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Edinburgh’s leading theatres announce partnership with Queen Margaret University

Voice coach Marion Scott leading performing arts students from Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University in a class on stage at Edinburgh's Festival Theatre. Photo: Dougie Barnett

A major Edinburgh theatre trust has joined up with the city’s Queen Margaret University in a bid to develop new talent and support the wider creative and cultural sector in Edinburgh and Scotland.

The agreement is between QMU and the Festival City Theatres Trust, which runs the Festival, King’s and Festival Studio theatres. Students from QMU will be able to use facilities at the trust’s venues, as well as gain experience through internships, research and community engagement projects.

The two bodies say the agreement will lead to a wide variety of artistic and development opportunities for students, staff, the wider community and the trust itself.

The Festival theatre has already hosted its first teaching session with students practising voice work on the stage of the 1,915-seat theatre.

Students from across different specialisms, including drama, will be eligible for the opportunities offered.

Richard Butt, deputy principal at QMU, said the collaboration presents outstanding opportunities for students to learn in a true theatre and arts environment.

He said: “Beyond our drama, festival and cultural management students, there are also prospects for event management, PR, marketing and healthcare students to develop special projects.

“The partnership supports projects that are of mutual benefit and we will explore research initiatives that will help not only the Festival City Theatres Trust and QMU, but the wider community.

“The trust is also known for its progressive educational activities and we may also explore the possibilities of validating some of its educational programmes.”

Duncan Hendry, chief executive of the trust, described the agreement as “an exciting development with endless opportunities for collaboration across different specialisms”.

He said: “For example, by contributing to QMU steering groups, trust staff can help shape course development, ensuring students are equipped with the right skills to go into industry.

“We also look forward to benefiting from new research that can help enhance our business practice and the quality of the customer experience in our theatres.”