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NEWS: NTU student costume designs come to life

15 May 2023

Final year students from the Design for Theatre and Live Performance (BA Hons) and Costume Design and Construction (BA Hons) degree courses at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) are showcasing their final year projects at Nottingham Playhouse.

The students are from the Design & Digital Arts department within the Nottingham School of Art and Design at NTU, and the theme across the school for this year’s degree projects is ‘Made It’.

The costumes represent a broad body of work, aimed at presenting the students’ capabilities to the theatre industry.  Some of the projects are industry-based, some are part of a competitive prize project and some a realisation of work that has either been in production or a costume to a particular brief. Some students have been working on a project with the National Justice Museum, whilst another group’s brief was to design and produce the official robes for the High Sheriff of Nottingham.

One such speculative brief this year was based on Village Idiot, the raucous comedy presented by the Ramps on the Moon consortium earlier this year.  The students met the writer, Samson Hawkins, and worked with him on understanding the text and characters, before beginning their designs. From these submissions, the Nottingham Playhouse Prize is selected, and the winner gets the opportunity to produce the designs for our Christmas show for younger children in the Neville Studio, which this year is Hansel & Gretel.

The Playhouse Prize, and various others, will be presented at the formal opening of the exhibition on 16 May, which is followed by an Industry Day on 19 May. Industry professionals will be invited to view the work and students will have the opportunity to work alongside them on their portfolios and get involved in Q&A sessions.

Helen Davies, Principal Lecturer for Design for Performance, said: “This is the second year our students have exhibited their work at Nottingham Playhouse. It’s a great space and means their work gets seen by the audiences that come here. We’ve worked with the Costume department, the Participation and Production departments and with Samson Hawkins, the writer of Village idiot, so it’s been a real cross-functional experience for our students.”

Martin Berry, Director of Participation at Nottingham Playhouse, said: “We love seeing the passion and enthusiasm these students bring to their projects, and are delighted that we can give them a platform in which to show a wider audience their work.”

Nottingham Trent University are one of our longest standing sponsors and our work with them crosses over many different departments, from costume and technical to environmental and social.

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