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Forthcoming festival celebrates the best of student theatre, music and dance


Performing arts students from Coventry University’s School of Art and Design will be showcasing their work from next week as part of the University’s annual Degree Show.

Drama, dance and music are all on offer during the SPECTRUM 2014 performing arts festival, which runs at venues across the city and other locations from Saturday 3 May until Friday 30 May.

The festival, in which final year students present their work to public audiences, launches with a special preview show in Coventry on the evening of Wednesday 30 April. This free event, which takes place at the University’s Ellen Terry Building in the city centre, offers a glimpse of what’s on offer in the weeks ahead.

Up-Front Theatre, a recently formed four piece ensemble, is hosting and they will be joined on the night by their fellow performing arts students, all keen to give audiences a sneak preview of the pieces they have put together.

In the main house Black Laugh Theatre will present extracts from Anthony Neilson’s The Wonderful World of Dissocia.  A moving account of a young woman’s psychological trauma, Neilson’s play contrasts his protagonist’s dream-like imaginary world with the reality of life in the hospital where she is being treated.

Deuces Dance Company will be performing excerpts from their original piece Duplexity, a fusion of ballroom, Latin and contemporary practice with the addition of new media and technology.  Music in the main house is provided by Red Shift, who will be showcasing their vibrant Asian/Rock fusion.

In the foyer, Cogwork Theatre & Pit the Players will be performing excerpts from The Apothecary, a dark and comedic tale of deceit, lunacy and charm. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the building, Black Umbrella Theatre present an original black comedy, The Bee Keeper, a tale of a humble door-to-door salesman’s journey through loss, revenge, love and murder.

Synergy Theatre Company will be performing a scene from God of Carnage, where a meeting between parents to resolve their sons’ playground altercation descends into chaos.

Stage & Canvas offer a snippet from Tracy Letts’ dark comedy The Bug, which revolves around the relationship between an agoraphobic drug addict and a vagabond war veteran.

Perspective Theatre present an excerpt from The Authorised Kate Bane by Ella Hickson, a fascinating story which questions if our memories are a true account of our past, or just a version we can live with.

Lost and Curious, which imagines a meeting between Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan is performed by Carpe Librum Theatre Company while Espial Theatre offer a contemporary take on Joe Orton’s 60s satire What the Butler Saw.

Dance acts include Cut and Paste whose piece is influenced by the 70s social dance phenomenon The Pogo while movement artists Oana Rotariu and Patricia Martin explore vulnerability in performance with a short demonstration of their work.

These and many more previews form part of an evening’s entertainment that is sure to provide an enticing opener for the month long performing arts festival.

Professor Mark Evans, Associate Dean of Coventry School of Art and Design, said: “Our performing arts students have been working really hard on their creative projects and our forthcoming festival provides a great opportunity for them to present their work to friends, families and members of the public.

“There’s something for everyone to enjoy during the festival  and our launch night event on the 30th of April presents a tantalising glimpse of what’s taking place over the next month.

“I’m sure it’ll be a fun packed event and what’s more it’s free so I’d urge as many people as possible to come along for a great night’s entertainment.”

Tickets for the launch event, which takes place from 7pm on Wednesday 30 April 2014 in the Ellen Terry Building, Jordan Well, Coventry are free of charge but must be booked in advance.

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