It was an extraordinary day this week when BAFTA award winning actress, TV writer and star of the hit sitcom ‘Spaced’, Jessica Hynes, dropped into Walsall College to meet Supported Learning Performing Arts students.
The actress, who has worked on TV shows and films including W1A, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Bridget Jones’ Diary and The Royle Family, announced an offer via her Twitter account to visit 20 state schools to encourage young people to enter the acting and screenwriting professions.
This offer was snapped up by Walsall College’s Students’ Union team, and as promised Jessica visited the college on Wednesday 27th April. During the day she watched students in rehearsals for their end of year show, talked to them about their career aspirations and also gave advice to the aspiring young actors about the range of careers available in the theatre and TV industry.
Jessica said: “I had such a wonderful day at the college and it was a privilege to meet the students, who are fantastic and incredibly talented, which is great credit to the staff within the department who are all very skilled and bring their unique, individual style to their teaching. It was a pleasure to watch them rehearsing and made for a truly memorable day.”
Curriculum Manager for Supported Learning at Walsall College, Paul Bagnall, said: “We are delighted and grateful that our Students’ Union team were able to organise this visit for the students and to Jessica for taking time out of her busy schedule. It has been an amazing experience for everyone involved.
“We’ve also given Jessica an open invitation to come back and watch future performances when her commitments allow her to, so hopefully we will see her again soon.”
Supported Learning Lecturer, Tanya Lewis, said: “The students were very excited to meet a real life celebrity and were truly inspired by the visit.”