part of Birmingham City University, are taking their talent to London to perform in two ?Showcase? events on Wednesday 12 May and Tuesday 18 May 2010 at The Ambassadors Theatre. Followed by all-important meet and greet sessions at the swanky Club at The Ivy, the events are attended by agents and casting directors looking to pick up the hottest new talent for stage, screen and broadcast.

Part of the Conference of Drama Schools, BSA runs two prestigious acting courses accredited by the National Council for Drama Training (NCDT): a three-year course for undergraduates and a smaller one-year Postgraduate Diploma/Master?s course. Last year the School turned out a bumper crop of 55 talented actors; this year it presents 42 emerging professionals to a tough crowd of industry contacts.

The School has produced many successful graduates who have gone on to careers in stage, screen and broadcast, appearing in major TV series (Eastenders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, The Bill and many others); in West End musicals, regional repertory theatres, Theatre in Education companies and Hollywood movies; and working with institutions such as the Royal National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company. Well-known alumni include Nicol Williamson, Karl Johnson, Jimi Mistry, Luke Mably, Katie Leeming, Tom Lister, Kieran Hill, Remi Nicole and many others.

Important to agents, recent graduates have gone on to achieve success within the industry shortly after being spotted at Showcase. Appearing in Motherland, 2006 alumna Helen Embleton picked up three awards in Edinburgh in 2008: Winner of Fringe First, Spirit of the Fringe and Best Ensemble Award. 2007 alumna Amy Booth-Steel appeared in the West End version of Sister Act last year, while fellow alumnus Ashley Taylor-Ryhs took a turn at the National Theatre in War Horse. Following their participation in Showcase 2008, Brennan Reece began filming feature film Soulboy (forthcoming this year), while Iris Roberts appeared in the UK tour of Quadrophenia. Showcase 2009 graduates Matt Granados and Simon Silva have appeared in Theatre Delicatessen?s sold out play Mercury Fur and Birmingham Rep?s UK premiere of Respect respectively, both this year.

BSA?s Showcase events are an important way of encouraging graduate success and of raising the profile of actor training in Birmingham, but occasionally a student may not be able to participate. Already snapped up and not appearing in Showcase 2010, Nate Fallows is too busy appearing as Peter in the San Francisco production of Peter Pan. With a little extra promotion through Showcase, BSA?s emerging actors may find themselves in similar positions next year.