West End star gives students a masterclass to remember

Final-year Musical Theatre students enjoyed a one-off experience last month as seasoned West End performer Matt Rawle visited The Performance Hub to deliver an acting masterclass.

The students are due to perform the musical ‘Pippin’ at the Arena Theatre in May as their final major production.  The show is rarely performed so Head of Department Sarah Browne organised for Matt, who performed the lead role in London, to come and work with the students to give them a valuable insight into the show.

Matt began by working with all the students on the opening number of the show; getting students to think about their character and the ensemble functions in the musical.

In the afternoon Matt worked with the students individually on the parts that they plan to audition for in the final production. Each student sang a song performed by their chosen character and Matt coached them on a one-to-one basis about their vocal and acting skills.

Head of Department, Sarah Browne, told us: “Pippin is rarely performed so this was such a valuable opportunity for the students to work with someone who has played the lead role in a professional production of the show. They will now understand a little more about how to work in a professional company and hopefully they’ll take this knowledge forward to produce a successful show in May 2016.”

Amy Evans, who took part in the sessions, said: “As a class we felt very privileged to have someone with so much experience take time out of their schedule to come and give us some useful performance tips that can be used not only in Pippin but throughout the rest of our time at university and in the future.”

Matt’s visit is not the first time a West End performer has given an acting masterclass to students, before Christmas Layton Williams, currently performing in ‘Hairspray’, gave an acting masterclass to first-year students.  And next month Danielle Tarento, West End producer is coming to speak to second-year students about how to promote a musical.

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