Barry talent shines spotlight on China

Barry talent shines spotlight on China

CONNECTION: West meets East

DIRECTORS CUTS: Principal Christian Bullen with Chinese hosts

TUTOR ARRIVALS: On Chinese soil

EDUCATING: Show skills

STAGE PRESENCE: China display

SOLO: At the mic

First published in News

A BARRY-BASED performing arts academy has begun translating its talent on a global scale.

Superstars in the Making put Wales’ largest town on the map by opening its courses in China recently.

Superstars director Christian Bullen, 24, has returned from a two-week visit to Zhengzhou, where he and his team provided Chinese children with a Superstars in the Making course in which they learned directly from the tutors and created a show over 10 days.

Tutors Joseph Mees, Ruby Hartery, both 20, Amy Smith and Lisa Mitchard, both 25, also flew out to China helping to produce a show viewed by hundreds of Chinese residents who demanded a course encore.

Superstars in the Making principal Christian said the Chinese students really enjoyed experiencing traditional British drama education and learning about UK culture. They also learned about Wales and some picked up a few Welsh words and phrases.

Christian said: “I am thrilled to be able to offer our course on an international level. Seeing the Chinese children and teachers wearing our uniform and enjoying our training was so special. From starting this training brand in Barry five years ago, to now being on an international level, makes me realise that all the hard work was worth it.”

The Barry tutors steeped up to the challenge - travelled for 26 hours to deliver the 10-day intensive course.

Christian said: “Teaching children in English was also challenging as some children were not as competent in English speaking as others. Over time the students’ English speaking improved and this was very rewarding. Even though the teachers found it challenging, they felt the reward of the joy and satisfaction in the Chinese students. They built new friendships with Chinese staff who were really welcoming and became attached to the children. It was also a fantastic opportunity for our UK teachers to experience a new culture and visit China. The teachers got to visit Beijing, on the day of the Lantern Festival, which was a very special event.”

Tutor Joe added: “The course in China was a truly rewarding experience. Seeing the students developing their English skills and watching their confidence grow each day was really overwhelming. The students worked really hard and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was a fantastic opportunity and we had a life changing experience.”

The Chinese partners of Superstars in the Making, including the President of a highly prestigious university, travelled to Barry earlier this month where they visited Marco’s Cafe at Porthkerry Park and the Superstars in the Making Barry branch at St John’s Hall Barry, where they watched the UK staff teaching its programme.

They also watched students in class and were presented them with some Welsh cakes, a Welsh love spoon and a Croeso sign.

Superstars in the Making will host an international summer school at Memo Arts Centre, Barry, where Chinese students will visit the UK with their parents and stay in Barry for seven nights where they will receive training from the local academy for six days.

Christian said: “I am very excited to be placing Barry on the map as an international destination for travel and performance education. Having grown up in this town I know that it has a lot to offer and is often sidelined. Hopefully we can prove that Barry is a vibrant place with stunning scenery and talented people. The Memo Arts Centre, at the heart of the arts in Barry, is an excellent place for the Chinese students to train.”

Courses will run from May each weekend in Zhengzhou China as well as numerous summer courses and a special project lined up in Beijing.

For details or to get involved visit www.superstarsinthemaking.com or email director@superstarsinthemaking.com

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