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We're excited that Migration Matters Festival will be returning to Sheffield venues to celebrate migration and sanctuary in the Steel City. Featuring live music, poetry, workshops, theatre, dance and food from 9-17 July, the Festival is your chance to support local talent and globally-renowned artists alike in the UK’s first City of Sanctuary.

Tickets are Pay-What-You-Can including free tickets for those experiencing displacement or seeking sanctuary:

#MigMatFest #MigMat21 #MigrationMatters #TogetherWithRefugees

Twitter @MigMatFest  

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An Exciting day with bright beautiful colours at the Institute of Arts, creative minds putting ideas together during rehearsal. Group of Students from different departments preparing for an outdoor show titled Awakenings for the public view.

Speaking with three actors from the project, Antonia, Jeff and Annabel, they stated that rehearsals is going well and taking every process of the show in stages. “The show is going to be fun and hopefully celebrating the end of lockdown”, Annabel stated while encouraging people to attend the show.

The show is organized by the Babbling Vagabonds and Sheffield Hallam University students. The show will run for three days 24th, 25th and 26th of June and guess what the tickets are free.  Are you one of those who is excited and thinking of how best one can share good times with families and loved ones? Then you need to see this show with your family and friends.


Pictures from rehearsals: 


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Capturing Awakenings

9116934076?profile=RESIZE_710xHello all, 

I’m a full-time self-employed events and life-style photographer and it's a real privilege to be invited to document the Awakenings project and to support the students at Sheffield Hallam University by providing them with some hands on industry advice and experience.

It was great to meet some of them last week via Zoom and heartening to hear about the sorts of avenues they'll be exploring. There was such a range of interest, from experimental film work with salt plates and cyanotypes to candid documentation and video work. I'm genuinely looking forward to learning something from each of them!

I often work with companies to cover events, both at home and abroad, capturing festivals, shows, symposiums and conferences. I draw on candid photography, coupled with an eye for strong composition and a consistent editing style to create modern images that convey a contemporary, film-like quality. I have been published across many national and international magazines, journals and articles and most recently I covered the Together Season for Sheffield Theatres.

I'm excited to share the professional journey I've had, to offer practical advice - which comes from balancing being an artist with being a business owner - and to help the students navigate towards their individual ambitions.

It's been really interesting to see some of the work that's emerging. I look forward to sharing some of my work over the next few weeks online and on site. I'm most looking forward to capturing the student's 'awakenings'.

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Working as a writer on the show

I have heard the sentence before that writers are the worst procrastinators, but working on this show was nowhere near this statement as writers and performers worked this week from 10-4 pm each day to produce this show.
What we did in this project is different from what I thought we would be doing. So here is what we did this week:


We played games to know each other, and we poked holes in the story and discussed it. If I had played some variation of those games in my zoom class, I would have known who my class fellows are. To this day, except for a few, I have no clue about them, and my first semester is over. :(

Day 2, 3 and 4



We divided into groups of two to three and enacted the scenes of the play. Different groups created a different version of that scene. Everyone performed well, and we got to know what could work and what could not. I think I am now proficient in the game of charades. But the question if students are putting so much effort into creating quality content, then how come filmmakers with vast resources create the worst film?



Day 5


We saw how the scenes look, and finally, we started drafting narrations. But as everyone was working on a laptop, my dream of throwing rough drafts into the bin was not accomplished. Alas! However, I am hopeful as we will be working next week till the show is live.

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AWAKENINGS post 2: Final Poster

Here is the final poster design for the 2021 play AWAKENINGS. This design is based on the feedback provided, which was to bring a focus to the process of making and coming together for the experience of the production rather than the narrative of the play. If there are any issues or anyone needs me to directly email this to them, do please get in contact through email or my social media which was provided in my previous blog. 

I sincerely wish you all good luck with the production of the play, which seems to be going so well! And good luck to all of those working on the opening nights !!!



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Hello, my name is Rukewan Madagua, you can also call me Rukie. Well, I am an international student from Nigeria. Due to my interest in communications, I decided to study Public Relations at my postgraduate level. I have a background in Journalism, digital media and public relations.

I will like to share my experience in the awakening project due to my love for theatre. I intend to work as social media and blogger in this project. Storytelling and choosing the right pictures will attract the audience through this department on theproject. Social media will encourage engagement from the public and also promote our ideas. 

I have written blogs, news bulletins for organizations. I have a fashion blog on instagram where I share fashion news, although it has not been active for sometime now. I will share the link here so you can see my work.

