3 Ways to Stay in Touch After Graduating from Queen Mary

Someone (we can’t remember who) once wrote ‘parting is such sweet sorrow’ but alas leaving Queen Mary isn’t strictly the end.

It’s the start of a thrilling journey into the rest of your life.

And if you really can’t live without us we suggest studying a Master’s with us ;).

 

Here’s 3 ways you can still come to campus and be part of Queen Mary once you’ve got your degree:

1 Libraries

With an Alumni Extra card (£10 one off fee) you can access the libraries for reference only with no expiry date on your card.

2 Careers Service

For two years after you graduate you can use the careers service including interview practice, help with job searches and application advice and preparation.

3 Events in the School and Queen Mary at large

The School of English and Drama and the wider college organise 100s of events every year with most being accessible to you once you’ve graduated.

The best way to find out is follow us on social media or email us to sign up to our newsletter.

 

Our contact details if you want to let us know any news or have any questions – we love hearing from you.

sed-web@qmul.ac.uk

+44 (0)20 7882 8910

Twitter @qmulsed

Facebook /sedstories

Instagram @qmulsed

Show and Tell @ QMUL

A new and exciting series of talks for school and college students hosted by the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London.

Show and Tell brings together influential academic teaching staff and industry professionals to deliver engaging and accessible talks for young people interested in working in the arts and possibly studying humanities subjects at university. Queen Mary staff working in a range of disciplines will share their cutting-edge research in short, thought-provoking presentations, and they will be joined by alumni offering insights into the work they do now in jobs across the creative sector.

Much like a TED Talk, these events are designed to be as entertaining as they are informative: they will provide a unique experience for school and college students to learn about the research being produced in universities and the careers graduates pursue after their studies.

Over the course of one evening, students can expect to hear from four speakers working in university disciplines including English, Drama, History, and Geography, and from industries such as journalism, theatre, fashion, and museums and galleries. They will also have the chance to network and meet the speakers and their peers over refreshments at a reception where they can discuss the evening’s talks, ask more questions, and find out about the journeys that current and former students have made to university and the world of work.

Show and Tell is primarily aimed at students aged 16-18 who are currently studying at A Level or equivalent at schools, sixth forms, and colleges, but we would welcome GCSE students too. This is a widening participation project and we hope it will encourage students who come from backgrounds that are underrepresented in higher education to think of applying to study arts and humanities degrees at Queen Mary and other Russell Group universities.  

We are keen to hear the views of teachers so that we can make this project as effective as it can possibly be. Please help us make Show and Tell a success by getting in touch and telling us what you think makes university outreach events work for you and your students. You can tell us what you think by completing our questionnaire here: https://goo.gl/forms/EkmXCKC5m9hN4kxS2

If you are student who would like to attend, or an alumnus who would like to speak at a Show and Tell event, please also contact us to find out more.

You can register your interest by emailing showandtell@qmul.ac.uk 

4 QMUL Staff and Alumni Artists to See at Steakhouse Festival 2018

We’re clearly biased but would love to see our students, staff and friends at Steakhouse Live 2018.

Steakhouse Festival of Live Art & Performance | 24 Feb | 3pm – 10pm @ Rich Mix + 25 Feb | Midday – 9pm @ Toynbee Studios

‘Ferocious feminism, dirty desire, queer culture and resistance: Steakhouse Live are pleased to announce the programme for their 2018 Festival, taking place at Rich Mix and Toynbee Studies on the 24th & 25th of February.

Steakhouse Live is one of the few DIY platforms for radical performance practices in the UK today. Back with a force, their 5th festival edition will feature 20 live performances from international and UK based artists with work that cuts across theatre, performance art, visual art, cabaret, dance and all that’s in between.

Performances include Queen Mary alumni Oozing Gloop, Edythe Woolley and current tutors Eirini Kartsaki and Daniel Oliver.’

 

1. Daniel Oliver / Chiperlatartaparty

Happening Now in the Future. Don’t eat the sausages.

2. Eirini Kartsaki / Ladder

Eirini will have sex with a ladder and give birth to plywood.

