Anna Leckey explores the fringey types
Anna Leckey is a recent graduate from LSBU where she gained her First Class Honours Degree in Drama and Performance. Working with two fellow graduates of the course, she has formed her own theatre company – Threes Theatre.
Following a successful grant application to her local city council in Northern Ireland, and generous funding from the Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, she has just staged her first production, Thinking About Thoughts. The show which features live actors, no dialogue and multi-channel headphones and recorded dialogue has been well received in Belfast where reviewers described it as “exciting”, “experimental” and “a new type of theatre”.
Anna always had a passion and a dream to study drama, and found our BA (Hons) Drama and Performance course to be the perfect choice. “I loved every moment of my time there and the course was amazing,” she says, “I met some incredible lecturers and theatre makers and now, as graduates, we are making our own big dreams happen together.”
She credits the course with enabling her to discover herself as an artist. “Upon entering university I believed I wanted to be an actress on a stage performing in someone else’s play, however LSBU gave me the chance to discover myself as an artist, and I soon realised that I am most fulfilled creating work from scratch and working in collaboration with the amazing theatre makers I have met on my journey,” she explains. “The course is structured in such a way that you learn to devise as well as perform and as an artistic ensemble you are always pushed to create thought provoking pieces of theatre.”
Anna found our central location to be a big advantage to her studies. “Studying in the centre of London’s theatre world gave me the chance to see unique performances, the fringey types, upstairs in a pub, or the musicals on the West End as well as making a bit of money working as extras in shows,” she says. “There is always something happening in the city, and what you see can inspire you to make your own work.”
Living the creative dream
For her final major performance project at LSBU Anna worked with classmate Jay Birbeck to create something they were both incredibly proud of; using multi-channel headphone technology, 3D glasses and projectors they explored the life of a female scientist in the 1950s. Along with two other graduates, Ed Richards and Mathieu Lovelace, Thinking About Thoughts is a continuation of their professional theatre making collaboration, as Anna explains: “I decided there was so much more work to be explored when working with these multi-channel headphones in a theatrical environment, and that I loved the idea of giving an audience the choice to experience something different to the person beside them.”
Anna is grateful for the support she’s received from LSBU. “LSBU lecturers are still supporting me on my creative journey and I have always really appreciated the fact that the staff are all still working in the theatre profession,” she says. “My time at LSBU allowed me to develop confidence in my ability and to find my own voice as an artist.”
Dreams for the future
Anna recalls that initially she found it an adjustment leaving London and moving home to Belfast: “I missed the big city terribly and thought that the arts scene at home just wasn’t as vibrant and exciting, and that I needed to move back if I ever wanted to make it as a theatre maker.” She continues, “However, I have realised that what I really want to do is make work that people haven’t seen before, and now that is exactly what I’m doing, taking my inspiration from London and bringing it home.”
When asked what her advice would be for current students, Anna says: “Work hard, it will always pay off, and don't worry too much about what your next steps are going to be. You don't have to know what you want to do with your life right now.”