This is Quarantine TV: Lockdown broadcasts brought to you by Performing Arts students

Ruth Peterson | June 16, 2020

16 June 2020

Lockdown art is often inspired by rainbows and hearts, signifying sunshine after the storm and the power of love conquering boundaries.

But not the work produced by Performing Arts Degree students at Bradford School of Art.

Quarantine TV ident
This is Quarantibe TV

This work features dystopian nightmares and vampires among other fantastical visions in podcasts and videos created in response to Covid 19.

Tom Aldersley, Programme Leader for HE Performing Arts, said his students had responded extremely well to the task.

FdA student Olivia Pentelow in recording studio
Student Olivia Pentelow at work

Isolation and global catastrophe inspires podcasts

“My year one students have produced a podcast series with the theme of lockdown and have explored the ideas of isolation and global catastrophe,” said Tom, who lives in Skipton. “They have been written, recorded and performed by the students and have been placed on YouTube and iTunes. They’re very varied and the students should feel really proud of what they’ve created. The first years have balanced a response to Covid 19 with an escape from reality.”

Detective Muffet on the case

As well as horror tales, the podcasts also feature detective stories such as The Muffet Mysteries and a real-life diary account of life as an asthmatic during the pandemic.

Year two students have created Quarantine TV. This is a satire of the online content that has gone viral during lockdown, such as the exercise and baking videos showing people in perfect homes. One of the students made a video about positive parenting and home schooling – but it all goes wrong.

Ministry of Fun’s guide to lockdown

There is also the creation of a new government department called the Ministry of Fun. This department has some top suggestions for how people can enjoy themselves during lockdown by dusting. There is also a unique take on the CBBC Bedtime Stories.

You can view the results here.

Lecturer Tom Aldersley on camera
Tom Aldersley in the studio

Tom, himself an actor with experience on Coronation Street and Emmerdale, said: “It provides some light relief that people can relate to. This is what the course is about – being cutting-edge and innovative with performance and acting. The students were able to deal with the reality of the pandemic and the results are amazing. The online showcase of work offers producers, casting directors and agents a chance to see their work. It also helps students gain exposure to industry professionals.”

New BA Top-up Degree in Performance

From September, Bradford School of Art at Bradford College is offering a BA Hons Top-up Degree in Performance. This is in addition to its Foundation Degree in Performing Arts.

This programme is designed to allow both students from a prior approved qualification and applicants with relevant experience to progress to an honours level degree. It’s delivered by experienced practising Performing Arts professionals and academics. Together they have a wide range of skills and relevant industry experience in TV, film and theatre.

The chance for a change of career

The top-up enables students who have foundation degrees or HNDs to gain a BA Honours degree in Performance, even if their previous qualifications have been in unrelated subjects.

“It has even offered people the chance to have a change of career,” said Tom. “We’ve got one student who will be on the top-up degree next year. She did the first and second years of a degree in physiotherapy but realised during the pandemic that she wanted to follow her dream of becoming an actor.”

You can find out more about the course on the Bradford College website.

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