English and Drama Newsletter April 2019

Welcome to the April Newsletter.

We’re looking for students to profile on our blog, social media. If you’re interested click the button below and become part of our School’s history.

Above: Watch English with Creative Writing student Mahima Tyagi’s moving short film poem here.

Events

Queen Mary Theatre Company: Edinburgh Auditions
April | QMUL, Mile End

Queen Mary Theatre Company are looking for new actors and backstage crew for this year’s Edinburgh Fringe trip! The four pieces of new writing cover a wide expanse of contemporary topics, from the first humans on Mars and Artificial Intelligence, to girls in rock songs and … kidnapping? To find out more and how you can audition/get involved, head to our website.

unDisturbed
5-6 April | Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington

BA (Hons) Drama student and Royal Albert Hall Young Producer Francesca Kamil is helping to present new unDISTURBED events series.

Francesca says: ‘Saturday is a celebration of resisting with a collective of fierce Drag Queens with down syndrome, female drum and bass beatbox power from Kimmy Beatbox, Steamdown who jump off the sonic springboard of Afrofuturism, grime and future soul, all fused together with the fearless spontaneity of jazz AMONG OTHER SURPRISES AND DELIGHTS.’

The Sick of the Fringe: Care and Destruction
6-7 April | Wellcome Collection, Euston

Join our very own performance provocateurs Daniel Oliver, Lois Weaver and Martin O’Brien for a festival of performances and conversations around health, care and social justice.

Dumped by Emily Howarth (Drama graduate)
12 April | Overlock Arts, Hackney

Catch a preview of Emily’s new show described as: ‘Part stand-up, part music performance and part emotional unraveling, ‘Dumped’ is about surviving through song.’

Queer-feminist Ecocriticism in Live Art & Visual Culture
13 April | QMUL, Mile End

Queer-feminist Ecocriticism in Live Art & Visual Cultures is a one-day international conference that brings together artists, theorists and activists to cover topics ranging from non-human ethics to ecosexuality.

Image credit: Nadja Verena Marcin, Ophelia (Still 3), 2017. Photo: Marque DeWinter. Courtesy the artist & 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel.

Drama Taster Day
29 April | QMUL, Mile End

If you’re interested in making theatre, social activism and exploring radical new ideas then this taster is for you. You’ll experience both practical and theoretical workshops, led by our academics and hear about the career prospects of Queen Mary Drama graduates.

Identify : a research network for neurodivergent students
3 May | QMUL, Mile End

Identify is a postgraduate study group that will meet regularly to build a research cohort within English and Drama. The group identify as having Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD), including dyslexia, dyspraxia and other neurodivergent ways of being that impact our study patterns, academic activities, and research outputs. 

Their second meeting will be held on Friday 3rd May from 4-6pm in room 2.18, Arts Two. All are welcome. If anyone requires directions or wants to get in touch for more information, they’re welcome to email John Dunn on j.l.o.dunn@qmul.ac.uk.

News


Nadia Atia (English) and Ruby Tuke (English) both won Education Awards for Postgraduate Teaching Champion and Assessment and Feedback Champion respectively. Many other staff members were nominated and shortlisted across multiple categories. Find out more about some of the shortlisted candidates here. Read Nadia’s latest published piece Death and Mourning in Contemporary Iraqi Texts.

Shahidha Bari‘s new book Dressed: The Secret History of Clothes  (pictured above) has been recommended as one of the The 30 Best Non-Fiction Books of 2019 by Stylist Magazine.

BBC Free Thinking Festival in Gateshead featured lively debate around the emotions including Shahidha Bari hosting a debate on anger and Jen Harvie on The Actors’ Guide to the Emotions.

Shane Boyle (Drama)’s co-edited book Postdramatic Theatre and Form has been published this month.

Jerry Brotton (English) takes to BBC Radio 3 to go in search of the ancient and very beautiful idea that places music at the centre of our universe: the Harmony of the Spheres. Listen here

Ali Campbell (Drama)’s The Theatre of the Oppressed in Practice Today: An Introduction to the Work and Principles of Augusto Boalbook has been published through Bloomsbury.

Elf Lyons (Drama graduate) was featured in a Guardian interview: ‘It’s the comedy economy, stupid! Elf Lyons on the true cost of standup’.

