A group of Walsall College students have something in common with actors, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ruth Wilson. Their skills have all been accredited by the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).
A red carpet-led awards ceremony was held to celebrate 11 of the college’s students completing Graded Examinations in Performance: Acting for which they achieved Level 6 Bronze Medals at Distinction and Merit grade.
Each student was tasked with completing a 25-minute solo and 35-minute duologue performance. They studied for the exam alongside their Level 2 and 3 Performing Arts (Acting) courses.
Lecturer, Laura Melia explained: “This is the first year that our students have pursued this qualification, showing relentless enthusiasm and dedication throughout their exam preparation and final performances.
“The assessment and grading criteria called for them to be ‘innovative and sophisticated’, showing a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of their material, with the ability to discuss this maturely. LAMDA representatives’ feedback was overwhelmingly positive in relation to all this.
She continued: “The whole experience has been invaluable for the students’ professional development, particularly as many of them are preparing applications and auditions for higher level course places at drama schools and universities. These institutions will be looking for individuals with acting portfolios that stand out from the rest; something our students are building up to great effect.
“I’m extremely proud of their success.”
As part of the ceremony, students, Trinity Alexander and Summer Yip performed their duologue; an excerpt of the play, The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband by Debbie Isitt. Theirs was the highest-scoring exam performance from their student group.
The students then received their certificate awards and medals from the college’s Assistant Principal, Richard Brennan, cheered on by classmates, family and friends.
Those receiving Distinction Grade Bronze Awards included Jack Capewell.
He said: “Working towards and achieving this award has been a really good thing to do in terms of how it looks on my CV and my personal development. LAMDA are so high up there from an industry perspective that I feel I’ve boosted my acting credentials ahead of applying to universities.”
Paige Leadbetter who also achieved a Distinction grade agreed.
“I knew I’d gain a lot from this award, so I was willing to put the extra effort in for it,” she said. “It was an amazing experience all round.
“I even thought it was a lot of fun. Every rehearsal gave us a new way to learn and develop.
“This is something that happens across our college course as a whole. Our lecturers make our environment into the perfect place to be so I feel I can give my best every time.”
Ruby Allwood benefitted in particular from her monologue performance.
“This LAMDA Award has helped me grow in confidence,” she said. “My monologue encouraged me to focus more specifically on my body language and vocal delivery. Having come through that, I feel I can hold my own in any audition moving forward, especially in terms of being in front of new audiences every time.
“For this reason, I’d do this qualification a thousand times over if I could. I believe you would gain something new every time you did it.”
Next up for the students are their festive show(s). They hope to begin working on the LAMDA Silver Award next spring.
For further information about acting courses at Walsall College see here.