In the vibrant world of performing arts, there's a particular kind of magic when you witness fresh talent taking their first steps on the professional stage. Sheffield Hallam University's BA (Hons) Acting and Performance programme has been a breeding ground for such magic, and this year, our graduating students are set to dazzle us with their creativity, vision, and powerful performances as part of Off the Shelf Festival of Words 2023.
Salome Martha Hakunandaba's one-woman show, "Paivapo Dzepfunde," takes us on a profound journey. It's the tale of a second-generation diaspora reliving her family's journey from Zimbabwe to England. Through captivating storytelling, African dance moves, music, and language, Salome offers a vivid showcase of Africa's diversity, brilliance, and vibrant sound. "Paivapo Dzepfunde" is a poignant exploration of the migrant experience, and Salome's performance promises to be a heartfelt narrative that resonates deeply.
In the hustle and bustle of an ambulance control centre, Connie Fiddament's "Everything Shifts" brings us face to face with the harsh realities of public and personal emergencies. Can one person truly make a difference when the world seems to be falling apart? This multimedia theatre performance invites us to ponder the challenges faced by those on the front lines of healthcare, offering a thought-provoking and immersive experience.
"Indulgorance" by Chris Riley Ellis is more than a performance; it's a provocative journey that compels the audience to question their behaviour in a world growing increasingly polarized. The show explores the relative nature of truth, the subjectivity of right and wrong, and the choices we make. With striking insights, Ellis invites us to confront our own truths and biases, challenging the way we see the world.
These remarkable performances were originally part of the Change Makers 2023 Showcase for the Future Now Festival of Creativity at Sheffield Hallam University. Change Makers 2023 was a thrilling three-week undergraduate showcase produced by final-year BA (Hons) Acting and Performance students. It celebrated their dedication, skill, and creativity, showcasing an array of talents and styles, from new writing to physical theatre, storytelling, multi-media performance, scripted plays, and stand-up comedy.
The success of this festival didn't end there. It also marked the launch of "Overspill," a new interdisciplinary seminar series, introduced by Dr. Sophie Swoffer. The series began with a special in-conversation event featuring Dr. Funmi Adewole Elliott, Senior Lecturer in Dance at De Montfort University. The festival, along with the seminar series, exemplifies the commitment to nurturing innovative talent and pushing the boundaries of performance at Sheffield Hallam University.
Sheffield Hallam's Future Now Festival of Creativity provides a city-wide platform for emerging artists and designers to showcase their work, offering visitors a glimpse into the future through art, design, architecture, film, photography, performance, and writing. It's a celebration of creativity, a window into the aspirations of tomorrow's artistic pioneers.
As we celebrate the achievements of these talented graduates from Sheffield Hallam's BA (Hons) Acting and Performance programme, we look forward to witnessing the transformative power of their art. Their stories, emotions, and the vibrant narratives they bring to life are set to leave an indelible mark on the world of performing arts.
And for those inspired by their incredible journey, Sheffield Hallam's BA (Hons) Acting and Performance programme is currently recruiting for the 2024/25 intake. If you're passionate about acting, performance, and storytelling, this programme could be your ticket to an exciting future in the world of the performing arts.
Photography by Make it Matte Black. Top, Chris Reilly; middle, Salome Martha Hakunadaba; bottom, Connie Fiddament.