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University welcomes Songs of Praise to its Lampeter Campus

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The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has welcomed the BBC programme Songs of Praise to its Lampeter campus.

The programme, presented by soprano Kathryn Jenkins and produced by Avanti Media and Nine Lives Media for the BBC, will be aired on 27 February at 13.15 on BBC One for St David’s Day.

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The University’s Lampeter campus is celebrating its Bicentenary this year and during the programme Kathryn Jenkins interviewed Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor as well as students and staff on the campus.

Among those interviewed were three students from St Vincent and the Grenadines who are a part of a group of students who have received a scholarship to study at the University.

Three students from St Vincent and the Grenadines who won a scholarship to attend the University were interviewed as part of the programme (Image: UWTSD)

“I’m delighted that Songs of Praise visited our campus during our Bicentenary year” said Professor Medwin Hughes.

“The campus was established as St David’s College by Bishop Thomas Burgess to provide a liberal education for young men training to become Anglican priests. Over the past two hundred years the campus has developed a world-renowned reputation for the study of the Humanities and Inter-cultural and multi-faith education”.

Songs of Praise Producer, Charlotte Hindle said: “We very much enjoyed our visit to Lampeter. We were made to feel so welcome by the staff and the students and we’re really pleased that Songs of Praise could be part of the bicentenary celebrations”.

The bicentenary commemorates the establishment of St David’s College, Lampeter on 12 August 1822 through the laying the foundation stone which marks the beginning of higher education in Wales.

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Lead image: Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice-Chancellor welcomes Kathryn Jenkins to the Lampeter campus (Image: UWTSD)

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Carmarthen

Carmarthen set-design student replicates 1980s British Rail cup for Michael Sheen film

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A student and a lecturer from The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) BA Set Design & Production course were involved in Sky Cinema’s recent production ‘Last Train To Christmas’.

The film ‘Last Train To Christmas,’ which was recently produced in Bay Studios, Swansea required as part of their production design a difficult to source and very specific prop, a 1980’s British Rail ‘MaxPax’ coffee cup.

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York Museum hold an original but could not release it in time for filming, therefore,  Art Director Gemma Clancy reached out to UWTSD’s Creative Industries degree programme Set & Production in Carmarthen to see if one could be modelled and 3D printed.  

Lecturer in Props and Scenic Construction, Dave Atkinson offered to take up the invaluable offer and generated a 3D CAD model of the desired cup but was limited by doing so just from photos. This was then 3D printed in-house and fully finished ready to be used as an action prop by Michael Sheen.  

On delivery of the prop cup, a collaborative industry link was established, and Dave continued to work on the set as a prop and scenery maker.  

Dave said, “There are so many films and TV series now being made in West Wales, I am really enjoying connecting the industry with the provisions we have at UWTSD. We have revalidated the provisions in Carmarthen and are launching them in September this year, this will open up more exciting opportunities to forge industry connections.”

Also during production, a paid student placement was offered, for a Second Year Set Design & Production student. Kayla Pratt was lucky enough to be invited to work within the art department across all skill areas from dressing, props, standby and construction throughout her summer break. 

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She adds, “When choosing a university, I wanted to study at a place that could help me get work experience. Despite all odds from the global pandemic, the university course BA Set Design and Production, helped me make my steps into the industry.

“With the support from my university tutors, they helped prepare me for my first day within the art department through to the end of Julian Kemp’s production, Last Train to Christmas.

“Every day within the feature film’s art department was a great day and they supported my learning in a range of on and off set roles throughout the 6 weeks in Swansea’s Bay studios.

“The experience, not only helped me develop as an artist but has also reassured me that this is the industry, I want to be in. Thanks all to the BA Set Design and Production tutors, I am more confident to take my next step as an industry artist.”

The University says that this collaboration is just one of many examples between themselves and a production company , and is a prime example of the importance for teaching, developing and promoting the digital capabilities within the creative industries on Carmarthen Campus.

They say that continual investment will only strengthen and further develop connections, and such support and growth will enable students and graduates from UWTSD to exceed the expectations of the industry. 

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Art Director Gemma Clancy said, “The whole production team would like to extend a huge thank you to UWTSD Carmarthen for their help in the production of The Last Train To Christmas. Kayla Pratt and Dave Atkinson joined the Art Department team and bought some fantastic skills with them. We were so happy to have them on board and incredibly appreciative of their local knowledge and 3D printing capabilities!

