Schools’ minister visits King’s30 Jul 2003, PR 55/03 Stephen Twigg MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, visited King’s College London Greenwood Theatre today to meet the 30 young people who are participating in the unique London Talent initiative.
This four-week, free, residential summer school is enabling the students, aged between 12 and 15, to develop their performance skills by working with top professionals from the world of stage, film and screen.
London Talent began on 21 July and culminates in a performance of their work staged on Sunday 17 August at the Old Vic, one of London’s most prestigious theatres. The students will also devise and shoot a short film that will be screened at the National Film Theatre in September.
Created and managed by Bigfoot Theatre Company in partnership with King’s College London, the young people, all from state schools, were chosen at auditions held at RADA in May. Through London Talent they will learn numerous different theatre-based skills including speech, singing, dance, mime, and improvisation.
London Talent is funded by the Department for Education and Skills through the Gifted and Talented Arm of the London Challenge (GATE A).
Schools’ Minister Stephen Twigg said:
‘We are committed to creating a world-class education system in London, and one of the main aims of the London Challenge is to ensure that every pupil has all the chances they need to achieve their potential. A major part of that involves finding gifted and talented pupils from all backgrounds in the capital's schools and allowing them to benefit from the vast range of resources on offer in a city like London.
‘The London Talent project aims to unlock the artistic talent in our schools. London is filled with talented pupils and some of the best artistic organisations in the world. We need to get them working together to make sure our pupils can develop their artistic skills and get the most out of the great city they live in.’
London Talent also comprises three other non-residential summer schools in professional theatre venues around London and involves 120 young participants in total. Each venue has its own director who is assisted by a student ambassador from King’s.
Ali Redford, Widening Participation Coordinator at King’s College London said:
‘As the lead arts, humanities and education provider of the GATE A consortium, King’s College London is delighted to be a partner in London Talent, to open its doors to London’s most talented pupils and encourage them to develop their skills in a higher education setting.’Notes to editors
King’s College London is one of the oldest and largest colleges of the University of London with some 13,400 undergraduate students and over 5,000 postgraduates in ten schools of study. The College had 24 of its subject-areas awarded the highest rating of 5* and 5 for research quality, demonstrating excellence at an international level. It is in the top group of five universities for research earnings and has an annual turnover of over £300 million and research income from grants and contracts in excess of £90 million (2001-2002).
As well as developing links with Bigfoot Theatre Company, London Talent further extends King’s relationship with RADA, Shakespeare’s Globe and the National Film Theatre (with which it runs MA programmes) and the Royal National Theatre (with which it runs theatre-in-education programmes).
GATE A of the London Challenge is a regional component of the Government’s national programme to support gifted and talented education. That programme also provides intensive support at local level - through the gifted and talented strands of Excellence in Cities, Excellence Clusters and Excellence Challenge - and a range of resources available nationally, including the Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, the national summer schools programme and World Class Arena. It is estimated that well over 100,000 students are already benefiting from these activities. Almost one million children and young people aged 5-19 potentially fall within scope of the programme.
London Talent enables the students to develop their own work through the creative process of ‘devising’. They will undertake daily workshops facilitated by leading UK arts organisations and independent practitioners. Each morning the students will work with the course director, starting with physical and vocal warm-ups and group work before being introduced to a specialist arts company who will help them with specific skills. In the afternoon students will, in conjunction with the director, use their new skills to devise their own work. Finally they will create a show to be performed at the Old Vic.
The non-residential courses will be taking place at the Riverside Studios, the Pleasance and Catford Broadway theatres.
Arts organisations involved are: The Royal National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, the National Film Theatre, Circus Space, Improbable Theatre, Frantic Assembly, The Wright School, Frankie Armstrong, Stomp, LABAN and the Central School of Speech & Drama.Further information
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