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MA Acting graduate Susie Riddell joins BBC Radio 4’s long-running drama The Archers this week. She appears as Tracy Horrobin – the sister of long term character Susan Carter.

Susie joins fellow RWCMD graduate Scott Arthur, who recently joined The Archers as Rhys the barman after his character became popular in Archers spin-off Ambridge Extra.

With this role, Susie’s come full circle in her acting career. From the age of 11, she played the young Kate Aldridge in the show for four years.

Susie has also been invited to rejoin the BBC Radio Drama company, after a five-month contract with the company earlier this year. The actors from the company take part in plays, series and readings from Radio 3, Radio 4, the World Service and BBC 7.

And in between all this, she also got rave reviews from The Guardian for her performance in You’re Not Doing It Right.

We looking forward to hearing from her in Ambridge and beyond over the coming months.

Papped!

… some of Only Men Aloud being photographed in the RWCMD foyer this morning. They even treated us to a few impromptu Christmas carols around the Steinway.

 

The boys were being photographed modelling outfits for the Christmas issue of Cardiff Life, which will be out on 8 December. You won’t be able to miss them – they’ll be on the front cover!

A Visit from The Independent

The Independent came to visit our new facilities recently. Here’s what they thought.

The Merrily Band Rehearses

Just popped into the early band rehearsals for next month’s musical Merrily We Roll Along. Sounding rather swingtastic and marvellous. 

The show opens on Dec 2nd – have you booked your tickets yet? It’s your last chance to catch our first cohort of MA Musical Theatre students before they graduate and hit the big time!

Once again Royal Welsh College students are among the finalists of the UK’s most prestigious award for stage design. Holly Pigott and Jacob Hughes join a long list of RWCMD stage design students reaching the final for the Linbury Prize for Stage Design.

The seven month long competition is the only prize of its kind, giving recently graduated stage designers an unparalleled opportunity to work with professional theatre companies and collaborate with writers, designers and technical teams at this crucial stage in their career. Each winner gains a professional commission to realise a production from the company for which they are chosen to work, and a cash prize . This year’s commissions are with Lyric, Hammersmith, The Opera Group, Watermill Theatre, Newbury, and Royal Opera House, ROH2.

All the finalists work can be seen in a free exhibition at The National Theatre until 27 November. The four winners will be announced on 10 November.

2001 Linbury Prize winner Tom Scutt has just designed the set for 13 at The National Theatre, having just worked at Royal Shakespeare Company and The Sheffield Crucible.

A Weekend with Tom…

Multi-award-winning Indie film Weekend, featuring RWCMD Acting graduate Tom Cullen, is released in selective cinemas this week. This unconventional love story between two men trying to make sense of their lives, is attracting its two lead actors plenty of critical attention.

Claudia Winkleman, and critic Danny Leigh rave about the film on the latest Film 2011: Danny calls it “a genuinely brilliant love story…a brilliant piece of film-making”, and compares it to Beyond Sunset and other classic love stories.

Tom, and his co-star Chris New, were both nominated for the BFI London Film Festival Best Newcomers Award.

New Music Duo at RWCMD

 The College is delighted to welcome two new members of staff this term: Neil Ferris joins the College as Head of Choral Conducting, and Caryl Thomas has been appointed as the new Head of Harp.

 “I am delighted to have the opportunity to build on the successes and reputation of the choral department at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama,” said Neil.  “The postgraduate programme set up by Adrian Partington already has an international reputation and in conjunction with the Jane Hodge International Chair in Choral Conducting, Simon Halsey, I am looking forward to fostering the next generation of choral conductors at such a thriving institution.”

 Caryl Thomas adds, “It’s wonderful to be taking up this position at such an exciting time for the College, with its new world-class performance and rehearsal spaces. I’ve been on the teaching staff here for several years, working with the current Royal Harpist Hannah Stone, who is continuing her postgraduate studies here, and Gwenllian Llyr, who is studying for her Masters at the Juilliard School, New York. I welcome the chance to head up such a strong and vibrant department, working with such excellent students, and with all the exciting and varied opportunities on offer at the College.”

 With a reputation as a conductor equally at home with choirs and orchestras, Neil Ferris will combine his conducting engagements with his new post at the College. He is also on the tutorial panel for the Association of British Choral Directors National Conducting Courses and has been a guest teacher for the Association of Irish Choirs and at Birmingham Conservatoire.

 Caryl Thomas is a graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and New York University. Widely recognised as one of the most accomplished solo recital harpists of her generation, she has performed to great critical acclaim throughout Europe, the United States, Scandinavia, Russia and Japan. In 2007, Caryl was Chairperson of Arpa Viva Cymru, the 7th European Harp Symposium.