Maggie Inchley and the Verbatim Formula team including Clarice Montero (Drama student) have presented to government twice recently on real experiences of the care system to the Minister for Children and the testimonies of current students to the Office for Students.

Network: The QMUL Centre for the Creative and Cultural Economy Get a spring update from the creative industries hub here.

Martin O’Brien (Drama) is featured on a BBC Sounds special called Ouch: Disability Talk: The Artist Who Believes He’s A Zombie Listen here

Barbara Taylor (English and History) profiles loneliness in Are we more lonely than our ancestors? for BBC.

Nadia Valman (English)’s Brick Lane Traces event projected the history of the East London hotspot at key sites. Pictured above: Roshanara, thought to be the first Bengali woman in Brick Lane in the 1950s, projected on the now derelict Seven Stars pub in Brick Lane, where she liked to hang out. Photograph by Raju Vaidyanathan. From the collaboration with projection artist Karen Crosby.

Lois Weaver (Drama) wins Lois wins The Hawking Award for
Developed Understanding of Public Engagement.

Spring Update from Network: The QMUL Centre for the Creative and Cultural Economy

We caught up with Professor Morag Shiach to talk about the latest from Network: The QMUL Centre for the Creative and Cultural Economy, which is based in the School of English and Drama. The centre has been involved in a number of international collaborations over recent weeks.

In February it participated in a workshop with researchers at the Laboratory of Excellence for the Creative and Cultural Economy in Paris, exploring how researchers from QM might work with them in the future. Colleagues from English and Drama, Business and Management, and Law shared their research on creative clusters, digital innovation, and intellectual property.

Last week Network welcomed to QM a delegation of policymakers and creative economy practitioners from Egypt and Indonesia, who were part of the British Council project Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies (DICE).

The workshop presented QM’s work on arts and social transformation, on social inclusion in the creative economy, and on digital platforms for craft. Finally, Network has just been invited to undertake some consultancy for the British Council focussed on the development of effective methods of assessment and evaluation for creative hubs in Thailand. This will work particularly with ‘hyperlocal’ creative hubs, co-creating effective and robust approaches to understanding what works for them.

Get tickets for ‘unDISTURBED’ at Royal Albert Hall co-produced by Drama student Francesca Kamil

We caught up with BA (Hons) Drama student Francesca Kamil and Royal Albert Hall Young Producer to talk about their new unDISTURBED events series.

Here’s what she told us…

This tower of imperialism has let in lil’ old me and others in, and over the last 6 months we’ve set up some events which are really different to their usual programming. These events are called unDISTURBED and taste like fine wine.

The events are all things on Stillness (Fri 5th April) and all things Resistance (Sat 6th April), with a sexy and career helping panel on working with resistance called Making Waves which is only £5. The panel includes a really special drama facilitator working on the front lines in prisons, as well as Gal-dem and Azeema magazine founders and a music therapist. 


Rakaya Esime Fetuga

The Friday has an earth ritual in one room from performance collective IntimateAnimals, with ambient music in the other space. Saturday is a celebration of resisting with a collective of fierce Drag Queens with down syndrome, female drum and bass beatbox power from Kimmy Beatbox, Steamdown who jump off the sonic springboard of Afrofuturism, grime and future soul, all fused together with the fearless spontaneity of jazz AMONG OTHER SURPRISES AND DELIGHTS

Come! It’ll be a lot of fun, buy tickets now and enjoy redefining this space.

(Royal Albert Hall is beautiful and if you’re not from London and have never been it is a MUST-SEE)

Why should you complete the National Student Survey?

Why should you take part?

  • The NSS provides you with the opportunity to provide feedback on your whole learning experience.
  • Feedback from the NSS will be used to improve the experience for future students just as you have benefitted from previous students’ feedback.
  • The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete online.
  • The NSS is run by an independent market research company and all answers are anonymous.
  • The NSS is an opportunity to make your voice heard in a nationally recognised format.
  • Results are made publicly available to help prospective students make informed decisions of where and what to study.
  • The Students’ Union is supportive of the NSS.
  • You can claim a £5 reward for taking part. Simply forward your NSS completion confirmation email to tell-us@qmul.ac.uk.

