Actor Musician Students Cast in Wrongsemble Summer Productions

By Carmen McLean

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Congratulations to first year BA (Hons) Actor Musician students Ethan Cooper, Roan Pemberton and Joe Deverell-Smith, for being cast in a number of summer performances by Wrongsemble!

Wrongsemble are a Leeds-based theatre company specialising in working with young people, schools and families. Created in 2015, the company strives to create family theatre for people of all ages.

We spoke to two of the performers, Actor Musician students Ethan Cooper and Joe Deverell-Smith, about being cast in this summer's 'The Magician's Monster'.

What are you most looking forward to about the project?

I am so excited to get back into performing to a live audience! It's been such a long time since I've been able to be on stage and perform, so I can't wait to bring a little bit of live theatre back to the community for families to come and see. There's nothing like the atmosphere of live theatre - I'm sure this will be a show for all to enjoy!

How did you end up with your role?

I got this role when Wrongsemble came into the conservatoire and auditioned a bunch of the Actor Musicians, looking for potential actors to be in their upcoming shows. The audition was incredibly relaxed and very enjoyable, it was more of a group workshop in which we presented our skills through playing with different ideas and workshopping some scenes. I'm very excited to begin working on this production and am very grateful for the opportunity!

What are your goals and dreams for future projects and what kind of work do you enjoy doing?

My goals for future projects vary - I come from a long road of doing Musical Theatre for about 12 years so part of me would still love to be involved in some musicals in the future. I would also love to do anything comedy related, either plays or stand-up. That being said, I think my main goal at the minute is to focus on my band 'Gloria' in which I am the rhythm guitarist and keys player for. I've always dreamt of playing to a huge audience in a band, but I think I'd be happy doing anything performance related as I just love the thrill of being on stage.

What have you learned from studying on the BA (Hons) Actor Musician course so far?

The Actor Musician course at Leeds Conservatoire has definitely helped me drastically through the past year. It has helped me develop a more mature sense of playing and the ability to throw myself into things I would previously have felt far too uncomfortable to do. All areas of the course help in so many ways, from music to movement, it's the perfect way to develop a broad range of skills with amazing teachers guiding us through!

What are you most looking forward to about the project?

I am most looking forward to working as a professional alongside my class mate, Ethan Cooper, who I have been training alongside all year. It will be great to utilise our skills in a completely different environment. I am also looking forward to working with the company Wrongsemble, because from what I’ve seen the work they produce is outstanding, and to be a part of that is an honour.

How did you end up with your role?

We are very lucky to have such a great course leader, Erin Carter, who works around the clock. I’m sure carries on working in her sleep! She is constantly providing us with opportunities and keeping us updated about what’s happening in the industry. Erin invited Wrongsemble to audition the Actor Musicians and I was lucky enough to be given a role.

What are your goals and dreams for future projects and what kind of work do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy performing in all types of theatre so it would be great to keep obtaining varied professional work in the future. My goal is to perform at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in my hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon. Keeping up the hard work at Leeds Conservatoire and getting work with great companies like Wrongsemble may be the stepping stones required to get me where I want to go.

What have you learned from studying on the BA (Hons) Actor Musician course so far?

A lot about what we learnt in first year on the Actor Musicianship course was about ‘yourself’ and ‘you’ in the industry. I think this training helped a great deal when walking into the audition room. I was able to relax and the pressure was off, because I knew all I had to be was myself and show off some skills. This, alongside other invaluable techniques obtained over the past year such as advanced warm-ups, stage presence and musicianship helped a great deal in the audition. 

By Carmen McLean

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