University of Winchester and Theatre Royal announce strategic cooperation deal

9 Mar 2018

A new agreement between the University of Winchester and the Live Theatre Winchester Trust is set to create opportunities for the two organisations to work together on a series of student projects and educational events.

Two men sitting side by side on red velvet theatre seats

Live Theatre Winchester Trust incorporates both Hat Fair - the UK's longest running festival of outdoor arts - and Theatre Royal Winchester.

The long-term collaboration agreement includes the participation of student productions in the programmes for the Hat Fair and the Hat Fair Fringe, as well as the performance of student productions at Theatre Royal Winchester. It also creates opportunities for students studying programmes in Performing Arts, as well as Creative Writing and Film Production.

On Monday 19 March Winchester students will be staging reimagined versions of four drama classics at the Theatre Royal in an evening of 'Scratch Shakespeare'.

From Thursday 24 to Saturday 26 May, students will be performing in a musical adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's Just So stories written by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, also at the Theatre Royal. This will be the final project of the first graduating class of the University's new Musical Theatre degree.

Professor Joy Carter, Vice Chancellor of the University of Winchester, welcomed the benefits that this agreement will bring to local theatre audiences and arts students. "We are very proud to be located in the heart of a city with a rich history and thriving arts and creative industries. This is a fantastic opportunity for our two organisations to bring out the full potential of our shared energies, achievements and aspirations in the arts," Professor Carter said.

Chief Executive of Live Theatre Winchester, Deryck Newland, commented: "This agreement creates exciting opportunities for both organisations. We've been co-operating on smaller projects for a number of years, and this agreement reinforces those very positive and fruitful relationships. We believe it offers a major boost to the cultural and educational life of the city."

Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Winchester, Professor Alec Charles, added: "This is a really exciting development for everyone involved. We look forward to working with our friends and colleagues at Theatre Royal and Hat Fair to develop great productions for Winchester's audiences."

Alec Charles (left) and Deryck Newland (right) pictured at the Theatre Royal in Winchester. 

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