New poetry short film from English with Creative Writing Student: Mahima Tyagi

We are excited to share our second year BA (Hons) English with Creative Writing student Mahima Tyagi’s new poetry based short film. Please do let her know what you think in the Youtube comments.

If you have something you would like us to share via our channels please email sed-web@qmul.ac.uk.

Auditions for QMTC at Edinburgh Fringe 2019

In August Queen Mary Theatre Company will be taking four shows to the Edinburgh Fringe for two weeks.

If you would like the chance to perform in one of the biggest performance festivals in the world, then come along to one of the auditions that are taking place throughout the rest of March and April.

Information about our four shows, auditions and the festival can be found on the QMTC website using this link:

http://www.qmtc.co.uk/edinburgh-fringe-show-auditions.html

Clicking the title of each show will take you to the Facebook event.

Summer School 2019: Apply now for our ‘London Performance: Past and Present’ & ‘Global Shakespeare’ Courses

The QMUL Summer School offers you the opportunity to discover what it’s like to study at a top British university, while living in one of the coolest parts of London.


Global Shakespeare

22 July – 9 August 2019

How and why are Shakespeare’s plays performed, filmed, read and taught from China to Chile, from Singapore to South Africa? What makes Shakespeare a “global” force?  Shakespeare’s plays display the vast panoply of human desires and emotions: from passionate love to bewildering fear, from unswerving loyalty to basest envy, from the noblest instances of self-sacrifice to the desire to inflict unspeakable pain. His depictions of these emotions are often shocking in their vividness, yet always recognisable as fundamental facets of human experience. This course will look at Shakespeare’s afterlives in different parts of the world, and include hands-on workshops in which we will try out different possible ways of interpreting “global” plays like Antony and Cleopatra.

London Performance Past and Present

22 July – 9 August 2019

This module draws on London’s rich theatre and performance history, and the wide-ranging opportunities the city offers to engage with historical and contemporary theatre and performance. It explores how historical, social, cultural and architectural contexts produce meaning through theatre and performance. It introduces you to a range of ways of analysing plays and performances in relation to the conditions in which they were created.  We will cover a range of historical periods and genres including, for example,  Shakespeare and his contemporaries, eighteenth and nineteenth-century theatre, contemporary theatre, and performance beyond the literary play text (e.g. Live Art and performance art, club and pub performance, performance in galleries, sound walks). The module includes regular field trips to performances and other relevant locations.

STUDENT STRESS BUSTER FAIR – Tuesday 26 March 2019 in ArtsOne

Brexit may be dividing our country but next week ArtsOne schools are uniting for a STUDENT STRESS BUSTER FAIR.

All students are welcome but particularly third years.

Tuesday 26 March 2019 – ArtsOne Foyer – 11am-2pm – Free, no booking required

  • School of Politics and International Relations, School of English and Drama and the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film will be hosting an Arts One Student Stress Buster fair on Tuesday, 26th March from 11am-2pm in the foyer of Arts One.
  • Come and meet staff and get information on QMUL support services, mental and emotional health, careers counselling and well being activities.
  • Talk to staff about  concerns you may have about exams or dissertations and give us your views and ideas on how QMUL can improve support for students.
  • Freebies include fruit/donuts/anti-stress balls and mini plants.

No need to book, just pop by our information stand.

New Augusto Boal Book from our very own Ali Campbell Published Today: ‘The Theatre of the Oppressed in Practice Today’

Dr Ali Campbell introduces the new book:

I’m delighted to announce publication of my book: The Theatre of the Oppressed in Practice Today: An Introduction to the work and principles of Augusto Boal on 21st March.

“The book aims to open up to a new generation of students, researchers and practitioners the techniques of my dear friend and teacher Augusto Boal.  Boal, the legendary pioneer of the Theatre of the Oppressed movement, created over a prolific lifetime the revolutionary participatory techniques of Forum and Image Theatre. Through these activities, communities worldwide have been empowered to explore the issues they face through the language of radical participatory performance.

This book tracks my own thirty years on that life-changing journey, through practical examples, conversations and hands-on ‘recipes’, distilling what I have learned through practice, for the reader to use and in turn, to adapt.  Boal more than most contemporary practitioners has been exhaustively theorized but the practical elements have been missing.