3. Oozing Gloop / The Gloopshow Episode 1

A 45 minute stream of consciousness: a love song and saga of a green gal, a scarlet lady and their boyfriend; the revolution.

 

4. Edythe Woolley / FISHY

This is a performance looking around plastic pollution in the ocean and the plastic pollution in our bodies.

See the full programme and book online here

And the #SEDstories competition winners are…

#SEDstories ran in Summer 2017 to find the best visual stories from our students’ time studying with us.

All of our SED staff formed the selection panel and the voting happened in October 2017.

Thanks to everyone who entered we will be using all entries to help us give better information to prospective students.

And after adding up all of the votes the winners are:

Big Prize Winner (£250)

Elizabeth Tan

Special commendation (£50 prize)

Meg Hodgson

Andy Bourne

Mt favourite moment from my time at QM is far more than a moment. During the final hellish month of dissertation writing, spending countless hours In the tiniest room in Arts one, arriving at 9am, leaving gone midnight day in day out. The G.03 study group was formed. If you needed to work, study, research or even cry, you knew that you’d never be alone in G.03. Different combinations of people emerged each day, but the support and community was always present. Proofreading, discussion, communal beatboxing, you name it, G.03 had it. Writing a dissertation isn’t easy, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and we did. We banded together to drag each other through every seemingly insurmountable obstacle and together we made it. The sense of community and support we founded throughout that month was the epitome of the University experience. Friendships forged in fire are sturdy ones, and ones that I’ll cherish forever. #sedstories #qmul #QM #qmulsed #friendship #uni #blessed #drama #dissertation

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Josie Durney

Daisy Catterall

In my second year I took Renaissance Drama with the wonderful Kirsty Rolfe and for a weeks we had the pleasure to be lectured by Jerry Brotton. His speciality being maps, we had fascinating lectures in regards to mapping the renaissance globe and how early modern london viewed foreigners in plays such as Tamburlaine The Great. In June earlier this summer I went travelling through Italy for three weeks visiting cities from Naples to Rome, Pompei to Venice and while I was in Florence I came across a familiar face, or rather name. In the book shop inside the famous Uffizi Gallery, home to Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’ and Caravaggio’s ‘Medusa’, I came across our very own Jerry Brotton and his publication ‘A History of the World in Twelve Maps’. I couldn’t believe it! My travelling partner and another tourist we had met at the gallery didn’t believe me either that I had been taught by the man himself however on the first page it read ‘Professor at Queen Mary, University of London’. Of course I had to buy the book, and thoroughly enjoyed reading it on the train between Florence and Venice. I could hear Jerry’s voice as I read to myself, recognising his turn of phrase. No matter where you go in the world, QM apparently will go with you!

Alex Legge

Thanks to QM & Air Supply, I now work for artists & organisations that I admired & studied during my time there. Love you QM! #SEDstories ❤️

Runner up prizes (£10 prize)

Lauren Church


Rima Rashid

Your girl just went and graduated! Yesterday was a whirlwind of emotions. Exhaustion from planning a wedding, relief at getting to the ceremony in time, anxious about the future, tears for the memories and pure elation at surviving three years of English at @officialqmul with the most inspiring, intelligent and crazy girls and lads. #QMULgrad ~ If I hadn’t studied here, I would never have become WOKE, never studied postcolonial literature, discovered so many artists of colour and been able to recommend them to you all. So even though the five-figure student debt haunts me, I will always value my time at Queen Mary and and it’s impact on the confident and braver person I am today. ~ My absence here is unforgivable but I have been reading more so some great reviews are coming your way! What have you been reading?

