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Reading College performing arts students take part in Reading’s Christmas celebrations

Reading College is delighted to announce that their performing arts students are taking part in Reading’s first Twilight Trail.

20 November 2020


Reading College is delighted to announce that their performing arts students are taking part in Reading’s first Twilight Trail. 

Students are creating a magical soundscape based on the poem ‘Twas the night before Christmas which will be played in a socially-distanced light and sound installation at Forbury Gardens and the Abbey Ruins from 8 December to 3 January. 

This unique work experience opportunity is due to Reading College’s unique partnership with Reading Rep Theatre, who were approached by Reading UK to create a sound installation as part of The Twilight Trail.   

The students will be performing Clement Clarke Moore’s famous poem alongside professional actor Rick Romero and will be directed by Chris Cuming. To accompany the excerpts of the poem, the students will also create sound effects and other elements.   

On Wednesday 18 November, acclaimed sound designer Pete Malkin attended the college on King’s Road to work with the students and started recording the first of the students’ excerpts of the poem.  

Pete has just finished working on Death of England at the National Theatre and has previously worked on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company. 


The students’ recordings will be dotted at specific points in the trail at Forbury Gardens. Visitors will be able to book a timeslot every 20 minutes from 4 – 8:40pm, starting at the Abbey Gate entrance of Forbury Gardens. 

Abigail Rylance-Sneddon, aged 16-years-old from Burnham, who is studying the Performing and Production Arts Level 3 Extended Diploma at Reading College, said: “By taking part in this project, I have been able to work with professionals from the theatre industry.  

“When I was working with Pete, I was challenged to perform the poem 'Twas The Night Before Christmas in lots of different ways. I have never worked with a Sound Designer before; it was interesting to learn more about that job.  

“I am excited to see the whole project come together.” 

Christie O'Carroll, Associate Director at Reading Rep and Performing Arts Teacher at Activate Learning, said: “I am delighted that Reading Rep were able to work with the brilliant Performing Arts students at Reading College to create something very special and magical this Christmas.  

“I think this year has proven how important the arts are, and it's such a great opportunity that are students are a part of one of the few physical performances taking place in the town this year.” 


Reading College’s performing arts courses are unlike any other in the country. As part of their pathway, students join Reading Studio of Dramatic Art, which is in partnership with Reading's professional theatre company, Reading Rep. 

Reading Rep is Reading’s resident professional theatre, which combines high-class productions with ground-breaking education and community engagement. The company helps transform Reading and the surrounding areas’ cultural landscape.  

Reading Rep produces diverse new voices on the stage, nurturing participants in the classroom and reaching out to the local community. In working alongside the most disadvantaged and marginalised communities in Reading, they continue to promote diversity, inclusion and accessibility in the arts. 

Find out more about performing and production arts courses at Activate Learning, or contact us on 0800 612 6008. Find out more and to book tickets for Reading’s Twilight Trail.