UWTSD Students to perform Simon Stephens’ Rage


Performing Arts students from the BA Acting and BA Theatre Design and Production degree courses at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) have been busy collaborating with Peter Doran, Artistic Director of the Torch Theatre on their forthcoming main house production, Rage. 


Simon Stephens' explosive play Rage is composed of 31 high-energy scenes, each one based on a series of photos by Joel Goodman that captured the excitement and the mayhem of New Year's Eve 2015/16 in Manchester city centre. Published in the Manchester Evening News the photos quickly went viral in capturing a vital cross-section of a country on the edge.  

As the clock strikes twelve the celebratory mood turns into violence, racism, marriage proposals and the opening of portals. Enter the madness and get whisked into the hedonism of youth.

The production will run from February 21st until February 29th at the Halliwell Theatre on the University’s Carmarthen campus.

With a large company of third year students from UWTSD’s BA Acting and BA Theatre Design and Production degree programmes, the play’s director, Peter Doran saw Rage as the perfect piece for such a large cast of young people.

“The production’s called Rage and it’s a fairly new piece.  I was fortunate enough to see it last year being performed and it’s a very, very exciting piece - but the important thing for these students is that all the characters are the same age as them,” says Peter.  “Normally, with drama schools, somebody has to play the grandad or the uncle - playing out of their age bracket - and that puts an unnecessary burden on them.  But with this piece, they’re all 21, 22 - all on a night out in a big city on New Year’s Eve - so these students know exactly what it’s like to be that age, celebrating….so they only have to concentrate on their performance.  It’s a perfect piece for drama students.

“It’s quite an ensemble piece so the really have to learn to work together and bounce off each other and get that real ensemble feeling….there are big scenes, lots of people on stage the whole time so it’s a good way of learning how to interact with lots of difference characters.

“I get a good buzz out of seeing the next generation of young actors coming through and trying to help and support them and that’s what this is about – getting them ready to enter the profession.”

Throughout their three years at UWTSD, students on both the Acting and Theatre Design and Production programmes encounter a range of experiences that equip them with the skills and knowledge required to succeed in this competitive industry.  Their third year consists of producing professional productions in a variety of styles, mainly Touring Theatre, Main-House Theatre and Studio Theatre, all of which have different demands and boundaries and offer the students a varied range of opportunities to develop and grow in the respective fields.

One of those relishing the opportunity of being part of this challenging production is third year BA Acting student, Amelia Ryan.

“Peter’s been absolutely brilliant….he’s an actor himself so it’s really nice because explains things in a way that you get.  The workroom is really professional but we also have a lot of fun.

“I’ve had a wild three years,” continues Amelia.  “Definitely one of the things to take away from this experience is the connections that we make and the opportunities that we get.  Our lecturers Dave Ainsworth and Lynne Seymour provide us with so many different things – we get to meet so many different people.  I also had the opportunity to study abroad last semester in California and that was a crazy experience….I had the opportunity to live there and learn their techniques and styles and it’s been nice to bring that back to the workroom.  The whole experience has really rounded me and feel really prepared to take the next step.”

With students from the BA Acting and BA Theatre Design and Production courses working together on this main house module, all those involved with this large-scale production are gaining valuable skills and real life experiences that will help prepare them for their careers in the theatre.

Carys-Haf Williams is currently in her third year studying Theatre Design and Production has thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working on this interesting piece of theatre. 

Rage as a piece is really vague about what the writer wants and what the actors have to give so as a cast and crew we had to just go with our own imaginations.  Working with Peter’s been really enjoyable too – he’s helped everyone a lot.  He lets everyone do their own thing but when he needs to step in, he will, but it’s really nice to have the freedom that he gives us to be creative. 

“During my time at UWTSD I’ve had a lot of chances to go on work experience… to go to Hay Festival, have work experience with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru.  I’ve also had the chance to try different areas within theatre and it’s been really beneficial.  Also, in your third year you get to do a lot of shows and you really get excited to graduate and to go into the professional industry,” adds Carys-Haf.

Rage runs at the Halliwell Theatre, Carmarthen from Friday, February 21st until Saturday, February 29th.   The production is suitable for audiences aged 16+ and contains strong language and scenes of a sensitive nature.

Tickets can be booked by contacting Dave Atkinson by emailing d.atkinson@uwtsd.ac.uk and cost £5 or £3 for concessions.  Performances will start at 7.30pm

Further Information

For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Principal Communications and PR Officer on 01267 676908 / 07449 998476 sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk