Whilst buildings are closed and teaching has moved exclusively to online delivery, London’s creative HEIs are continuing to provide exciting opportunities for their community to encounter dance and music and unite with the wider industry. From online performances, to community engagement, London’s HEIs are proving the space for creativity to flourish throughout this crisis.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic Applied Theatre students at Central under the guidance and supervision of Dr Nicola Abraham have created a series of dementia-friendly interactive exercises and audio resources aimed at supporting older adults in isolation; they have also produced an e-resource pack of activities for children who are off school. These resources have been made available in the UK as well as internationally and have been translated into several languages in order to benefit those in lockdown across the world.
Central’s MA Applied Theatre students, together with Dr Selina Busby, have been involved in a unique, global mental health and wellbeing project: the International Applied Theatre project includes participants form Universities in the United Kingdom, Germany, Togo, United States and Australia. Working in cross country groups, and in response to the pandemic, the students create and share their work virtually.
Dr Selina Busby and Central are working alongside London-based Company Three, Nick Hern Books, the National Association of Youth Theatres, Scottish Youth Theatre, Youth Arts Network Cymru and the Unicorn Theatre on the Coronavirus Time Capsule. Together with hundreds of groups of teenagers from more than 16 countries, the project provides the teenagers with free resources, support, connection and a space to be creative whilst capturing week-by-week video records of the pandemic through the eye of teenagers around the world.
As a response to lockdown, Central’s BA (Hons) Theatre Practice students have moved their end of year Theatre Practice Exhibition online; it will launch to the public on Friday 12 June, 2020.
As London’s Creative Conservatoire, Trinity Laban are supporting and developing a diverse intake of talented performers and creators throughout their artistic lives so that creativity can flourish.
That’s why they are asking staff, students and audiences to share their artistic practices whilst at home using the hashtag #SelfIsolationCreation.
An antidote to isolation, the campaign showcases the talent and resourcefulness of our community, something epitomised by Tunes From Home. Tunes From Home sees either a live stream or a live film made by a student, staff member or alum shared every weekday evening at 20.00 on their YouTube channel.
Royal Holloway’s Theatre Uncut are streaming live student theatre on their website, including
BA English and Drama student Ed Larkin in the premiere of Bubble, a 45-minute online play about freedom of speech and online debate set on a university campus.
Royal Academy of Music
The Royal Academy of Music understand that it is a very difficult time for students, staff and alumni, with the coronavirus casting uncertainty on future plans. The Academy seeks to remain a place for music-making, albeit online. The Academy are sharing digital performances with their community using the hashtag #RAMplaysON on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts.
Royal Academy of Music opera student, Alex Aldren, studied medicine at the University of Birmingham and worked at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. And during this unprecedented time for hospitals across the country, he is one of nearly 20,000 fully qualified staff to return to the NHS frontline.
In a rare moment of peace for doctors, nurses and other clinical staff working around the clock, Aldren treated his co-workers to a rousing rendition of Puccini’s aria ‘Nessun Dorma’ (‘None Shall Sleep’).