Ruskin College and The Ruskin Arts Festival are the principle partners for the Oxford production of The Liberty Tree. The Oxford production will rehearse at Ruskin’s Headington Campus and will be launched by an afternoon of Open Auditions at the festival on Sat 24th May 2014.
In 2013 Ruskin College held it’s first annual Arts Festival
In May last year, amid a great deal of excitement and anticipation, staff and students at Ruskin were busy organising the final stages of the college’s first annual Ruskin Arts Festival. The festival was held on Saturday 4 May, at the Old Headington campus in association with SOHA, and celebrated the diversity of the arts with an imaginative programme of music, dance, singing, poetry, prose, writing performance and a major theatrical production.
Topping the bill was a contemporary dramatization of a classic socialist novel by Robert Tressell, the critically acclaimed ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’, courtesy of Townsend Productions in association with Unison. Fresh from a sold out national tour featuring Richard Stone (Coronation Street and Emmerdale) and Neil Gore (Song of Singapore and the West End), the production remains as vivid and as relevant today as when it was written almost a century ago and is not to be missed.
Principal Audrey Mullender commented: “It was exciting to see Ruskin College moving increasingly into the arts as a means of encouraging social inclusion and social awareness through giving a voice and a platform to our own students and to creative local people.” “Home-grown Ruskin poets and playwrights are emerging thick and fast from our Creative Writing and Writing for Performance courses, information about which will be available at the festival. In fact, the whole morning was devoted to home-grown Ruskin writers and performers from 10.00am onwards and our wonderful new building provided the perfect venue for the day.” Professor Mullender concluded.
There were three designated performance areas; one opposite reception, one in the cafeteria and the main stage on Level 2 of the new building, hosted an afternoon performance by Anjali a professional group of disabled dancers who performed at the Paralympic torch lighting ceremony.
They were preceded by ArkT with two hours’ worth of acts plus the local community choir, ‘Barton Sings!’ which reformed especially for the occasion under the direction of Janet Stansfield.
Each performance area had its own MC presiding over events including TV director and ex-Lovejoy actor, Chris Jury, as MC for the main stage. Early evening saw The Homeless Oratorio take to the stage at 6.00pm for an hour. This was a unique chance to witness a performance of music composed by homeless and vulnerably housed members of Crisis Skylight. Those participating in The Homeless Oratorio have developed poems, prose and musical pieces about homelessness in workshop sessions with creative charity Squeaky Gate. The concert was an opportunity to share their work and their diverse stories, finding a voice through music.The 2014 Ruskin Arts Festival will take place on Saturday 24th Mat at the Headington Campus. More info from Ruskin College.