Jack Hinckley - University of Leeds Performing Arts student.

Jack Hinckley

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I am the youngest of three children from a small village in Hertfordshire and being the little one I always loved to make them laugh and play the fool. I think that’s where my love of performing comes from. My first stage appearance was as the Innkeeper in the school nativity at the age of four; I think it's still my Mum’s favourite performance to date. 

What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?

As a member of the Russell Group, I knew Leeds had a great reputation and on the open day the city, University and course exceeded all of my expectations. The minute I walked up to the Parkinson building I had a gut feeling that this was the place for me. I had obviously looked at other Universities’ programmes but the Theatre and Performance course here was head and shoulders above the others in regards to its diversity in opportunities and possesses the facilities to match.

What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?

I love performing because it allows you to step into somebody else’s shoes and hopefully (if you’re doing it right) people see you differently, which allows both them and I to escape from the outside world even if it's just for an instant. I chose to study this area further to develop a greater understanding of the theatrical world, combining theory with practice which this course does so well across numerous modules. 

What aspects of the course do you enjoy the most?  

The wide variety of choice for the students in regards to the multiple modules on offer, help tailor each specific students study to their preference. I think this is vital because it allows us to actually research an area of Theatre and Performance that we are interested in. Ranging from performing to directing, to design and stage management. There is equally as much freedom to allow students to create and perform their own work, in all shapes and sizes aided by readily available tutor and staff support. 

What would you say about Leeds as a city?

The best! There is always something going on no matter what you’re looking for, both within the University itself and also in the city. There are hundreds of shops, restaurants, bars, clubs and most importantly its really good for theatre too. The weather isn’t actually as bad as some people make out and it’s a lot cheaper than down south!

Tell us about the facilities.

Leeds was the only university I visited where the theatre facilities and learning spaces were at the heart of the campus, in a modern, airy purpose-built School which I think emphasises the importance it holds within the University.

The University itself offers what I believe is the best combination of a campus and city University, with the close proximity and intimacy of a campus university with the great location of a city university.

Have you taken part in any activities outside of your studies?

I was an avid member of Leeds University Union’s Theatre Group Society and served on the committee during my second and third year as the Social Secretary and then Treasurer. I don’t think my University experience would have been the same if it wasn’t for Theatre Group, I wouldn’t have had half as much fun or half as many friends as I do now.

I was fortunate enough to get into my first show in my first term of first year which ended up taking me to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and had the best experience. I would argue that I have learnt just as much about acting through performing with those older and better than me as I have done on the course itself. I believe the theatre societies go hand-in-hand with the course itself and any student who doesn’t get involved is missing out both socially and educationally.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

If you’re interested in learning more about the theoretical aspects of Theatre and Performance – Leeds is the place for you. Not every single module will be to your liking but that is the best thing about the ability to choose what modules you want to study. Throw yourself into any society you’re interested in that’ll give you the best experience and allow you to meet countless people. Just give it your best and have fun!

What do you plan to do once you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed at Leeds will help with these plans?

Hopefully, the knowledge gained on the course, during society shows and the life experience from my time in Leeds will help me to achieve a place at Drama School where I plan to study for an MA in Acting.