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Eleanor Rose Morrissey

One of my best QM memories: seeing Antony & Cleopatra with brilliant friends at the Globe, laughing as the heavens opened on us in true British style #theatre #shakespeare #theglobe #britishweather


Jessica Kendrixs

Studying English Literature i knew I would come across amazing novels written in periods beyond my life time and in places I never knew existed. I was always amazed by the novels I learnt each year and the beautiful stylistic techniques that each author individually created towards their work. However one book that resonated with me was My Place by Sally Morgan that I studied in Postcolonial Literatures in second year. The autobiography explores the young protagonist Sally telling us about the moment she discovered her aboriginal heritage, and understanding the decisions her mother and grandmother took to provide a safe home for their children. This book explores relationships, something I realised was so important during university, and female empowerment which I am pleased to have discovered a great department that continues to strengthen women (and men) to reach their greatest potential. Sally had an amazing support network with her family and I realised that I have one too with not only my family but the friends I made at university and also in the academics I met across the three years. I learnt a lot about myself but also others around me. My fellow students all see the literary works differently and it amazed me that one book can create hundreds of perspectives. I started university young and naive and looking for a place to belong. Sally at the end of the novel had discovered her place within a community that many have ignored for decades. She cemented the history of Aboriginals and the stolen generations into the public sphere, with Australian school children reading her book in their school curriculum. I discovered my place within the amazing SED community and the school of english and drama have cemented this new breadth of understanding and knowledge into my mind and heart. #SedStories


Zaina Brabani

Books, glorious books! One of the best things about studying English Literature is that so much of our time is spent just reading books, something that we would do as a pastime! Seeing some of the books I’ve read during my time at Queen Mary really makes me realise how far we’ve all come. You don’t always realise how day by day, your thinking is changing, but when I look back at the kind of thinker I was when I first came to QM and how my thinking is now, I realise that a lot has changed.

Besides the books, I love how I’m surrounded by teachers and students who love books and literature just as much as I do, and most of all, that they love to think critically. On no other course could you possibly have passionate, heated discussions about fictional characters! My best memories are having really meaningful discussions which left me thinking long after the lecture/seminar is over. Thank you to all the staff and students who make SED what it is and who have helped me to give expression to my thoughts, feelings and ideas through your inspiration in lectures and seminars.

Lucy Sofrouniou

There was so much reading to do, my cat learnt to become a living bookmark.


Anna Lily Dean


Rosie Vincent

Drama at Queen Mary has taught me to never apologise for my own work. If you come to study here, expect to make pieces that you’re embarrassed to tell your mum about but excited to tell your friend about. For example – An exhibition showcasing 52 vomit images captured on the streets of London. A.k.a. ‘London is Vomit’. ???????????????? #sedstories #bacstransfer #londonisvomit #qmul

Francesca Cross

After spending a year abroad, being a part of QMTC really helped me settle back into QM and meet new people. Being on the committee added a whole new dimension- it was like a full time internship, with all the responsibility that comes with it. Despite countless moments of thinking ‘oh my gosh, Edinburgh isn’t going to happen. I’m going to be the first treasurer in 22 years to not take everyone to Edinburgh fringe’, I managed it! The best thing about the trip was the people. We truly are like a family and certainly made a million memories. I promised myself that during my MA at QM I wouldn’t get involved with QMTC because of the time it takes up but I’m not sure I’ll be able to resist! Now over with the cringey stuff! Let’s end with a few of my favourite quotes from the fringe: ‘I’m on me holibobs’, ‘you can basically do everything’, ‘wooooow’. ❤ u guys xxx #SEDstories #fringe #Edinburgh #qmul #QMTC

Peter Whitehead

The time that the Arthurian Lit lecture had GoT spoiler slides. And that time Run the Jewels explained Hegel. Brilliant. #sedstories https://t.co/EJxuACdk5W

New Videos: English and Drama at Queen Mary

We’re excited to premiere these new videos about life studying Drama and English with us at Queen Mary.

We’re very proud of all of our graduates and would like to thank all of those who took part in the interviews at graduation this year.

Drama at QMUL

English at QMUL

 

Let us know your thoughts on the videos on Twitter @qmulsed or why not record your own memory for our #SEDstories competition here.

10 Creative Jobs in London to Apply For This Summer

Here’s some great jobs you can apply for in August!

Don’t forget if you’re a recent graduate or current student you can book an appointment with our careers team to talk through what’s out there, check your CV or application form or even have a mock interview.

