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Morley students fight to save drama courses

Drama students at Morley College have launched a campaign to protest about the planned closure of the drama programme at the end of this academic year.

In a video posted on YouTube students talk about how much the drama courses at the college mean to them and the impact that the closure would have on future generation of students.

Kevin Spacey of The Old Vic has indicated his support for the campaign to save drama at Morley College. Morley was established at the Old Vic and the histories of the college and theatre are closely linked.

The campaign also enjoys the backing of One Foot in the Grave star Richard Wilson.

Last month we reported the planned closure of the drama programme at Morley, prompted by a cut in the college's funding from the Learning and Skills Council.

Subjects such as drama are out of favour in the adult education world with the emphasis on basic skills and courses more closely aligned to the needs of the business world.

Between 250 and 300 students are enrolled on drama courses at Morley at any one time. Daytime and evening courses cater for beginners and more experienced actors.

Staff and students are full of praise for the facilities at Morley, especially the Studio Theatre which they descibe as the "jewel in the crown".

Alumni of the Morley drama department have often formed their own theatre companies and put on plays at local fringe theatres such as the White Bear in Kennington.

Public speaking and voice classes offered by the drama tutors have a wider appeal beyond the arts world.

A petition against the closure has also been launched. It can be signed online at www.savemorleydrama.co.uk

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