On a final note, I look forward to making new friends and enjoy the journey on this project.

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Hi everyone I am on the photography and social media team for the Awakening production. I am a graduating Fine Art student of 2021with a background in Graphic Design, I will be intending on producing a poster that best represents the narratives of this play in the hopes of attracting more attention for the play. Do feel free to check out some of my previous artworks on my social media for those who are interested. Keep in mind this does not contain my graphic design work, if anyone requires visuals of such feel free to message me. 

Instergram: t.j.m98creator

Unfortunately, I do not believe the time restrictions will allow me to create an original painting for this project and so I will be creating this poster digitally. I do however already have imagery lined up from previous projects that may contain similar imagery and themes, which will help anyone interested get the feel for what the poster may look like. I believe the best example is shown by this painting. 9082709265?profile=RESIZE_710x

My first thoughts for a logo for the play also remind me of another previous work. Would love to hear feedback on using this imagery or if a logo is required at all. If one is produced this can of course go on to be used in the social media team, after its development. 9082760494?profile=RESIZE_180x180

After the first meeting and reading of the original fairy tale, I had started a line drawing for what the basic imagery could be, here I have also planed out the layout of the poster as a whole. Unfortunately, I can no longer go any further with the production of the poster until the story becomes far more clear. It would be fantastic if you could provide feedback on the first draft but more importantly, if those involved in costume design, writing, and even set design could get in touch and inform me of the visuals that will be used in the narrative. This would allow me to create the correct image that matches up with what will be played out. 

All the best and look forward to hearing more about the play. 9082782263?profile=RESIZE_584x


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Excerpt of my journey as a writer

I am a writer who has stolen many moments of someone's else life and mine too and had turned them into stories.

But my story does not start from here. It started when I was nine years old. I wrote a mini-novel of three chapters in a diary. It was a tragic novel about an orphan who joined a circus, became rich, and then was betrayed by his wife. My quite serious story turns out to be a source of amusement for my elder brother when he found my diary. I had made so many grammatical errors that it was no longer a serious one and has turned into a funny one. But that does not stop me from writing, and I have been writing stories since. And my grammar may not be perfect but had come a long way from that.

Other than writing stories and participating in every writing competition, I am studying MA Multimedia Journalism. I also work as a Social Media Ambassador for SHU's Journalism Department.

I think my journey with Awakening will be somewhat like this:

Writing the script

9075342699?profile=RESIZE_710xDiscussion about scenes

9075343293?profile=RESIZE_710xWorking on ideas, redrafting the scenes


Perfect the scenes and done with writing except for doing minor changes

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We’re recruiting now for September and we’re looking for all kinds of people to bring their experience with them and to develop new skills as they work collaboratively to make exciting acting & performance projects as part of the degree.
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We're still buzzing from the success of last month's monologue night, but it's time to get your submissions in for...


Do you have a short film you've made at uni or with friends? Want more people to see what you've created? Then send it in! We'd love to see some more work from you talented lot!

Maximum time approximately 10 minutes.

Just follow the link!

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Fresh Batch is Back!!

Fresh Batch of Scratch is back and brand new for 2021!

This month we’re looking for monologues. You can write and perform a monologue of your own, you can write a monologue for someone else to perform or you can apply to simply perform, and we’ll pair you up with a monologue written by one of our applicants! That’s right, there’s something for everyone this time.

Thinking of applying? Then follow the link below to our online form.

All entrants must be received by 6pm on February 14th.

The final performance will take place on Wednesday 24th February at 6:30pm so please make sure you’re available on this date, especially if you’re applying as a performer.

Photo: Nigel Hayes

Logo: Laura Host

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Fresh Batch of Scratch 4: Call Out


Fresh Batch of Scratch applications are now open... FOR ANYONE TO APPLY!
So if you have a piece of new writing? An original song? Or a comedy sketch just begging for an audience. Then get applying!
DEADLINE to apply is the 18th of DECEMBER.
The night will take place JANUARY 6th. So your Christmas Dinner should just about be digested 😉
Fill out the application form below... And Goodluck! 

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Call out: A Fresh Batch of Scratch 3 !

It's here, it’s here, no need to panic! Here is the sing up sheet for the third FRESH BATCH OF SCRATCH (scratch night), taking place on Wednesday 2nd December 2020. It's your last chance to perform at the scratch in 2020, so do not miss out! This month, we are looking for 3 people to join our level 6 students on the comedy scratch night. If you are a part of the Sheffield Hallam University performance degree or part of the theatre society here at SHU we want you. There is even a possibility that you could perform live this month!

