ENTERPRISING students have created the University of Huddersfield’s first touring theatre company.
Refraction Theatre was formed by seven final year performance students and is soon set to stage Tunnel Vision at the Huddersfield Drama Festival, as part of a tour around the north west.
Marketing manager Abi Crayon said: “Part of the performance course is to form a company for your final project, take a piece out on tour and promote it ourselves.
“We have had our mentors for guidance while the business side has been running as a parallel module alongside the creation of the piece and these two parts have combined to make the show.
“We had to take on roles so someone would look after the venues, another would look at the promotion.
“My role was marketing and sponsorship and finding money was particularly difficult. We had experience of this when we did our foundation degree but we haven’t been able to find a great deal of money because of the recession.
“That meant we kept the staging minimalist and the costumes and props simple.”
The experience has been positive for members of the company, with Abi and her partner looking to form a new theatre group, while others look to teaching qualifications or even agents to get started on the professional circuit, So far Tunnel Vision has played at locations such as Bradford, Oldham and Accrington
Abi added: “The show has been really successful with great audiences, particularly at colleges where we’ve had workshop events which looked at how we devised the show and got it on the road.”
Billed as a funny but disturbing and dark show, it examines mental health issues.
The ensemble cast presents seven characters who have been diagnosed with what the producers call a “mental health” label.
The show includes a frantic young man experiencing mild panic attacks to a woman battling with post natal depression.
Each displays their perspective on emotional distress in a mixture of stand up, contemporary dance and naturalistic performance.
The Huddersfield performances take place on Thursday, April 29 at 8.45pm and Saturday, May 1 at 5.15pm. To reserve tickets contact firstname.lastname@example.org or turn up early to avoid disappointment.