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Matthew Huggins, BA (Hons) Creative Writing, independent production

How one student turned a radio play written as part of his course into a full-blown independent production

One of the benefits of the wide range of courses delivered by the School of Arts and Creative Industries is the opportunity for cross-collaboration. Many courses share modules with others, which means our students are exposed to different ways of thinking, helping to give them a broader perspective and understanding of the industry.

Networking opportunities

Matthew Huggins would certainly agree that the networking and collaborative opportunities LSBU offers add a new dimension to the learning experience. In his second year, the BA (Hons) Creative Writing student penned a short radio play as part of his course. Entitled The Minister's Secret, the play focuses on a senior politician under investigation for killing his mother. As the investigation unravels, however, the sinister truth behind the minster's actions leaves more questions than answers.

Independent production

Upon completing the play, Matthew set about independently producing and directing it, working with four other LSBU students that he has met through the course. Johnny Cohen and Vladimir Svic from BA (Hons) Music & Sonic Media have taken on the roles of Post Production Sound Editors, with Delia Ra from BA (Hons) Drama & Performance composing the score. Fellow BA (Hons) Creative Writing student Jack Dowd is working with Matthew as Production Assistant, and professional cast, studios and crew have also been recruited.

"This is the opportunity I was looking for, as well as the course study," says Matthew. "Being at LSBU has enabled me to tap into so many resources - helping me to achieve above and beyond my ambition for my creative work.

Turning a dream into reality

Being able to work alongside editors, musicians, actors and actresses and many other disciplines means that producing a play – to professional standards – has been entirely achievable. 

It is important to make use of all the opportunities a university have to offer. I came to LSBU because I want a career as a full time writer, director and producer. The course is a good starting point, but I need a portfolio of produced work if I am to fulfil this ambition  - LSBU has helped to make that a reality!

Following a series of rehearsals, the play was recorded on 4 March, and a Premier Launch is planned for 1 April at the Edric Theatre. Guests will include industry experts, production companies and agents, guests of cast and crew, and VIPs, staff and students from LSBU. The evening will include the screening of the short film 'The Making of The Minister's Secret', which has also been produced by the students, and a Q&A session with Matthew and the cast.

Benefits of extra-curricular activity

"Working with other students, from other disciplines, has been an amazing experience," says Matthew. "The radio play was originally drafted as part of my course - but the collaboration with other students, the use of LSBU creative and media resources, as well as working with outside professionals has all helped to bring a script to life as piece of work that everybody can share in. I hope this example of a student-led production, of such high quality, serves as an example to other students about making use of all the opportunities at university, including who you meet, and pushing beyond what others and you think is possible to achieve."