1. Programming Intern, Sadler’s Wells

https://sadlerswells.engageats.co.uk/welcome.aspx

Deadline: 2 August 11.59pm

 

2. Casual Theatre & Events Technician, London Borough of Hillingdon

http://ig24.i-grasp.com/fe/tpl_lbh01.asp?newms=jj&id=120222&

Deadline: 6 August

 

3. Assistant to the Director, Genesis Cinema

http://www.artsjobs.org.uk/arts-job/post/assistant-to-the-directors-10/

Deadline: 10 August

 

4. Marketing and Advertising Officer, A Younger Theatre

https://www.ayoungertheatre.com/jobs/

Deadline: 10 August at 5pm

 

5. Communications Assistant, Artichoke Trust

https://www.artichoke.uk.com/jobs/communications-assistant-vacancy/

Deadline: 14 August at 9am

 

6. Assistant to the Director, Globe Education, Shakespeare’s Globe

http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/about-us/opportunities/job-vacancies

Deadline: 18 August at 5pm

 

7. Press and Communcations Manager, Battersea Arts Centre

https://www.bac.org.uk/content/43834/about/jobs__opportunities/jobs_/press_and_communications_manager

Deadline: 21 August at 10am

 

8. Communications Manager, Bow Arts Trust

http://bowarts.org/about/communications-manager

Deadline 29 August at 9am

 

9. Marketing & Communications Assistant, The Foundling Museum

http://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/about/job-vacancies/

Deadline: 29 August at Midday

 

10. Marketing Assistant – Learning Programme, Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising

http://www.museumofbrands.com/about-us/vacancies.html

Deadline: 4 September at 10am

Queen Mary at Edinburgh Festivals 2017

This year we’re delighted to see so many of our students and friends up at the world’s biggest arts festival.

QMTC

This year Queen Mary Theatre Company is taking 4 shows up to Edinburgh Fringe for 2017 until 26 August 2017.

  • Dead Men Tell No Tale: Join Captain Dreadfist and his crew as they attempt to awaken the mighty Titan of the Depths from his slumber.
  • Space Dogs The true story of Russian stray dogs, Strelka and Belka, lifts off in this historical comedy-drama chronicling the Space Race during the Cold War.
  • WAGGO The bizarre high-school experience no-one can relate to…WAGGO is an energetic, absurd, coming-of-age comedy.
  • Givin’ It Some ‘Givin’ It Some’ is a fun, fast-paced, dirty, edgy, enlightening insight into the taboos of sex – today.

More info here

Students, Alumni, Staff and Friends

  • Figs in Wigs are back with their show Often Onstage.
  • Elf Lyons is up with her wonderfully weird show Swan.
  • Sh*t Theatre are at the festival celebrating Dolly Parton in their latest piece.
  • Jerry Brotton talks about the links between England and the Islamic world at Edinburgh Book Festival.
  • Wardrobe Ensemble present their new show about education.

Meet our Honorary Graduate and Fellows 2017: Peggy Shaw, Kazi Ruksana Begum, Virginia Simpson and Daljit Nagra

At graduation we honour the work of people in our field with Honorary Degrees and Fellowships.

This year there were a record four people given these honours:

Kazi Ruksana Begum – Fellowship

Kazi Ruksana Begum is the producer of A Season of Bangla Drama, a dazzling festival of Bengali culture. Working with QMUL she has helped the university connect with the local Bengali community and form partnerships with students, researchers, policymakers and artists.

Peggy Shaw – The award of Doctor of Letters (DLitt)

New York born Peggy Shaw (Actor, writer and producer) is one of the most important feminist and lesbian perfomance makers of the 20th and 21st centuries. She and Lois Weaver (QMUL) have made work together since the 1970s including the WOW (Women One World) festival and with their theatre company Split Britces.

Virginia Simpson – Fellowship

Virginia (Gini) Simpson is an arts strategist who hot houses new artists through initiatives such as ‘The Sick of the Fringe’. She was Head of Learning and Participation at the Barbican, Head of Media Arts at SPACE in Hackney and has been a pioneer in bringing new-media arts to the forefront of the creative industries.

