Success for Leeds in National Student Drama Festival

Three Theatre and Performance students from the School of Performance and Cultural Industries won 3 national awards in the National Students Drama Festival for their production PHAEDRA'S LOVE.

- Directors' Guild Award: Ashley Scott Layton
- Spotlight Award for Most Promising Actor: Rupert Lazarus
- Spotlight Award for Most Promising Actress: Rachel Helen Shaw

Sunday Times review
"The terrifying opposite to the imagined utopia of early Australia must be the modern dystopia of Sarah Kane's Phaedra's Love (Leeds University). This grim reworking of Euripides was originally written for six characters and a small chorus, but the unstoppable young director Ashley Scott Layton decided to add a punk band, animal puppets and a mob of drunks, slags and chavs, whose murderous lust turns this nihilistic tragedy into a surreal version of a community play.

Yet this only sharpens the focus on the performances by Rachel Helen Shaw as Phaedra and Rupert Lazarus as Hippolytus, who won Spotlight awards for their professional promise. Layton, winner of the Directors' Guild award, had taken his cue from Kane's comment that this was a comedy - but written when she was deeply depressed. Lazarus's insouciance at his castration perfectly caught this Artaudian absurdity, the laughter of someone writing a suicide note."

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