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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

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Carlisle students share stage with screen giant John Hurt

Dreams became reality for Carlisle students, when they got a unique chance to act alongside and direct one of Hollywood’s greatest stars.

John Hurt photo
John Hurt with student Nicola Davidson playing a scene from King Lear

John Hurt, currently known as the voice of the dragon in hit BBC television series Merlin, captivated the Carlisle College students yesterday with his inspiring performances.

Some of the students were fortunate enough to star alongside Hurt, as the rest of the class exercised their production, sound and filming skills.

Among the lucky ones was Nicola Davidson, 24, from Carlisle, who performed scenes from King Lear with the actor.

“It was just amazing,” she said. “It was so intense – I had to concentrate the whole time on keeping calm.”

Nicola admitted that unless she is “very lucky”, she will never again experience a day like it.

Hurt took the time to complete the two-hour workshop at the Fratry in Carlisle Cathedral with the students as part of Keswick Film Festival. Last year he became a patron of the festival and completed a question and answer session, but it was decided that this year he should be more involved with the “next generation”.

Mr Hurt said: “The whole purpose of experience is being able to share it with people who can use it.

“We need to connect the past and the future in order to make the present. The students have a wonderful enthusiasm. It is great fun.”

Also taking part in the workshop and imparting his wisdom, was Don Boyd – producer of The Tempest.

He said that working with media studies students such as those from the college was vital in ensuring the continuing flow of knowledge.

“With the media now being the way it is, kids grow up with technology,” Mr Boyd said.

He was pleased with the students’ work, but added: “They were almost over-respectful. We can sometimes learn as much from them as they can from us.”


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