School of English Literature

Delight at Former Student's Oscars Sweep

Publication date: 23/02/2009

This success comes after Slumdog Millionaire won a number of awards in this year’s Golden Globe awards and in the BAFTAs.

Danny Boyle graduated from Bangor University with a Degree in English and Drama in 1978.

Professor Tony Brown of the School of English, who taught Boyle, recalls that “He seemed a very mature, very focused and down-to-earth student and very involved with what was going on in University drama.  In particular I remember him acting in a first-rate production of Edward Bond’s controversial play Saved in Theatre Gwynedd.”

“I am surprised at his success only in that I had expected him to be a stage actor or director. He spent some time at the Royal Court Theatre, under Max Stafford Clark; then he went free-lance, which included a move into television and a couple of episodes of Inspector Morse.”  After success with the low-budget Shallow Grave, he gained even more attention with Trainspotting. Both films starred Ewan McGregor. He has gone on to direct such films as The Beach (with Leonardo di Caprio), 28 Days Later and Millions.

Professor Brown recalled “Danny Boyle visited Bangor a couple of years ago to speak with our film students. (In his day, whilst one could study Drama, there were no courses in Film; now students can study English with Film.)  He was terrific with the students: very low-key and unassuming, willing to answer lots of questions—including some quite technical ones—but wanted no publicity. Interestingly, when one of the students asked him if he’d have been better off going to film school instead of taking a degree in English and Drama, he said he was glad he had taken the route he had: it had given him a breadth of knowledge and experience.”

Professor Graeme Harper of the University’s School of Creative Studies and Media commented: “Danny Boyle has recently been described as one of the world’s most ‘energetic’ directors. Slumdog Millionaire certainly shows that that’s true! We’re looking forward to welcoming other students to Bangor’s theatre and film courses to carry on the tradition of Bangor graduates sweeping the big awards in the future!” 

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