The deadline this month is 6PM on the 23rd November. This is the final deadline so if you submit it after 6PM I’m afraid we will not except it so best get in there early!

If you have been successful, we will let you know on the 25th November so that you have plenty of time to prepare before the performance on the 2nd.

Hope to see you then! Please follow the link below to apply!

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Call out: A Fresh Batch of Scratch 2 !

Hello SHU performance students and graduates! 

Here it is we know you have all been wating for it after the amazing success we had with our first one. This is the call out for participants for A Fresh Batch of Scratch two! If you missed your chance last time you do not want to miss it this time.  And yes, I am talking to you. Yes, you sat behind your phone or laptop reading this. Do not worry you will not even have to put it down for the night. Because yes you guessed it, we are online once more.

Continuing behind the scenes like last time is myself and a team of Level 6 students (India, Richard, Matt, Harry, Maraya & Tilly). To continue putting on a series of scratch performance nights on the first Wednesday of each month up until Christmas (4th November, 2nd December) just for you. 

With this one not very far away we invite you to submit an application to take part. So, do it now! You don’t want to miss out again.

What even is a scratch performance ? 

A scratch performance is an informal showcase of rough and ready performance ideas in any medium and genre. So, if you have something you have been working on we want to hear about it. Or if you’re inspired to start a new collaboration we’d be delighted to learn more. We are excited to see original work or pre-existing pieces of performance that have been developed into something new and exciting.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, all performers at the November 4th event will be performing remotely, so you'll need access to a device that will allow you to stream from your chosen location eg. bedroom, garage, forest, street corner, or other socially distanced space!

Applications are due ASAP. By Thursday 29th October at 6PM. The programme will be announced Saturday 31st October and chosen performers will have until 3rd November to prepare their piece for presentation on Zoom the following day. 

What are you waiting for? follow the link and apply!

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A tumultuous year this has been, but you don’t need me to tell you that - you have lived through it. Unbelievably, the all-important arts sector has been under tremendous threat due to the British government’s failure to effectively support organisations, venues, and freelance workers. None of us should sit back and let this happen, and that’s certainly the view expressed by bombastic performance company Doppelgangster, in their new audio show Bad Reputation; created especially for Off the Shelf festival 2020, in collaboration with BA Acting & Performance students (one of whom is me!) from Sheffield Hallam University, and BA Creative Arts students from La Trobe University, all the way from Melbourne, Australia!

Bad Reputation is an upcoming audio drama that will be available on the festival site from 23rd - 31st October 2020. It’s a ‘mesmerising, psychedelic tale of three lighthouse keepers on an isolated island’, inspired by George Toudouze’s short story Three Skeleton Key (1937). Having had a great time performing in Doppelgangster’s Choke Me at last year’s festival, and being intrigued by the horror aspect of the stimuli, from which you may draw parallels to the Coronavirus pandemic and life under lockdown, volunteering for this was an absolute no brainer. 


George Beresford and myself performing in Choke Me (2019) by Doppelgangster.

The physical demand, epic loudness, and theatrical pizzaz of Choke Me was a liberating experience, and I was disappointed not to be able to replicate it this year due to the cancellation of the Prague Fringe Festival. The opportunity to take part in Bad Reputation was a great relief, and while we’ve not been working in a theatre for this latest production, it has been equally rewarding in new and interesting ways. For starters, by having to work remotely to develop the show, we, in the UK, have had the good fortune of working with fellow aspiring artists in Australia. A range of ideas and unique perspectives have been brought to the table from across the globe (and across very different time zones!); this is nothing short of a wonderful thing. 


Richard Delroy (Gal) at home, recording his lines for Bad Reputation.

It has been a collaborative project; a real team effort. As well as performing, Doppelganster - aka Dr. Tom Payne and Tobias Manderson Galvin - were keen for us all to be extensively involved in the writing process, which was a huge pull for me. For the last few weeks, we have been issued daily writing tasks of great variety. These ranged from writing new scenes for the Three Skeleton Key story to listing our least favourite desert island discs. Once or twice, there has been an air of mystery around why we do a task, which I’m sure will become clearer as we reach the final stages of the creative process. It is Doppelganster’s unique way of working which keeps everyone interested and on their toes, and previous experience of working with Tom and Tobias has shown I can trust them to lead us to a successful result. 

