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Jessica Whittle, Theatre and Performance (BA Hons)

2nd June 2023

Final year, Theatre and Performance student, Jessica Whittle has already secured her first post-graduate role with Northumberland-based theatre company – thanks in part to the strong networking opportunities provided by the course.


Jessica grew up in the West End of Newcastle and always wanted to work in drama so the course has been a dream come true, giving her the freedom and opportunities to create her own work.


She has also been supported by past graduates who work with students to provide insight on working professionally in the theatre sector and has enjoyed preparations for the annual graduate degree shows, known as REVEAL.


“This course has a big focus on letting students make their own work, focusing on what they’re passionate about,” Jessica said.


“I particularly enjoyed the final assessment which is a performance project module – we worked in small groups to make a mini theatre company. Rather than create serious theatre, we chose to make a period piece from a comedy/surrealist angle. It is amazing to know that my work will be featured through REVEAL.”


One of her other stand-out experiences was being part of a large scale immersive performance project exploring the history of National Trust property, Seaton Delaval Hall, with North-East theatre company November Club. The opportunity came up through her course and she secured the role of an extra but once on-set she secured a bigger role, developing her skills in audience interaction.


Caption: Jessica Whittle performing with November Club. Photo by Jodie Beardmore. Other photography by Matt Jamie and Barry Pells.


Jessica says: “I was on stage with a drag artist, dressed up as a page boy. I had no lines but the role was very interactive with the audience which was a great experience.


“It’s not just the course that has been enjoyable, I’ve got a lot out of taking part in extra-curricular activities. I was part of the drama society in second year and it was so much fun and a great community to be part of.”


With so much to take away from her course, Jessica is now looking to the future and her first paid job in the theatre world at theatre company, Mortal Fools, where she’ll be working with young people to create socially relevant theatre and film. She is also looking to work with some of her fellow graduates to produce her own plays.


Dr. Cormac Power, an Assistant Professor who teaches on the undergraduate Performing Arts programme sat Northumbria University, said: “Jessica is an exemplary student, demonstrated through her outstanding work with the November Club and securing graduate employment with a theatre company. A tremendous achievement and one to be applauded.”


Find out more here about the Theatre and Performance BA (Hons) at Northumbria University.

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