Where are they now: Alumnus Karl Falconer on being one of the first to study at Media City
Karl Falconer graduated from the University of Salford in 2012, securing a degree in our BA (Hons) Television & Radio Production course. Ten years later, he looks back on his time at Salford, reflects upon being one of the first to walk through the halls of the MediaCityUK campus and reveals what he’s been up to since.
Tell us about being one of the first groups to move into the Media City campus.
We moved into MediaCityUK in the third year of my course and were one of the first cohorts into the building. Suddenly it felt as though we were somewhere, and there was a clear link between our studies and the mysterious 'industry' we had been working towards: suddenly they were right across the road! This was incredibly exciting, daunting, and drove me to want to make an impact with the work I was creating.
You’ve been extremely busy since you left Salford. What’re you currently working on?
I am a producer and director about to open my own theatre, The Purple Door, in Liverpool. I've worked across the UK and Ireland with my own production company and have been funded by places including the Arts Council and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, for my work supporting working-class young people into the arts.
That sounds amazing! Can you drop any big names you’ve worked with?
My work has been staged and screened across the UK and supported by figures including Stephen Fry and Ian McKellen.
Although it’s an obvious choice, tell us why you chose Salford.
Salford was a natural choice to me at the time and seems to have only grown stronger since I graduated. The facilities and location made it a much more logistical option for me than moving to London, and the fact that the industry is increasingly focussed in and around Manchester makes it a great place to learn.
What else have you been up to since you left?
I also lecture and teach now and have worked in London for the last three years, where I recommend many of my students come and study at Salford.
And finally, what advice would you give your own students, and ours?
My advice is always the same: go out and create work. University is a great chance to discover your voice: especially if you want to be creative, it's not enough to just learn the craft (which anyone can do on YouTube these days) but to discover what you want to say and why you need to say it. Don't just look at your timetable; consider all the resources available to you and be relentless in how you make use of them. Think of university as an investment in yourself.
You can see what’s on in Karl’s new theatre here.
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