The tasks have increased my confidence in my writing, a skill that I am interested in developing alongside gaining more experience as a performer. Having written my first play text over the summer, and produced various stand-alone monologues, I am very keen to make a habit of practicing my writing craft. Being a student can sometimes be extremely busy (I often say it is like running a three-year marathon), so I am grateful to have been given the push to make time to write while working with Doppelgangster again. I am hoping this sets a precedent and I plan to continue typing away in my free time alongside my final year of study. 

8058080282?profile=RESIZE_710xMaraya Ashworth (Haze) at home, recording her lines for Bad Reputation.

Performing for audio is a challenge, and I’m enjoying having another opportunity to rely purely on my voice to portray a character. This work complements the broadcast acting modules on the degree very well and is a valuable experience that I can put on my CV. It is remarkably gratifying to be exercising these creative muscles, all in the comfort of my bedroom while I am sipping caramel flavoured coffee and dreaming of an end to lockdown. 

Bad Reputation is going to be exactly the same combination of bonkers, intellectual, experimental, and politically significant work that audiences have come to expect from Doppelganster, all freshly packaged in a whirlwind of a podcast. 

I would encourage students who wish to get the most out of their university experience to take on extracurricular projects where possible. Take the chance; you may just participate in something you’re incredibly proud of.

Bad Reputation will be available online from 7.30 pm Friday 23rd October (for FREE) on the Off the Shelf festival website.

Promotional image by Wilson Liew. Documentation photographs for Choke Me and Bad Reputation by Becky Payne. 

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 'Fresh Batch of Scratch' is a new work in progress event organised and curated by a team of Level 6 students. This year we will be putting together a series of scratch performance nights on the first Wednesday of each month up until Christmas (4th November, 2nd December.) On the 7th of October, we had our first 'Fresh Batch of Scratch' and this is a round-up review of how the night went: 

Our first act was George Beresford with '2020 What a year part one'.  George's piece was a thought-provoking piece of spoken word. Which was well written and performed with real purpose. We can’t wait for part two.

Second, to take to the digital stage was Harry Marciniak, performing the soliloquy 'To be or not to be' from the famous Hamlet. With strong characterisation of Hamlet, Harry offered a true insight into the intricate world of Shakespeare, displaying a powerful speech.

Our third performer, Kyle Baker proposed the question in the title of his piece 'What it's like to love', in a moving poem, that tugged at the audience's heartstrings. A great piece of original work, we can't wait to see what comes next. 

Fourth, on our Fresh Batch of Scratch journey was a pre-recorded video from Jacob Jackson, a recent Sheffield Hallam graduate. Jackson took on the role of 'aufidius' with vigour in a charismatic, yet intense performance. Performing this Shakespearean monologue with real flair.

India Florence Birchall was Fifth, performing her clever and thoughtfully crafted original poem ' Lingering moments' which, was a true joy to watch. She let her words resonate with the audience, leaving them to question their own 'Lingering Moment.'

Sixth was a spooky one in 'The creation of a monster' by Jessie Jones. He embodied his character, Doctor Grackle, sending shivers down our spines. Jessie gave a thrilling performance, crafting terrible tales scary enough keep you up at night.

Our closing act was Dr Tom Payne, performing 'Theatre, Cards, and Dance.' This was a captivating and unorthodox reading, performed with precision and certain eerie quality, this is not a performance that will be forgotten in a hurry. 

And last but not least, we have to thank our wonderful compères for the night. Matt Skelton and Harry Marciniak. They were truly hilarious and extremely entertaining as the night's hosts. It was like being back at the theatre.

We hope you all had a fantastic night at our very first: Fresh Batch of Scratch. 

Remember we're the first Wednesday of every month, so get started working on your ideas now! Then you could be apart of the night in November. Further details for how to apply will be coming soon. So keep your eyes peeled. 



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Working as a writer on the show

I have heard the sentence before that writers are the worst procrastinators, but working on this show was nowhere near this statement as writers and performers worked this week from 10-4 pm each day to produce this show.
What we did in this…

Read more…
Comments: 0

AWAKENINGS post 2: Final Poster

Here is the final poster design for the 2021 play AWAKENINGS. This design is based on the feedback provided, which was to bring a focus to the process of making and coming together for the experience of the production rather than the narrative of…

Read more…
Comments: 0

Excerpt of my journey as a writer

I am a writer who has stolen many moments of someone's else life and mine too and had turned them into stories.

But my story does not start from here. It started when I was nine years old. I wrote a mini-novel of three chapters in a diary.…

Read more…
Comments: 0