Daljit Nagra – Fellowship

Daljit is one of contemporary Britain’s most successful, well-known, and critically acclaimed poets. His fourth collection British Library, was published by Faber and Faber in 2017.

See some of Daljit’s work with QMUL’s English department here

 

Find out more about the School on our website here

What next after Queen Mary? Jobs & Further Study – How we can help!

Graduating from University can be a very exciting and sometimes scary time.

We’re here to help with some advice about your next steps including jobs and further study.

References

Your tutors can give references but please remember to ask their permission before putting any details in a job application etc. Their email addresses are in their staff profiles.

QM Careers

Please do take advantage of the services available to you for 2 years after you graduate from Queen Mary.

Mailing Lists to Join

  • Arts Jobs: Arts Council England’s jobs portal. Good for jobs in the creative entries.
  • ArtsAdmin E-digest: Good for Arts Jobs in performance.
  • The Dots: A good source of jobs, opportunities and a place to make an online portfolio.
  • Jobs.ac.uk: Great for jobs in universities and further education.
  • Mediargh: Good place to find internships in media.

How tos

Further study

Masters

  • There is an £1,000 discount for QMUL graduates for our English and Drama Masters programmes.
  • If you’re a Home student you can also apply for a UK Government Postgraduate Loan.

Studying while earning

Get a whole lot of work experience whilst learning with graduate schemes, paid internships and part time study.

Share your #SEDstories & you could win £250!

Just extended until 4 September 2017 at 17:00 BST.

We are inviting current SED students and graduates to share their experience of studying at Queen Mary through video and photography to win some big cash prizes!

Theme

What’s your SED story? Film yourself or take a photo of something that represents your time studying at Queen Mary. If using a photo, please include a caption with your story.

Prizes

  • Grand prize winner will win £250
  • 5 x highly commended prizes of £50
  • 10 x runner up prizes of £10

Each winner’s work will be used to show the School to the world and will be exhibited in a prominent location within the ArtsOne building.

How to enter

Simply use the hashtag #SEDstories with your picture or video on Twitter or Instagram or use the online form below.

The competition now closes on Monday 4 September 2017 at 17:00 BST. Please note that the School of English and Drama reserves the right to use all entries to promote the School on the Queen Mary and SED website, in publications, on School and Queen Mary Social Media accounts with credit of course.

Here’s some hashtags to help get you started:

#Multicultural #Art #Theatre #Medieval #Queer #Maps #Canal #LiveArt #Body #Gender #Narrative #18thC #Literature #Philosophy #London #Postcolonialism #Performance #Campus  #BestinBow #Romanticism

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Terms and Conditions

Entries must be made by using the hashtag #SEDstories or using the entry form. You can only enter if you’re a current School of English and Drama at QMUL student or alumnus. Entries must be received by the closing date 31 July 2017 at 17:00 BST extended until Monday 4 September 2017 at 17:00 BST. You can enter as many times as you like and each photo or video will count as one entry. Winners will be selected by a panel of judges and you will be notified by email or direct message on social media if you win. Please note that the School of English and Drama reserves the right to use all entries to promote the School on the Queen Mary and SED website, in publications, on School and Queen Mary Social Media accounts with credit of course.

Support SED graduate Scott Roberts’ new book box subscription service, SwiftLit

2016 graduate Scott Roberts is launching an exciting new book subscription box called SwiftLit.

The service delivers newly released works of paperback fiction direct to subscribers doors every month, along with some bookish treats and exclusive items!

On the site, you can register an interest and be automatically entered to win the first box for free when SwiftLit launches in September 2017.

Here is the link to the website: www.swiftlit.co.uk

Instagram: @swiftlituk

Facebook: SwiftLitUK

And Twitter: @SwiftLitUK

For an introduction to Scott and the project see the Instagram caption below.

