BRICTT Brighton One Year On
After an intense, challenging and wonderful year, the Brighton Institute for Contemporary Theatre Training (BRICTT) has just bid a temporary farewell to their first ever cohort of Training Professionals at the start of the summer holidays.
BRICTT opened its doors to students for the first time in September 2017 offering a BA (Hons) course in Performing Arts to Brighton. The arrival of this exciting new course feels in keeping with the eclectic and creative nature of the city, and its close associations with BIMM and Brighton Film School make it a thriving centre for the performing arts, with many opportunities for collaboration and a sharing of facilities. In addition to the BA (Hons), BRICTT also offers an A level-equivalent diploma course in Performing Arts.
Brighton provides the perfect backdrop for both courses, and students are encouraged to participate in its vibrant arts scene. In May BA (Hons) students performed at The Warren as part of the Fringe Festival, in an innovative re – working of the Frankenstein story. The production received great reviews, and put BRICTT on the map as a school that is pushing boundaries in its explorations of contemporary theatre practice. Meanwhile Diploma students have performed Arthur Miller, and Shakespeare, as well as rounding off the year with a resoundingly successful version of Cabaret. Performances took place at a number of locations in Brighton, including the highly atmospheric venue, The Spire.
BRICTT is the brainchild of Mia Bird, an industry veteran with decades of experience working in all areas of the entertainment business. Mia’s goal is to train highly talented individuals, not only to develop and deepen their skills, but also to expand their thinking and to equip them with the ability to survive and flourish in a competitive industry. Mia believes it is essential for a performer to be able to market themselves and to produce their own work. The crux of the philosophy behind the course curriculum and delivery method for BRICTT is to present the industry with individuals who are not only talented and professionally trained, but also well equipped, physically and mentally, to face the inevitable challenges they will encounter. The core syllabus therefore includes topics such as physical fitness, mental resilience, professional development, money management and entrepreneurial skills. These are areas unlikely to appear within most curriculums for Performing Arts Courses.
Mia has hand – picked her faculty, who are all working practitioners with years of experience of both the industry and of teaching at HE level. Core training is boosted by regular sessions led by specific industry professionals from the West End, Television and Film. The staff team has been curated to provide a robust and extensive training for our students. The BRICTT mantra is built on engaging the students in high quality vocational training to develop the necessary skills and then use the extensive network of film, TV and theatre professionals to propel their careers into the working professional world.
BRICTT’s degree is validated by The University of Sussex, which is listed as one of the top twenty British Universities. This means that graduating students will leave with a highly prestigious qualification. Crucially, with that validation comes student funding, enabling talented individuals to train regardless of their financial backgrounds.
Down to the huge success of the existing Extended Diploma in Performing Arts delivered at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, BRICTT are launching at a second campus; Portslade Aldridge Community Academy. This is a fully funded, full time training programme for 16-18 year olds. It is a two-year intensive course focussed on developing performance skills, improving acting, dancing and singing technique, as well as making connections with the entertainment industry. Career Development classes will give a thorough understanding of the performance industry and where the students might fit within it. Practical classes cover a multitude of styles and disciplines, including Shakespeare, Text Analysis Book Musicals, Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Street Dance, Musical Theatre, Pop and Jazz.
Impressed by the results of the inaugural year and intrigued to hear more from the institute’s pioneering Founder, Absolute Sussex met up with Mia Bird to get the lowdown on how our readers can start their journey in the world of show business….
If our readers would like to apply for a course, where do they start and what is the process?
If you would like to join us, head straight to our website www.brictt.co.uk and click the ‘Apply Now’ button or for the degree you can go through UCAS.
Are your students mainly from the Brighton area or from far and wide?
The Diploma course is predominantly Brighton based, however we have students coming from London, Portsmouth and Eastbourne. For the degree we have students coming from all over the UK as well France, Norway and Portugal.
It’s notoriously difficult to ‘make it’ in the entertainment industry. What, aside from skill, does it take to break through?
In order to sustain a career in the performing arts it is not only essential that actors are trained to perform at the highest level, they should also be equipped, both mentally and physically, to face the challenges that they will inevitably encounter as they enter the business. We take the wellbeing of our students very seriously at BRICTT, offering a unique approach which embeds the practice of daily meditation and mindfulness into the fabric of the training. The actor’s secret weapons are a strong mind, self-respect and quiet self-confidence.
To what extent do you feel your students benefit from being based in the notoriously creative city of Brighton?
There are myriad benefits to studying in Brighton. We have close links to Brighton Fringe – England’s largest arts festival and partners with BIMM and Brighton Film School. Brighton, has over 30,000 current students, a beach on its doorstep, and the shopping areas of the North Laine and The Lanes, full of independent stores and entertainment businesses selling everything from clothes and music, to furniture and art. There are many theatres and live performance venues across the city, as well as hundreds of bars, pubs and clubs, and a vibrant gay scene. It’s a city where ‘being you’ is celebrated – an ethos very much in line with our own, whilst being close enough to London to be a the heart of the action.
BRICTT is already renowned for the institute’s connections within the business and the impressive portfolio of guest teachers. Who is in the BRICTT connections hall of fame?
Our industry connections are second to none. These are some of the most successful people in the business today and they will be instrumental in preparing you for your career in the performing arts industry
BRICTT patron Julian Stoneman is a West End and Broadway Producer. With over three decades of exhaustive experience in all aspects of theatre, starting with stage management at the age of 20, Julian is an industry veteran. Some of Julian’s credits include: Mama Mia, Billy Elliot, Rock of Ages, Urinetown, Let It Be and Finding Neverland, and his productions have won Laurence Olivier, Tony and WhatsOnStage Awards. Over the years Julian has worked with both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. He also sits on the Board of Management for the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and co-produces the Laurence Olivier Awards. Julian endorses the BRICTT ethos and joins us as our Patron. He takes a personal interest in our training professionals and will be visiting BRICTT frequently to pass on his expertise. He believes that graduates from BRICTT have the highest possible chance of success.
For know more information visit www.brictt.co.uk