A graduate theatre company from the University of Chester has been given an impressive endorsement in its burgeoning career by one of the most performed writers in the English language.
John Godber, who has penned such plays as Bouncers, Teechers and Up ‘n’ Under, has given his support to up-and-coming theatre company Haylo – founded by Faculty of Arts and Media students Hayley Riley and Louise Evans, who met while freelancing as actors for the University’s Theatre in Education company, 2engage.
The artistic director of the acclaimed Hull Truck Theatre Company previewed Haylo’s touring production Over the Garden Fence has spent two days with the two writers and performers at the University of Chester; giving them a writing master class and helping them finely tune their production before they headed back out on the road.
It is a production that the award-winning dramatist saw something of himself in.
“It’s very early John Godber,” he said. “In fact it reminded me of my early days with Hull Truck Theatre because when I started there, I had next to nothing but the passion to make it work. They’re very much the same, so I guess they’ve brought out the underdog in me.
“I talked to them about the importance of really developing their skills and keeping on writing. What they’ve got now is really good but they need to persevere with it, to keep writing – after all, David Beckham didn’t become a great footballer after just one match.”
Hayley, 25, and Louise, 24, described the experience as ‘amazing’.