Skip to content

Theatre Design students work with Nottingham Castle as part of its landmark re-opening

Six students devised six stories about characters from the Castle’s history and made a Cosprop for each performance.

Nottingham Castle Performances - an actor standing next to a theatre designer.
Justine Emma Moore performing 'The Invisible Queen' designed by Mea Catherine Fenwick

This May, students performed site-specific theatre, entitled ‘Ghosts’. The performance brought to life six forgotten, denied and unexpressed stories from Nottingham Castle’s history. The performance explored the history and architecture of the site and combined this with the stories and memories of people that lived there.

Final year BA (Hons) Design for Stage and Screen (Design for Theatre and Live Performance) students Manon Bailey-Rosse, Emma Bullman, Lucy Carney, Mea Fenwich, Hardy Gruduls and Freya Willows each researched the history of the Castle. They explored the theme of Rebellion, eventually choosing a character to base their performance on.

They collaborated with actors from the BAFTA-winning Television Workshop in Nottingham, creating a CosProp for the actors to wear. The promenade performance led audiences around the outdoor spaces of the Castle, and was directed by Nic Harvey.

Performance at Nottingham Castle
Actor Thomas Unsworth performing 'The Story of Mortimer's Hole' designed by Freya Willows

Theatre Design lecturer Andrea Moneta led the project, and commented: “Heritage Design is a collaborative, research-led realised design project, part of Theatre Design curriculum, aimed at exploring the Genius Loci, the soul of a place, to reveal invisible links between past and present time, places and people. It was great to collaborate with the Nottingham Castle Trust and The Television Workshop on this project.”

These dynamic performances allowed NTU students the opportunity to be part of the long-awaited reopening of Nottingham Castle, connecting and creating links with the wider cultural sector in Nottingham.

Representatives from the Nottingham Castle Trust commented: “It was been a delight working with the students from NTU and the performers from Television Workshop. Nottingham has such a richness of emerging talent and it’s been brilliantly displayed in the Ghosts project. It was also an immense pleasure to welcome live events back to Nottingham Castle since its closure in 2018 and the cessation of performances due to Coronavirus. We look forward to many more collaborations.”

Performance at Nottingham Castle
Actor Paige Turton performing 'The Great Cheese Riot Escape' designed by Lucy Carney

Nottingham Trent University works in partnership with cultural organisations across Nottingham, to enrich Nottingham’s art and culture sector and to provide opportunities like this to our students. NTU’s Culture team said: “NTU works closely in partnership with Nottingham Castle Trust. We have a whole host of projects evolving that will engage students, colleagues and Castle visitors. ‘Ghosts’ gave us the opportunity to co-host an event in the re-landscaped grounds, testing how we work together (very well it seems) and presenting our Theatre Design students with a stunning stage on which to tell stories from the Castle’s history.”

We’re looking forward to the full reopening of Nottingham Castle in June 2021. Find out more here: