Episodes

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Broadcast
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01The Big Performance20161129

Raising the curtain on a very modern performing arts school, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

In this three-part series, Janice Long follows students during the final year of their degree, through graduation and out into the world as they try to enter the performing arts industry.

Singer-songwriter Katya, dancer Danielle and DJ Dan who is studying entertainment management are hardworking, dedicated students. They are determined to be at the forefront of the performance industries in a few short years. But first they have to hone their craft.

Katya is writing songs for her big final year show and Danielle has been cast to represent LIPA at a national dance convention. Dan has been DJ-ing and working in a radio station. As they prepare for final assignments and performances, they share the ups and downs of their final year as artists-in-training and their hopes for the future.

The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts was set up by Sir Paul McCartney and BRIT school founder Mark Featherstone-Witty just over twenty years ago. Sir Paul was worried about what they would offer - as he says, "you can't teach them to be John Lennon". As well as performance skills, LIPA claims to teach students the business side of one of the most competitive of industries.

With exclusive and close-up access to life at LIPA, we meet those who want to become arts practitioners of the future and those who are helping to get them there.

Producer: David James

Executive Producer: Rebecca Maxted

A Sparklab production for BBC Radio 4.

01The Big Performance20161129

Raising the curtain on a very modern performing arts school, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

In this three-part series, Janice Long follows students during the final year of their degree, through graduation and out into the world as they try to enter the performing arts industry.

Singer-songwriter Katya, dancer Danielle and DJ Dan who is studying entertainment management are hardworking, dedicated students. They are determined to be at the forefront of the performance industries in a few short years. But first they have to hone their craft.

Katya is writing songs for her big final year show and Danielle has been cast to represent LIPA at a national dance convention. Dan has been DJ-ing and working in a radio station. As they prepare for final assignments and performances, they share the ups and downs of their final year as artists-in-training and their hopes for the future.

The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts was set up by Sir Paul McCartney and BRIT school founder Mark Featherstone-Witty just over twenty years ago. Sir Paul was worried about what they would offer - as he says, "you can't teach them to be John Lennon". As well as performance skills, LIPA claims to teach students the business side of one of the most competitive of industries.

With exclusive and close-up access to life at LIPA, we meet those who want to become arts practitioners of the future and those who are helping to get them there.

Producer: David James

Executive Producer: Rebecca Maxted

A Sparklab production for BBC Radio 4.

01The Big Performance20170531
01The Big Performance20170531

Three students take us behind the scenes of their final year at performing arts school.

Raising the curtain on a very modern performing arts school, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

In this three-part series, Janice Long follows students during the final year of their degree, through graduation and out into the world as they try to enter the performing arts industry.

Singer-songwriter Katya, dancer Danielle and DJ Dan who is studying entertainment management are hardworking, dedicated students. They are determined to be at the forefront of the performance industries in a few short years. But first they have to hone their craft.

Katya is writing songs for her big final year show and Danielle has been cast to represent LIPA at a national dance convention. Dan has been DJ-ing and working in a radio station. As they prepare for final assignments and performances, they share the ups and downs of their final year as artists-in-training and their hopes for the future.

The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts was set up by Sir Paul McCartney and BRIT school founder Mark Featherstone-Witty just over twenty years ago. Sir Paul was worried about what they would offer - as he says, "you can't teach them to be John Lennon". As well as performance skills, LIPA claims to teach students the business side of one of the most competitive of industries.

With exclusive and close-up access to life at LIPA, we meet those who want to become arts practitioners of the future and those who are helping to get them there.

Producer: David James
Executive Producer: Rebecca Maxted
A Sparklab production for BBC Radio 4.

02Showtime20161206
02Showtime20161206

Raising the curtain on a very modern performing arts school, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

In the second of three programmes, broadcaster Janice Long meets actors Sarah and Connor and sound technician Django during their final year of their performing arts degrees.

Sarah always wanted to be a star. Her parents would proudly show videos of her singing Disney songs as a young child. Sarah's life has changed dramatically since moving from California to Liverpool for the start of her course, three years ago. She is struggling with artistic and personal challenges during her final year of drama school, and is faced with having to leave the UK in a few short months.

