Jake Holroyd kicks off Performing Arts Original Pieces

Performing arts student Jake Holroyd

Every year at the University of Cumbria, final year performing arts students are given the task of producing their very own original show. Whether they choreograph, write, direct or star in their show, the work must be completely original. The Informer is previewing a different original piece every week during originals season, this week it’s the turn of 20 year old Jake Holroyd.

This week marks the beginning originals season, and Jake’s is one of the very first performances being shown.

The Dance and Musical Theatre Joint Honours has choreographed a contemporary dance piece, and has given it the unusual name dēfēro.

Jake said: “dēfēro is based on the lack of communication we have in the 21stcentury.

“This is something that surrounds us every day in the era we live in and it’s relevant to the audience that we’re expecting to have come and watch the show.

“I’ve based my piece to be aimed at students; people of my own age who hide behind technology instead of actually talking face to face.

“It’s aimed at people who are easily influenced by technology and use it as the main way to communicate.”

Many would look at the piece as a statement on the flaws of modern day life, but Jake doesn’t see the piece this way.

“We hope to make people think about the way they act towards the issue, to be funny in a way but to keep a clear message throughout the performance.

“We aren’t exactly making a statement in this piece as the issue is already all around us in day to day life.

“We’re wanting to enhance what we see around us.”

After five long weeks of painstaking daily rehearsals, Jake and his cast of eight fellow students; Hannah Atack, Rachel Boddy, Amy Cossins, Ellesse Dockerill, Rebecca Dwerryhouse, Georgia Gaudie, Rebecca Taylor and Amy West, are now ready for their time in the spotlight.

“Rehearsal are fun. They’re stressful, but mostly fun. I have had an incredibly hard working and talented cast that it’s been an honour working with.

“I’m extremely happy with my decision to cast each one of them.”

dēfēro is amongst the first of the third year Original Performances to be held at the university’s Stanwix Theatre, and the 20-year-old from Bedford admits he is starting to feel the pressure.

“It’s nerve wracking; we all feel like we’re setting the standard for the rest of the original season to match.

“I’m very confident in my cast to do the best they can and that’s the main thing.”

To support Jake and his cast in dēfēro on Thursday, October 23 at 6pm, email stanwixtheatre@uni.cumbria.ac.uk to book your tickets now.

Tickets are £4 for adults, £3 for children and only £2 for Stanwix Theatre members.

Jess Sephton

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