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Critical acclaim for Chichester College students

23 September 2022

Students from Chichester College enjoyed a rave reviews and large audiences at last month’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The college impressed critics and Fringe-goers alike, taking not one but two shows to the world-famous festival.

The family-friendly ‘Grimm Tales’ proved to be a hit with ticket sales, virtually selling out for most performances during it’s week-long run, while the atmospheric ‘Trojan Women’ wowed theatregoers with its evocative messaging and mesmerising performances from the college’s acting students.

One reviewer for the British Theatre Guide website gave the show four stars and heralded the strong and moving performances of Ella O’Keeffe (Hecuba) and Alexia-Maria Proca (Andromache).

While Greg Clay, writing for, said the ‘fantastic cast perfectly highlight the poisonous effects of war, plaguing the aggressors while ruining the victims. It’s visceral, it’s emotional and to see a Greek tragedy brought to life is always beautiful.’

Cast member and Chichester College student Alexia-Maria Proca said: “When we first got our review, it was an incredible feeling to have your work recognized and to hear such good things about it.

“I think we all worked very hard this year to create this piece of theatre, and it has been a really good feeling to know people liked it.

“I never imagined that I would get the chance to do something like this and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot. I’ve evolved a lot, as a person and as a performer. It was a really good experience.”

Abbie Williams, who studied production arts at the college and is now starting her degree at Bristol Old Vic Theatre, was among the stage management team supporting both shows in Edinburgh. She added: “It was really amazing.

“Staging two shows was stressful, but we worked hard, and we worked really well as a team – it was a big learning experience for us.

“We also got to see other shows and see how other people perform, the different sets and lighting.

“I think the whole experience will help us in our careers.”

Andrew Green, Chief Executive Officer at the Chichester College Group, produced the show and he worked closely with the students in Edinburgh. He said: “Taking two shows to Edinburgh was a mammoth effort for everyone involved.

“This was our fourth year at the festival – after enforced breaks in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic – and we really wanted to take our shows to the next level. And our students and staff really rose to that challenge.

“They did a great job. They worked their socks off to drum up interest in our shows – even though we had really high levels of advance tickets, which shows our reputation at the festival is growing in stature.

“But it’s important to get out every day to market the shows, which they did. And to receive the reviews we did for Trojan Women was first-class and so well deserved.

“Grimm Tales was also really well received by audiences, who spoke really highly of the performances and the staging of the show.

“I’m incredibly proud of our performers, our stage management students and the staff who have supported them.”

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