Senior Lecturer | Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Musical Theatre (Music) and MA Musical Theatre
As a Principal in Musical Theatre Meredith has been fortunate to have enjoyed an extensive national and international career, including roles in the West End as vocally diverse as Éponine in Les Misérables, Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, Lily in The Secret Garden (RSC), Betty Schaeffer in Sunset Boulevard (original cast) and Belle in Disney’s movie of The Muppet Christmas Carol. Her work has had many facets; considerable recording experience including original cast albums and solo albums, ‘straight’ acting in television, film and advertising and regular collaborations devising, originating, and performing new works.
The common thread throughout Meredith’s career has always been the passion to tell a story through song with technical expertise and informed truth and integrity. As a consequence of her broad musical experiences Meredith is now driven to strengthen the Music Theatre students’ development and growth by investigating the needs of the student in communicating and working with other Music and Theatre Professionals.
Meredith now leads the new BA (Hons) Musical Theatre (Music) degree. She has created twelve new modules including Acting Through Song, Theatre Craft, Song Writing, Musical Theatre – History and Context and Musicals on Screen providing diverse learning opportunities. It is the only musical theatre course in the UK to place the voice, acting through song and song analysis at its core while also giving a substantial skills framework with the study of dance (ballet, tap and jazz), acting techniques and contextual modules through all three years.
Previously, Meredith led Chichester’s Triple Threat Undergraduate Degree Acting Through Song course, wrote a module focusing on the history and academic analysis of Musical Theatre and led Vocal Development Masterclasses on both the Music and Music Theatre and Triple Threat courses with a focus on Acting Through Song, ‘Legit’ singing and Storytelling.
PhD summary – Acting Through Song: Teaching the Music Theatre student to make connections. Supervisor – Professor Laura Ritchie.
The need for potent and effective storytelling in straight theatre is well documented, studied and many faceted. ‘Music Theatre’ can fall foul of being too tightly defined. Musicals must reflect society, communicate ideas and contribute to human empathy and understanding, as does straight theatre, literature and the visual arts. Music theatre is also arguably dependent on a plethora of techniques and is intrinsically highly collaborative. However, if the performers’ interpretation is generalised the form is less able to make meaningful statements.
Greater connectivity of music, text, physicality and comprehensive historical and contextual understanding increases the potential for highly individualised performances. Furthermore, this originality firmly grounds the Actor’s commitment and ensures their connection with the audience. Truth is always more affecting than artifice.