“Kayla was one of the most positive members of our team and always tackled the day’s tasks with enthusiasm and determination. Next time we’re shooting in Wales we’ll be calling on UWTSD Carmarthen again!”

(Lead image: Sky)

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Carmarthen

Carmarthen students create BRIT Award scenery and props for KSI, Anne-Marie and Digital Farm Animals

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A Theatre Design & Production alumni from The University of Wales Trinity Saint David created props and scenery for the BRIT Awards that was held recently at the O2 Arena in London.

Jake Linzey is the Managing Director of Leviathan Workshop, an award-winning company that specialises in prop making and puppets.

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His company was responsible for producing props and scenery for KSI, Anne-Marie & Digital Farm Animals performances at the BRIT Awards.

After finding out about the work, Jake reached out to industry colleague, UWTSD props & scenery lecturer Dave Atkinson to assist with the build of an element of the design for this production.

Jake had asked Dave to make a selection of suitcases and travel trunks which were to then be clad in faux leather.

Dave welcomed the opportunity as it is a prime example of demonstrating the skills taught to first years Set & Production Design students and demonstrated that these transferable skills are the same regardless of whether you are making for a small-scale theatre show or a high-end national event broadcast live on television.

Second-year students also assisted with the build of the cases and gained invaluable industry experience and portfolio work. The cases were delivered to the O2 Arena, where they were assembled into a scenic riser and dressed by Leviathan’s onsite team.

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This is the second time Leviathan has asked Dave Atkinson to provide support for the BRIT Awards, having worked previously on the 2019 BRITs for Little Mix.

Jake Linzey said, “The BRIT’s is an incredibly fast turnaround, and you have to be able to rely on your creative partners to deliver, I reached out to Dave and the students who did a fantastic job.”

A Theatre Design & Production alumni from The University of Wales Trinity Saint David created props and scenery for the BRIT Awards that was held recently at the O2 Arena in London.

As a UWTSD graduate, Jake said he’s committed to being involved with the course and has delivered guest lectures as well as working on modules. As a result, he said he wanted to give back to the University adding, “I remain keen to offer practical industry experience as a working relationship between Leviathan Workshop and the Creative Industries in UWTSD Carmarthen.”

UWTSD Theatre Design & Production lecturer, Dave Atkinson said, “Our BA Set Design & Production course is well known around the UK for its students’ practical capabilities and transferable skills. We look forward to continuing to develop the UWTSD brand in the creative industries, which, in turn, will broaden the networking between students and an array of industry professionals.”

(All images: UWTSD)

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Film & TV

Welsh actor Luke Evans sees odds slashed in race to become next James Bond

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Luke Evans has seen his odds cut to 18-1 in William Hill’s next James Bond market, making him the frontrunner for playing a Welsh 007 following Daniel Craig’s departure.

Born in Pontypool and raised in Aberbargoed, Evans is among the likely contenders for taking on the iconic role, and has now overtaken previous favourites Tom Hiddleston (20-1), Suranne Jones (20-1) and T’Nia Miller (25-1) in the market.

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Speculation is ramping up around who the next 007 will be following No Time to Die’s premiere last year, which saw Daniel Craig step down from the role after an impressive 15 years in the role. 

Welsh actor Luke Evans is one of the favourites to pick up the mantle – having previously stated that he’d “jump at the chance” to play James Bond, calling it “a phenomenal job, a phenomenal franchise, an incredible role.”

Evans would be the second Welsh actor to star as the secret agent – following Timothy Dalton – if he were to secure the role.

Previously having sat in the middle of the market, Evans has jumped to the top rank amidst other favourites Jamie Dornan (12-1), Lashana Lynch (7-1) and Tom Hardy (5-1).

Current frontrunner is Superman and Witcher star Henry Cavill, who’s priced at 2-1, followed by Bridgerton heartthrob Rege-Jean Page (11-4) and Luther actor Idris Elba (9-2).

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A William Hill spokesperson comments on the shortlist, saying: “When it comes to an iconic and long-running role like James Bond, it’s no surprise that speculation runs rife in the runup to official announcements – particularly given Daniel Craig’s successful tenure.

“Craig leaves big boots to fill, and current predictions suggest that Bridgerton heartthrob Rege-Jean Page could be the one to do so. It would be nice to see a seasoned actor like Luke Evans ttake up the mantle, to add further dimension to the prestigious 007 franchise.”

(Lead image: Visit Wales)

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