Intros. Hey everyone! My name is Scott and I am the creator of SwiftLit. I thought I should upload at least one selfie to introduce myself and give a little background on the company. So here goes! . I graduated university after studying English for 3 years and for the past year I’ve been working as a Bookseller. SwiftLit I suppose came about when due to some unfortunate changes in the company I work for, I faced the possibility of losing my job as a Bookseller. This was a job I’d dreamed of for YEARS and I knew that somehow I had to keep bookselling in my life even if the worst happened and I lost my job. So I used that fearful kick to start investigating the launch of my own company and now here we are. . I have thought long and hard about what I want SwiftLit to represent. Below are just a few points that have gone into forming the business so far. . 1️⃣ I want to provide a subscription box that offers great literary fiction to everyone in an accessible way. 2️⃣ I want to communicate the passion I have for books with a wider group of readers. 3️⃣ I want to challenge people to read things they may not have considered picking up before. 4️⃣ I want to create a company that offers individuals the chance to connect over a passion for books and lively debate! . I’m sure in the evolution of this company many things will likely change, but the core points raised above are at the centre of SwiftLit’s ethos and I hope to bring that into everything we do. . Thank you for reading! Coming up I shall be uploading some of my favourite reads to give you all an insight into the kinds of books you can expect in our boxes! . #swiftlit #book #read #bookstagram #bibliophile #booknerd #instabooks #igreads #bookboy #subscriptionbox #bookbox #bookworm

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Vote for your favourite things about QMUL in the #QMULTopTen

We want to know your favourite things about QMUL!

From Monday 24 and Friday 28 April, you’ll be able to vote for your #QMULTopTen on the QMUL Facebook page to be in with a chance of winning a £10 Amazon voucher. Two categories will be posted each day, ranging from ‘your favourite spot on campus’ to ‘your favourite extracurricular activity’.

Share your experiences and preferences from your time at QMUL, and help to inform new students about what they can expect from the Queen Mary experience. You’ll also be able to find out what other people like too and maybe get some useful tips! Five days, ten categories, ten chances to win!

Find out more here

How to Get Into PR: 5 Top Tips for Students by English Graduate Tierney Cowap

2015 English graduate Tierney Cowap is working in PR with fashion and gifts retailer Oliver Bonas gives us her top tips for getting into the industry.

1. Decide what you’re aiming for

There are many different sectors of PR, so do some research and get an idea of what area you’d like to work in. Would you prefer the security and in-depth approach of working for an in-house PR team, or a more broad and varied role in an agency? Do you want to PR for a food and drinks brand, or work in fashion PR? By setting your preferences and aims, you can be more specific when applying for roles or placements.

2. Build on your own experience

I got my initial placement in a PR role by emailing the relevant team in the brand I was already working for, and asking if I could do some work experience. Because I already had knowledge of the product range, of the brand ethos, and of the customer we were selling to, PR-specific skills were something I built up along the way. Your job as a PR is to make other people passionate about your product – if you can demonstrate to a recruiter that you genuinely love and know about their products, it puts you in a strong position!

3. Diversify your skills

As a PR you may be called upon to support a brand across a range of projects – from editing campaign imagery in Photoshop, to arranging catering and prop deliveries for press events, to dealing with customer inquiries on social media! The more areas in which you have prior experience, the better. Keep up to date with developments in tech and social media, read up on the relevant publications and key journalists in your field, and work on your confidence when speaking to new people. Above all, be willing to get stuck in, and show your eagerness to learn.

4. Be proactive

All brands will hold product launches or media-facing events throughout the year, but within certain areas of PR – particularly consumer, fashion or food brands – the peak season is from May through to July. The industry tradition of holding Christmas in July events (where brands showcase their Christmas ranges in summer, so that long-lead publications can plan their features) means that the summer season is especially busy. You never know what will come from a speculative email in the run-up, asking if the PR team for your favourite brand could do with an extra pair of hands over this key period!

5. Have your own ideas

PR roles are based on communication, and deciding on the best way to communicate an idea is naturally subjective. From your language choice, to the media contacts you target with certain product releases and when, it can often take discussion with your colleagues to make strategy decisions. In interview, you may well be asked to put together a presentation suggesting how the brand or agency could do better (to give an example, ‘how could our brand better target a millennial audience on social media?’) Don’t be afraid to put forward your honest ideas and thoughts, but be sure to do your research – you don’t want to make suggestions, only to find that they’ve been operating that way for months.