From the first discussions with my publishers – Bloomsbury – I have sought to use practical examples to bring the underlying principles of the work to life as vividly and honestly as possible.

I use my own stories and the adaptations of techniques I have co-created with groups across three decades and five continents to do this. In the second half of the book I invite the inspiring people I have been privileged to work with to share back with me, always grounding our discussions (and disagreements!) in lived experience.

I hope this book finds a place with you and fulfills its intention to do a service to the Theatre of the Oppressed and especially – if you are a teacher as I am – opens up to new theatre-makers the work of one of the greatest teachers I have ever known.”

Ali Campbell on working with the local community (2014) from QMUL School of English and Drama on Vimeo.

Drama Graduate Emily Howarth presents her new show Dumped in 2019

We’re excited to share news about Emily Howarth who graduated from our BA Drama programme in 2016.

Her new show dumped has just dropped some dates for 2019:

About the show

‘A one woman, musical, comedy shit-storm about the first time your heart gets smashed into a million tiny pieces, and the songs that make you feel less alone with your crazy, crazy break-up feelings. Part stand-up, part music performance and part emotional unraveling, ‘Dumped’ is about surviving through song.’

Emily says:

‘This show unpacks the beautiful, pathetic and empowering break-up song genre, highlighting the good, bad and the most pitiful. The concept centres around tapping into the experience of rejection through the close dissection of break-up songs. I interweave music analysis and anecdotal material with live song covers accompanied by my badass electric ukulele.’

Young people present their experiences of care to Minister for Children, Nadhim Zahawi MP and the Department for Education

On 7 March, Young people from Wandsworth CLICK (Children in Care Council) designed, produced and performed the event ‘My Story, My Words’, based on their experiences of care and hosted by the Minister for Children, Nadhim Zahawi at the Department of Education UK.

The event was part of a four-day workshop programme led by The Verbatim Formula, a participatory research project for care-experienced young people.

It uses verbatim theatre techniques, listening and dialogue to work with young people, care leavers, social workers, and universities. The project is produced by Queen Mary University of London and People’s Palace Projects in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre, Wandsworth Council and GLA, with the support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

For more info on the project go to theverbatimformula.org.uk.

8 English and Drama Staff Shortlisted for Education Awards

We are delighted to announce that 8 of our English and Drama teaching team have been shortlisted for QMSU Education Awards and lots more have been nominated for their positive contributions.

This year’s Education Awards will be held on Monday 25 March at Drapers Hall where the winners will be announced.

Academic Support Award

This award is for a lecturer, supervisor or tutor who has provided you with excellent academic support. Staff from other eligible departments also include, but are not limited to: CAPD, Careers and Thinking Writing.

Bridget Escolme – School of English and Drama
Assessment and Feedback Champion

This award is for a member of academic staff who sets the benchmark in assessment and feedback.

Nadia Atia – School of English and Drama
Bridget Escolme – School of English and Drama
Innovative Teaching Award

This award is for a lecturer, supervisor or tutor who has explored new models of delivering teaching and has used new techniques to engage you in your learning.

Bridget Escolme – School of English and Drama
Rehana Ahmed – School of English and Drama
Teacher of the Year

This award is for an outstanding all-round teacher who is enthusiastic about their subject, shows commitment to getting the best out of their students and whose teaching always leaves them wanting more.

Karina Lickorish-Quinn – School of English and Drama
Maria Grazia Turri – School of English and Drama
Postgraduate Teaching Champion

This award is for outstanding teaching or support from a postgraduate teaching assistant, demonstrator or advisor. This is not an award for those who teach postgraduates, but for those postgraduates who teach

Alessandro Simari – School of English and Drama
Mafruha Mohua – School of English and Drama
Ruby Hannah Tuke – School of English and Drama

▶️ Watch alumnus Oliver Kent, former Head of Continuing Drama, BBC Studios talk about working in the TV industry

Oliver Kent graduated from Queen Mary with a BA in French and Drama in 1995 and has since gone on to have over 20 years’ TV drama experience. On Tuesday 12 March, Oliver discussed his career with Dr Caoimhe McAvinchey, Head of the Department of Drama. Oliver aims to demystify the television industry, to enhance people’s understanding of the range of work in it and how to navigate opportunities within it.

