What The Ladybird Heard at The Palace Theatre is based on Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’ famous series of books for young readers. It has been nominated for the Best Family Show category for the 2022 Olivier Awards, one of Britain’s most prestigious stage honours.

We sat down with Actor Musicianship BA (Hons) graduates Abigail Middleton, Roddy Lynch and current Costume Production BA (Hons) student Georgina Cooper, to discuss what it has been like working on the musical, and how their studies at Rose Bruford College prepared them to take on one of the biggest stages in London’s West End.

Roddy what excited you about this role?

I was really excited about this project as it was bringing a popular children’s book to an actor-muso narrative. Having been in lockdown prior to starting this show, it felt incredible to begin post-pandemic life with a wholesome story and play a part in a little one’s first theatre experience!

Georgina how do you apply what you learnt at Rose Bruford to your day-to-day work?

Most of all the sewing skills I have learnt have given me the confidence in the work that I do. Working collaboratively within the college has prepared me to work with all the different departments and respect the multi-disciplines costume, wigs, sound, stage management, front of house etc.

Abigail what did you enjoy most about your studies?

Rose Bruford really encouraged us to create and try new things! I loved how it brought me out of my shell, musically I had a very classical background where I wasn’t too comfortable trying new things, improvising, or jamming in a group!

Rose Bruford really took me out of that place, it encouraged me to take new risks every day and if it didn’t work it didn’t matter. This transferred into my acting too, follow your impulse and give it a go!

Do you have advice to any students considering or studying this course now?

Abigail: If you’re training, try and take in everything, every second, because yes it’s a time filled with hard graft, learning and self-reflection, but it’s also a magical time full of friends, community and growth. You get to create, play and work with your friends every single day and I think that’s the thing I miss the most!

Georgina: I would say if you wanted to gain confidence and stretch your making ability, this (Costume Production BA Hons) course is for you! Take as many opportunities as you can, make connections within college, visiting tutors and outside of college. Be a nice person to work with and be a team player in all the work that you do. You will learn so many skills from drafting your own patterns to dyeing and breaking down to millinery, we do it all and be prepared to put the hours in!

Roddy: You are enough. No matter whether you look at it from an acting perspective or as a musician, you have something that no one else does. Actor Musicianship isn’t about how technically gifted you are as a player.

It’s about how you extend your current skill set into a dramatic narrative. As long as you’re open to exploring new ideas, meeting new people and most of all…playing! You’ll open up a whole world of possibilities to how you approach performing.

Best of luck to Roddy, Abigail and Georgina at this year’s Olivier Awards ceremony, taking place at the Royal Albert Hall on 10th April. Learn more about our Actor Musicianship BA (Hons) and Costume Production BA (Hons) courses at the links below.

Costume Production BA (Hons)

Actor Musicianship BA (Hons)