Follow Tierney on Twitter here

#LifeAfterSED – Drama Graduate and Puppeteer Edie Edmundson talks about her latest show

We spoke to 2015 SED Drama graduate, Edie Edmundson about her time at Queen Mary, her career so far and her latest show The Old Woman Made of Stardust which is coming to Theatre N16 on 27 October 2016. 

theoldwomanmadeofstardustTell us about ‘The Old Woman Made of Stardust’ and how the project came about?

The first glimmers of the play appeared during my final year at QM, when I rediscovered a letter my Gran wrote for me before she died. It was a beautifully written letter – some of it has made it into the show! The tone of the letter perfectly struck a balance between softening the blow for a young child (I was 8 at the time), and maintaining clarity about the reality of death. I decided to turn the letter into a play!

Things sparked into life thanks to the Queen Mary Theatre Company. I was able to put the play on as part of the New Writer’s Festival and from there it was chosen for the Fuel London Student Drama Festival. I have always loved puppetry, and I wrote my dissertation on the relationship between puppetry and childhood – particularly how puppet theatre can be used to help children deal with trauma. Puppets can help break down the barriers of self-consciousness and distil complicated issues.

My research – and a puppetry course I took after leaving uni – prompted me to revisit ‘The Old Woman Made of Stardust’, to develop it into something which could help promote honest and open conversations about how the grief caused by bereavement can affect children and their families.

 

What can an audience expect to experience in the show?

The show is aimed at families, and I hope it will appeal to audiences of all ages. It tells the story of Lily, a little girl who loves to look at the stars. Lily and her Gran play games together, dreaming up constellations and flying like birds. What kind of bird would you be? But when Gran dies, Lily’s vivid imagination catapults her into a strange and tangled forest as she tries to find her way through the grief and make sense of death. Lily’s world is full of magic and colour, a place of paper birds, talking foxes and shooting stars. It is a world turned upside down by the loss of her Grandmother. The play uses innovative puppetry and original music to create a magical world and tell a heart warming, hopeful story or love, loss and growing up.

 

Puppet Theatre Barge

What else have you been up to since graduating from Queen Mary?

I’ve been very busy! Straight after uni I started training to be a puppeteer on the Puppet Theatre Barge in Little Venice (a wonderful place everyone should visit!), and I did an intensive ten week course at the Curious School of Puppetry in Bethnal Green. From there, I’ve teamed up with some fellow puppeteers to start a company called Wondering Hands who use puppetry to investigate complicated issues – our other show is about sex and consent! Alongside working part time at Wilton’s Music Hall (great local venue!) and the Barbican, I’m just about to start rehearsals as a puppeteer for The Little Match Girl at the Sam Wannamaker Playhouse this Christmas. It feels like a lot has happened since leaving QM….!

 

What was your favourite thing about studying at Queen Mary?

Studying Drama at QM really opened my eyes to a wide range of live art and performance I would not have come across otherwise. The work we studied and also the incredible work created by students as part of the course and through QMTC really broadened my horizons when it came to my options post uni. The course encouraged me to interrogate art and performance and place it in a wider context in a way I had never done before – something I think is very useful for anyone considering a career in the arts! I think my favourite thing about QM in general probably has to be the location… the East End has so many great venues and interesting things going on. And coming from a small town in Devon, the chance to meet people from all over the world was brilliant.

 

What advice would you give current students that you wish you’d known before starting at university?

Get involved in societies! It was my involvement with the Theatre Company which introduced me to some fantastic friends and helped me gain some valuable practical skills. There are so many great societies at QM, and they need students to make them grow! I wish I’d had the confidence to get more involved with political societies such as QM Equality, I was always hovering on the fringes but never quite got stuck in. I think now more than ever students need to have a voice, and it’s getting together for common goals in societies that can give people the experience and community needed to make things happen!