Watch the video of the event below…

5 Unmissable Opportunities for SED Students – March 2019

Here’s 5 amazing opportunities that you should apply for or book N-O-W including winning a trip to California’s Silicon Valley (pictured above).

1. Learn how to network Women Up: British Asian edition on 7 March

Not keen on networking or want to learn more about how to network well?

Join us to receive exclusive tips and advice on the art of networking! You’ll meet and hear from accomplished professionals from different industries who want to share their stories and advice with you.

Please note, although this event is targeted at female British Asian QMUL students, it is open to all QMUL students.

2. Meet Oliver Kent and hear about heading up BBC Continuing Drama (Eastenders)

Oliver Kent, outgoing Head of BBC Drama at is in conversation with Oliver Kent, 12 March, Harold Pinter Studio, Arts 1, Mile End Campus, 6.30-8pm.

Oliver will demystify the television industry, explain what work you could do and how to navigate the different opportunities. Oliver will draw from his experience overseeing all five continuing drama shows for BBC Studio’s portfolio – EastEnders, Holby City, Casualty, Doctors and River City – after graduating from QM in French and Drama. Oliver will be interviewed by Dr Caoimhe McAvinchey, QMUL Head of Drama in this SED event, organised by the QMUL alumni team.

To hear him discussing his career and ask your questions about working in TV, the BBC and drama book here.

3. Go on a start up Tech bus tour of London of London’s hottest start ups

On Wednesday 20 March 2019, 300 students from 12 London universities will embark on a unique entrepreneurial journey…

Over the course of 12 hours, 8 iconic Routemaster buses will take students to some of London’s top innovation hubs and workspaces to experience London’s startup ecosystem first-hand and meet top entrepreneurial leaders.

We’re offering 20 students from Queen Mary University of London the opportunity to take part in this year’s Venturecrawl.

You would visit the following amazing startup spaces:

  • Bethnal Green Ventures – an early stage investor in ventures using technology to radically change people’s lives for the better
  • MakeShift – transforming derelict areas and empty buildings into new communal spaces that offer lasting opportunities to small businesses and local people.
  • Experience Haus – Dedicated to delivering affordable education and spaces for self-improvement.
  • Allia – Have run learning opportunities for hundreds of entrepreneurs, start-ups and ventures over the years. 
  • Cockpit Arts – Award winning social enterprise & business incubator for craftspeople. 

There will also be a series of entrepreneurs joining us on the tour across London to offer inspirational talks, advice and networking as we travel. Limited tickets available. Successful applicants will be informed by 13th March.

4. Write for Roman Road LDN

Roman Road Ldn looking for voluntary contributors for our online magazine Roman Road Ldn, to write food reviews for places in the local area. It’s a good opportunity for aspiring writers to get something in a magazine and bulk up their portfolios. Review contributions can be casual (once a month or every two months) or even a one-off. If people are interested, could they please email hello@romanroadlondon.com.

5. Win a trip to Silicon Valley to use technology to make an impact on society with QEnterprise

‘On 17th – 21st June, QEnterprise is inviting two of the brightest students from Queen Mary University of London to the world’s biggest tech hub to explore what it’s like to enter and thrive in the global innovation economy.

To apply to the Immersion Program, you will need to be working on an idea that uses technology to make an impact in society – your project can take any form!

What happens on the Immersion Program?

– Access and interact with tech companies including Google, WeWork and Weebly through site visits, workshops, networking dinners and more

– Enhance your employability through high-impact learning sessions run by our partner Colorintech

– Get support to build upon your ideas through workshops on building a tech product

– Get real feedback from recruitment teams and mentors 

Eligibility criteria

– Applicants must be a current QMUL student or recent graduate (<2 years) of any discipline

– Undergraduate applicants must be predicted a 2:1 or above 

– Applicants must be working on a tech idea that can make a positive impact on society 

– Applicants must be prepared to develop or continue developing their product or service following the programme and be willing to enrol on the QIncubator program in October 2019

Details

When? 17 – 21 June 2019

What we’ll pay for: Flights, accommodation, breakfast & 3 lunches

What you’ll pay for: The rest of the food costs, spending money & any costs for obtaining the US visa.’