Posted Friday 31 July 2015
Kingston University student Oliver Horsfall is celebrating this week after receiving a Best in Fest award at the International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) 2015, beating around 100 other acts and performances.
His play, The Edge, explores ideas of grief and depression, telling the story of a man contemplating suicide at a cliff edge and the woman who attempts to talk him out of it. Writer and director Ollie was excited to see it performed in front of a sold out Friday evening audience. "I was a bit overwhelmed," Ollie said. "I wasn't quite expecting the reaction it got, but the response from our audiences was fantastic. People, including some from Creative Youth, not only complimented my amazing actors (Luke Jasztal and Rebecca Pickering), but also commented on my writing and direction, which is a huge confidence boost."
The Edge is Ollie's writing and directing debut and was originally written as a 15-minute stage play for a course module. "I am interested in exploring what makes us tick as humans and I started to poke at this with The Edge, but 15 minutes didn't give much time to round out the characters. By extending the play, the characters could develop more and I could really examine the subject matter. It's essentially an argument between the depressed side of a person and the uplifting side - two sides of one psyche - but played out by two characters."
Alex McSweeney, lecturer in the School of Performance and Screen Studies said: "The whole department is very proud of Ollie and his well-deserved win and we look forward to seeing what he produces during his last year of study at Kingston University. It is an achievement for all our students who are selected to perform at IYAF and as a department we support them in any way we can, including funding their application fees."
Ollie has now been asked to show the play to staff and students in the Drama department at the start of the new academic year, and he and his two actors also plan to tour the play around London in the autumn. "It will be part of a double bill. I am currently writing a second short play in which Rebecca and Luke will be playing new characters in story very different to The Edge."
In the longer term, this time next year Ollie will be graduating from his creative writing with drama degree and plans to have his theatre company, DonkeyDrop (a play on his surname), up and running with plays in production.
"Getting the Best in Fest award is really incredible, not only for me, but for my actors too. It's a great thing to have behind you if you're applying for funding or looking for an agent. For me, it's all this and more. While there is a slight element of pressure on me that I always have to continue to live up to this, I'm taking the acknowledgement and using it to encourage and motivate me towards the future. It really feels like the sky is the limit right now."
Posted Friday 31 July 2015
Simon Callow - one of Britain's most respected stage and screen stars - has been named an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Kingston University. As well as being known to millions for his acting roles in hit films such as such as ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral, ‘Shakespeare in Love' and ‘Room with a View' and in television shows such as ‘Doctor Who', Mr Callow is a critically acclaimed writer and director. he has been honoured for his contribution to theatre and film practice and research and to literary biography.
Posted Wednesday 29 July 2015
Students awaiting A-level results on 13 August are being urged to plan ahead in case their results aren't quite what they expected. Clearing hotlines are predicted to be as busy as ever this year but the advice from Kingston University staff is clear - students have an opportunity to stand out if they are thoroughly prepared and armed with a Clearing action plan.
Posted Thursday 23 July 2015
When a shoulder injury forced up-and-coming Italian basketball player Shadi Ambrosini to rethink his higher education plans, he didn't let it put him off his stride for long. Instead, the sports enthusiast who had originally been planning to relocate to the United States to take up a university scholarship studying biology, bounced back with another plan.
Posted Friday 10 July 2015
Kingston University's Business School is celebrating after achieving a silver Small Business Charter award in recognition of the role it has played in helping to kick-start British enterprise. The Small Business Charter Award scheme - of which Kingston Business School is a trailblazing member - acknowledges institutions which have, between them, already helped 4,700 students to find work placements in Britain's important micro-business and start-up sector.
Posted Thursday 9 July 2015
Kingston's new secondary school, which will open later this year, has welcomed its first cohort of students at an induction day held at Kingston University's Penrhyn Road campus. The Kingston Academy in north Kingston will open its doors this September to Year 7 pupils, who have been dubbed the ‘History Makers'.
Posted Wednesday 8 July 2015
The Women's Institute has joined forces with leading fashion educator Kingston University London to weave together a century of knitting know-how with the vision of some of fashion's future trail blazers. Twenty one members of the WI, all keen knitters or crafters, cast off the organisation's more conventional image to work with 11 up-and-coming designers from the University's fashion department in a cutting edge collaboration unveiled in a catwalk show at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the voluntary organisation's centenary celebrations.
Posted Friday 3 July 2015
To the uninitiated observer, the latest work from Kingston University fine art student Sophie Filipiuk might simply look like a collection of cuddly canines straight off the set of much-loved children's movie 101 Dalmatians. To its creator, however, there is a far more serious message behind the assembled soft toys, trinkets and spotted objects on which they're perched - her 201-piece installation is an examination of obsession, greed and the often complex world of the hoarder.