Connor's appetite for acting also began as a child, inspired by watching Power Rangers on TV. He was brought up in Mexborough, South Yorkshire where he admits a career in the arts isn't often a first choice for many. Connor is hoping to get an agent to help him launch his acting career after graduation.

Sound technician Django is the popular man on campus to know. He can be found running between recording sessions, theatre performances and gigs and is already mourning the end of his university life.

In audio diaries and interviews, Sarah, Connor and Django share their professional insecurities, artistic triumphs, personal challenges and hopes for the future. With exclusive and close-up access to life at LIPA, we meet the young people who want to become the arts practitioners of the future and those who are trying to get them there.

Producer: Rebecca Maxted

A Sparklab production for BBC Radio 4.

02Showtime20170601
02Showtime20170601

Three more students raise the curtain on their final year at performing arts school.

Raising the curtain on a very modern performing arts school, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

In the second of three programmes, broadcaster Janice Long meets actors Sarah and Connor and sound technician Django during their final year of their performing arts degrees.

Sarah always wanted to be a star. Her parents would proudly show videos of her singing Disney songs as a young child. Sarah's life has changed dramatically since moving from California to Liverpool for the start of her course, three years ago. She is struggling with artistic and personal challenges during her final year of drama school, and is faced with having to leave the UK in a few short months.

Connor's appetite for acting also began as a child, inspired by watching Power Rangers on TV. He was brought up in Mexborough, South Yorkshire where he admits a career in the arts isn't often a first choice for many. Connor is hoping to get an agent to help him launch his acting career after graduation.

Sound technician Django is the popular man on campus to know. He can be found running between recording sessions, theatre performances and gigs and is already mourning the end of his university life.

In audio diaries and interviews, Sarah, Connor and Django share their professional insecurities, artistic triumphs, personal challenges and hopes for the future. With exclusive and close-up access to life at LIPA, we meet the young people who want to become the arts practitioners of the future and those who are trying to get them there.

Producer: Rebecca Maxted
A Sparklab production for BBC Radio 4.

03Come Together20161213
03Come Together20161213

It's the curtain call for Janice Long in this last of three programmes following students through their final year at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

Shannen and Rachael are studying Applied Theatre and Community Drama, training to help community groups create theatre, drama and art with a purpose. For their final projects they are tackling the controversial topics of Islamophobia and immigration, trying to build bridges between communities in Liverpool.

Mature student Lauren is a Theatre and Performance Design student with a successful career in costume design. Now she wants to learn how to do more than make the clothes for film and TV - she wants to build a world. In her final project, she's tackling the themes of life and death.

All three women are trying to build careers in tough environments, where competition is fierce, money is tight, jobs are scarce and, for Shannen and Rachael, people don't always want to hear what they are trying to say.

The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts was set up by Sir Paul McCartney and Brit School founder Mark Featherstone-Witty over 20 years ago. They wanted to equip students with the skills to navigate one of the toughest industries. For Sir Paul, it's vital to encourage artists who see the world "through another lens".

In this final part of the series, we meet three final year students battling passionately to do exactly that - and make a living from it.

Producer: David James

Series Producer: Rebecca Maxted

A Sparklab production for BBC Radio 4.

03Come Together20170602
03Come Together20170602

Three more students raise the curtain on their final year at performing arts school.

It's the curtain call for Janice Long in this last of three programmes following students through their final year at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

Shannen and Rachael are studying Applied Theatre and Community Drama, training to help community groups create theatre, drama and art with a purpose. For their final projects they are tackling the controversial topics of Islamophobia and immigration, trying to build bridges between communities in Liverpool.

Mature student Lauren is a Theatre and Performance Design student with a successful career in costume design. Now she wants to learn how to do more than make the clothes for film and TV - she wants to build a world. In her final project, she's tackling the themes of life and death.

All three women are trying to build careers in tough environments, where competition is fierce, money is tight, jobs are scarce and, for Shannen and Rachael, people don't always want to hear what they are trying to say.

The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts was set up by Sir Paul McCartney and Brit School founder Mark Featherstone-Witty over 20 years ago. They wanted to equip students with the skills to navigate one of the toughest industries. For Sir Paul, it's vital to encourage artists who see the world "through another lens".

In this final part of the series, we meet three final year students battling passionately to do exactly that - and make a living from it.

Producer: David James
Series Producer: Rebecca Maxted

A Sparklab production for BBC Radio 4.