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Goodbye to Bulmershe! New home for Film, Theatre & Television at Whiteknights 

For more than 40 years, teaching and research in the Department of Film, Theatre & Television have been done from its base on the Bulmershe campus. From April 2011, the Department will become an even more vibrant and exciting place to study when it moves into a new, £11 million building, situated right in the heart of the Whiteknights campus. 

The new home for the Department of Film, Theatre & Television will be known as the Minghella Building, in honour of Anthony Minghella, the award-winning playwright, screenwriter and director, who sadly died in 2008.

Anthony Minghella was made an Honourary Graduate of the University of Reading in 2006 and was a patron of the Beckett International Foundation at the University. To mark the Centenary of Beckett’s birth the same year, he directed a star-studded gala evening of readings from Beckett in Reading. He is perhaps best known though for his hugely successful film directing career, which included The English Patient and The Talented Mr Ripley.  

The £11 million project will include:-

  • A state-of-the-art cinema with comfortable, raked seating, high definition digital projection and 7.1 surround sound
  • Resources for shooting high definition digital DVD
  • Post-production areas including individual state-of-the-art editing suites, training spaces and facilities for audio mixing
  • A sound studio to create exciting, original sound tracks for film, theatre or television.
  • Two fully-equipped theatre spaces, licensed for public performance, and equipped with the latest sound, lighting and projection technology
  • An experimental studio for exploratory work including installations, new media presentations and multimedia performance
  • A multi-camera TV studio and mixing gallery
  • Workshops to develop design ideas and create props and costumes
  • Flexible break-out spaces to develop ideas in small groups
  • An excellent resource collection of films, recorded performances and TV programmes

Professor Gordon Marshall, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “Anthony was a leading figure in the arts nationally and internationally, and it is appropriate that the new building should bear his name. He first began visiting the University during his own doctoral research on Samuel Beckett’s drama and he later became a Patron of the Beckett International Foundation, which is based here.”

Mrs Gloria Minghella said: “Anthony would be so proud to know that this amazing new building is to be named after him. It goes without saying that he was incredibly passionate about the arts, and was an ardent supporter of anything that would enable and encourage young people to explore their own and others' creativity. He described himself as a "Beckett anorak" - and indeed he was. Beckett's passion for language, for honesty, humour and ultimately, his understanding of the human condition; these are the things that Anthony aspired to in his own work. And Anthony brought something else too. His unique and wonderful self. We hope and trust that future users of this incredible building, with its marvellous facilities, will be as inspired by our beloved son, as Anthony was inspired by Beckett.”

In addition to the Department of Film, Theatre & Television, the facilities of the Minghella Building will be available for use by other colleagues in the University.

There will be a chance for former Film, Theatre & Television and Film & Drama students to bid farewell to Bulmershe Court this term...

We are inviting alumni from the Department of Film, Theatre & Television to a special event on Saturday 11th December which will include a performance of the final Bulmershe Production at Bulmershe Court. Professor Lib Taylor is directing the annual research-based theatre performance in the Bob Kayley Studio Theatre. Tickets for the event, including the performance, cost £10 and are available to book online here.

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