Sam hardy english and theatre

Sam Hardy

Why did you choose to study at the University of Leeds?

I chose the University of Leeds because it engages with the city’s hugely expansive arts landscape and has a leading reputation.

The city is a proud home of four major theatres and an arena, where I have performed and been invited to attend. It is also one of the few places in the world to offer English Literature and Theatre Studies as a single honours subject, where often, subsequent crossovers provide you with that distinctive academic perspective.

What opportunities have you taken advantage of while studying here so far?

I have collaborated and performed with some of the UK’s top theatre practitioners, such as Terry O’Connor’s recent production Beware the Cat, on behalf of the British Animal Studies Network thanks to Dr Lourdes Orozco.

I have also been invited to participate in new pedagogic research conducted by Dr Helen Iball. I enjoy performing alongside the Playhouse Lab community, for our script-in-hand, improvised readings of various Early Modern and Renaissance plays.

How do you think your experience will help you in your career?

It is not what you know, it is not who you know, it is who knows you. Studying in the School of English’s Workshop Theatre has developed my career prospects significantly.

Through gaining invaluable, daily contact with some of the world’s leading scholars and critics in the literary and theatrical setting, I am connecting with those I simply would not have without studying my BA Honours here. Already it is reaping benefits before I have even graduated.

What skills have you gained so far?

Studying my course at the University of Leeds has equipped me with the knowledge and technical skill to thrive in the artistic and educational landscape.

Having worked closely with experienced technical director Lee Dalley, I am equipped with the hands-on experience I need to produce professional theatre once I graduate.

Additionally, there have been a few instances where dropping my tutors’ names have led to me meeting world-renowned theatre directors!

Have you worked closely with a particular tutor or member of staff?

A highlight from studying at Leeds is engaging with the works of Harold Pinter and other revolutionary writers of the twentieth-century world stage from the world-leading Harold Pinter scholar, Dr Mark Taylor-Batty.

I am delighted to have Mark as my personal tutor and Final Year Project supervisor, where his guidance has been invaluable in the construction of not only my academic theatrical identity, but of my general University experience at Leeds.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering studying English Literature and Theatre Studies?

Something I am always asked: “Is the English and Theatre balance fifty-fifty?”

I would definitely say it is, and after your first year there is the freedom to lean more towards one.

Furthermore, Leeds is one of the few universities offering the course as a single honours, meaning you can establish great relationships in a wonderful community of English and Theatre lovers.

What do you think of the facilities?

Being an English Literature and Theatre Studies student provides me with 24-hour access to 4 performance and rehearsal spaces in the Workshop Theatre, which means it does become a bit of a second home during the exam periods!

Due to the smaller cohort numbers in comparison to other universities, you have more frequent access to all of the state-of-the-art facilities here.

And what do you think of Leeds as a city?

Leeds is a vibrant and diverse city, and known as the capital of the North for a reason. The city centre, and especially the arts scene here, is growing at an unstoppable rate. There really is something for everybody.