STUDENTS battling to save their college course staged a special one-night show to highlight their fight and their talent.
The Nine Lives Theatre Company, the name the young actors on the College of West Anglia, Isle Campus BTEC Performing Arts course perform under, put on the show at the Angles Theatre in Wisbech on Wednesday night.
The course is currently based in Wisbech and uses the Angles Theatre for the majority of their teaching and learning experience.
But two weeks ago the students were stunned to learn that due to funding cut backs by the College of West Anglia, their course was to be removed from Wisbech and amalgamated with similar courses at King’s Lynn.
The Isle College students come from all over Fenland including Wisbech, Chatteris, March, Long Sutton, Ely and Downham Market.
Students fear the move will mean the course would no longer be able to offer the students the same ‘stepping stone’ to realise their dreams in the performing arts. More importantly Fenland would end up not providing its young people with the opportunities of experiencing a quality performing arts facility.
As a part of the students’ fervent campaign to retain the course in Wisbech, they asked if the Angles Theatre would allow them to mount a one night performance to show the audience just how good they are and how determined they are prepared to fight to keep their course in Wisbech and to try to drum up public support.
The Theatre provided all the necessary technical and hosting facilities free of charge as a way of showing their support for the students.
Kevin Shippey, director of the Angles Theatre’s RATz company, said: “Our recently hugely successful musical ‘Spring Awakening’ would not have been cast if we didn’t have the college kids audition.”
Wednesday’s ‘Save the Nine Lives Theatre Company’ was hailed a success with the students performing to a full house and to a standing ovation.
Emlyn Moment also from the Angles said: “Wisbech should be proud that their youth have the determination to fight for what they believe in and to put together a strong campaign and a concert of quality in such a short space of time.”
The College of West Anglia’s consultation on cuts aimed at saving £3.4m. closes on June 6 and final decisions made by July.
To support the students petition visit: www.petitiononline.co.uk/petition/save-the-nine-lives-theatre-company/2810