I felt very privileged to be invited to spend the day with Chichester University Musical Theatre graduates of 2016. The day took place at the Electric Theatre, Guildford and consisted of an industry panel in the morning.

The Panel

Blayne George – Masterclass at Theatre Royal Haymarket Free theatre training
Belinda Wollaston – Actress
Mark Shenton – Theatre critic
Katy Lipson – Producer

followed by a
Panel Discussion with Questions and Answers

All facilitated by Carl Woodward

Andrew Wright also pictured Produced and Directed the evening’s graduate showcase.


An insightful two hours, full of top tips on what it’s really like to be working within the industry. We then broke and in the afternoon, the twenty strong cast, had a technical rehearsal, dress rehearsal and finally the curtain rose at 7:30. So you can imagine it was a long day, however for a working actor this will be the harsh reality if you are lucky enough to secure a role. Eight performances a week is not unusual and so stamina is very important, this day gave a taste of what hopefully, is to come for them.

Onto the show itself an eight piece orchestra comprising of West End musicians and students alike. The programme did not have a song list, so please excuse my lack of who performed what, however I tried to note a few of my favourites.

The show opened with twenty something perfectly apt and performed well. I Want to be a Producer, having seen both West End performances and touring versions fairly recently I can honestly say that the lead would give any West End star a run for their money! Bravo sir, you’ll go far.

A New World was full of warmth and depth. Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat was energetic and a joy to watch. The sassy Too Darn Hot and Blow Gabriele Blow had some well choreographed moves perfectly executed. The Disney Medley at the end made sure the audience left smiling.

The voices were strong (some almost too much in parts) However this will come in handy when you remember what I said at the beginning about needing stamina. There was stage presence in abundance along with a high level of energy.

Well done to everyone involved you can be very proud, you gave good performances and put on a throughly entertaining show. I look forward to reviewing you for real in your professional debuts. Please do let me know how you progress you can find me on Twitter via @CTheatrePassion, I look forward to hearing from you all.

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