Audition days at Salford City College aren’t too different from what you would expect to see at a casting for a West End show…bustling with talent and everybody wants that place! The Pendleton Season of Shows are renowned for being spectacular, professional and popular amongst reviewers.
Whilst there are many students who travel out of area to attend Salford City College, we caught up with 12 students who go above and beyond the norm, with some travelling more than 3 hours a day to experience Pendleton Performing Arts.
As well as students from Salford and the surrounding areas of Greater Manchester including Wigan, Pendleton Performing Arts is home to talent from all over the North West including Southport, Burnley, Blackburn, Preston, Clitheroe, and Merseyside and students take multiple modes of transport including buses, trains and trams.
Freya Humberstone, from Skipton, travels over 80 miles per day (3 hours total.) She studies Musical Theatre and hopes to be on the West End one day! She said, “I came and watched a couple of shows when I was still in school and knew straight away this is where I wanted to study Musical Theatre. It has an amazing reputation and is definitely the best for Performing Arts!”
Bradley Ellor, from Burnley who travels over 70 miles (3 hours total) per day said, “I chose Pendleton because it’s the best for Performing Arts and is well known to the drama schools. It’s the only college that I know of where the drama schools come in to audition students. The productions are so professional!”
Some famous Salford City College alumni include, Michelle Keegan (Coronation Street, Our Girl), Maxine Peake (Theory of Everything), Faye Brooks (Coronation Street), Tom Glynn Carney (Dunkirk), Joe Gill (Emmerdale).
Amy Hallam is just one of the successful alumni who studied at Pendleton from 2007 to 2009 and graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. She came back to Manchester and set up Tangled Dance Company and is now the Artistic Director, Choreographer and one of the Dancers and also and has toured internationally as an aerialist. For the past two years, Amy has chosen Pendleton Performing Arts students to be a part of the cast in her production, ‘Whispers of a Christmas Tale,’ and said she is able to feature them in the production because of the strong standard. Amy said, “Returning to Pendleton to work with the students has been a fantastic experience for me personally; to see committed and enthusiastic dancers who are where I was 7 years ago is brilliant. They are eager to learn and I hope that we can inspire and support them as they continue onto their next steps in training.”
CEO/Principal John Spindler, said, “There is the star quality and reputation of Pendleton Performing Arts which attracts students in the first place, but then there is obviously something unique and magic which makes students happy to be here and travel every day. The tutors are all specialised industry professionals and bring out the talent of each and every student – it is no surprise that the shows sell out and our students go on to have wonderful successful careers.”
The Pendleton Season of Shows for this academic year will include big hits such as Elf and West Side Story. Tickets will be available from the box office.
(Photo: Liam – Rochdale, Jake – Newton le Willows, Charley – St Helens, Layla – Southport, Ophelia – Clitheroe, Freya – Skipton, Kit – Loveclough, Emily – Rochdale, Gwen – Rochdale, Polly – Blackburn,
Zac – Rawtenstall, Bradley – Burnley)