Drama students work with staff to take a show on the road in whistle-stop tour of county schools

Date 29.11.2017

Drama students from the University of Northampton got a taste of life on tour after completing a gruelling schedule of 22 shows in just 15 days.

IDEK Theatre Company was set up by Lecturer in Acting and Drama, Rory O’Neill, and Technician Demonstrator, Tim Halliday, in January 2017, with the purpose of developing a show aimed at pupils who are taking their options in secondary school. The show was commissioned to tour across Northamptonshire.

Watch the video of IDEK at Wrenn Academy in Wellingborough, below:

After months of intensive research, training and rehearsals, the cast and crew spent three weeks in November travelling around Northamptonshire secondary schools performing I Don’t Even Know, which examines the topic of ‘choices’, and GCSE options in particular.

Cast member, Todd Lawrence, who is a final-year Drama undergraduate, said: “After the performances we spoke to the audience and we heard lots of ‘that’s amazing’, ‘you’ve really helped me’ and during the shows there were plenty of oohs and aahs and lots of laughter, so they really engaged with it.”

Assistant director and cast member, Lydia Collins, who is a Drama graduate and Master’s student, added: “To be able to spend time with the guys touring, with a company we have started, is just a really great experience.”

The company has received plenty of positive feedback from schools about the show’s impact.

Latimer Arts College staff member, Carrie Turner, said: “I wanted to extend a huge thank you from all of us at Latimer – the performance was fantastic.

“We are running a raising aspirations programme with our students and the message we are trying to get across is that if students choose something they are good at and enjoy, they are more likely to succeed. Also not to make choices just because parents or friends want them to do something in particular. We were really pleased that the performance reflected those messages.”

IDEK is comprised of Rory O’Neill, artistic director and creator; Tim Halliday, lead technician and videographer; Lydia Collins, assistant director and cast member; Jacob Morrison, AV technician; Louise Havill, sound technician; and cast members Todd Lawrence, Jack Shennan, Juanaya Lloyd-Sempress, Beth Raven and Leah Hodgkin.

IDEK is funded by the University’s Schools Engagement team and the University’s Changemaker Hub.

Follow IDEK via its website, Instagram, Twitter – or search for idektheatre on Snapchat.