Edinburgh Napier alumni cast in new Netflix series

Blair Kincaid, who studied acting for stage and screen at Edinburgh Napier University, has been cast in new Netflix fantasy series The Witcher alongside Hollywood superstar Henry Cavill. 

Blair’s page on Spotlight.com states that the actor is “currently filming in the new Netflix epic The WITCHER,” and lists Napier/Queen Margaret, BA(Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen from the years 2013-2015 as his education.

The Witcher, based on the books by polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, follows professional monster hunter Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) on a quest to spare his adopted daughter Ciri (Freya Allan) from a cruel fate.


Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in new Netflix series The Witcher. (Credit: Netflix)

Blair will be playing Crach an Craite, a battle-hardened commander of the military forces of the Skellige Isles, who comes to the heroes aid several times over the course of the story. The Skellige Isles are home to seafaring warriors which appear to be inspired by a mixture of Celtic and Viking culture, who don tartan and belong to clans. They most resemble a group of real historical people known as the Norse-Gaels who were a hybrid culture of the Gaels and Norsemen. We can expect that Blair will keep his Scottish accent to play Crach.

Crach an Craite has been represented before in The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, a video game series also based on the books by Sapkowski, though the games act as a sequel to the books while Netflix’s series will be a direct adaptation of the novels.

Ian Dunn, lecturer in the Acting Department at Edinburgh Napier University, says that it’s not a surprise that Blair Kincaid will act in the Netflix series.

“He was a talented student and since he moved to London he’s been up for different jobs. It feels great that he got his chance and joined other successful acting students,” Ian Dunn says.

The Witcher is set to be released on Netflix in 2019, but we can assume it’ll be towards the end of the year as filming is still taking place in Budapest and the Canary Isles.

If Blair fairs well in this coming series, we can hope to see him join the ranks of famous Scottish actors such as Ewen McGregor, James McAvoy and Gerard Butler!


Daniela Groza: Carving a Sustainable Future in Jewellery Design


One of Daniela Groza’s designs. (Credit: Theodor Mihalcea-Simoiu)

Independent jewellery designer and co-founder of the R Sustainable Fashion Show; Daniela Groza is the perfect example of how the younger generation is grasping at the potential of an increasingly sustainable future.

Currently a third year Jewellery Design student at the Edinburgh College of Art, Daniela is passionate about sustainability and conscious clothing, often repurposing her old items into new jewellery pieces.

Through combining her creative skills and knowledge of both design and science, the inspiring student is hoping to propose solutions and raise awareness of the environmental and social implications of our fast fashion and consumerist based tendencies.

For Daniela, jewellery has always been a passion. From making duct tape wallets at the age of 10, her abilities soon developed towards taking bead-work and wire-work jewellery classes near her home in Romania. Leading to her selling her own designs over Facebook at the age of 14.

Back then she was young and unaware of the negative implications behind the Textile and Mining Industries.

“It was only when I came to Edinburgh University that I started to learn about sustainability within fashion. By taking part in a Sustainable Fashion Show, organised by the student association, I got to experiment with waste materials such as polystyrene, phone cables, cardboard, by turning them into sculptural pieces of jewellery for the runway show,” she explains.

Since then, Daniela has been elected by the ECA to be a student Ambassador for the Ethical Making Pledge, raising awareness of the importance of using recycled metals and natural dyes as a practicing jeweller.

Her role is to make the workshop a safer and more eco-friendly environment by implementing natural substitutes for the chemical-based solutions that we use in jewellery making.

“AEON is my latest collection of jewellery, released right before Christmas 2018. Inspired by Architecture, the concept behind it was the idea of preserving ancient artefacts through incorporating modern features, by using the process of digital fabrication and 3D printing.  I created a series of architectural landscapes to be adorned on the body, giving life to unique fashion statements.

“I have begun to turn towards a more ethical and conscious practice, using recycled silver and natural dyes. For this collection, I used silver dust and scrap that I had gathered in a jar since my 1st year of University.

“Another process used is called Electro-forming, which is growing a layer of metal onto a surface, using electricity. Using this technique, I grew copper textures onto my 3D printed objects, giving them an antique finish. I also used natural dyes such as Charcoal,” she says.


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Daniela’s university career has been busy – not that she minds. When she’s not designing new pieces for future collections, she’s simultaneously running her online shop and arranging future events to follow last years hugely successful show and exhibition – R Sustainable Fashion Show.

“I am very lucky to have found my passion from a young age, therefore I decided to turn it into a career by joining the Jewellery and Silversmithing programme at Edinburgh College of Art.

“Currently in year 3, the collections I create are both for my course and for my online store, this way I combine my studies with my personal business,” she says.

The R Sustainable Fashion Show is a professional platform through which student designers and artists can engage with the wider audience on matters related to sustainability, by presenting their work publicly.

“We are constantly working towards the R Sustainable Fashion Show 2019 and so we will be doubling the number of attendants for this year’s event and are aiming for an audience of at least 400 people. The event will take place on March 24th at the Jam House, Edinburgh,” Daniela explains.

This years event is a chance to fundraise for One Cherry, a local startup that digitalises local charity shops by implementing an online platform for their products to be advertised, encouraging online charity shopping.

The event consists of a runway show including student designers, and will end with a preview of “the best of” One Cherry charity shop outfits.

Amidst all this planning, Daniela is learning Japanese ahead of her study abroad term in Osaka this April.

“I chose Japan because I want to travel to a place where I have never been to experience and taste a new culture. I think it’s a cool language and I am very excited to meet people, share ideas, explore new approaches to design, and learn new skills!” she says.

With new ventures on the horizon Daniela is undoubtedly acing the student come business women act, successfully creating an authentic and unique business model based on renewable principles.

“There is always room for improvement when it comes to sustainability. We’re really hoping to raise awareness of the future of fashion, sustainable material manipulation, and ethical practices, through our Exhibition and Runway showcase RSFS 2019.”

Shop Daniela’s latest jewellery collection here.

Photos by Theodor Mihalcea-Simoiu

University sued for ‘Mickey Mouse’ degree as students are encouraged to bring ‘other life skills’ by employers

A former student is taking legal action against her university claiming she was left with little more than a “Mickey Mouse” degree.

Pok Wong is suing Anglia Ruskin University for £60,000 claiming the degree has not furthered her career despite graduating with a first in 2013.

Similar court cases have always ruled in favour of the University in the past but with expensive tuition fees it’s no surprise that student’s may expect their degree to gain them entry to their chosen field.

Anglia Ruskin University Image Credit: Mohammed Tawsif Salam


There are clear advantages for most who take part in further education. A 2016 Government report showed that graduates had a higher employment rate of 88% compared to the 70.4% of non-graduates. University leavers also see higher income, earning on average £9,500 more annually than those without a degree.

Gerry Mcphail, 29  is studying an MsC in Brewing and Distilling at Heriot Watt University and will be graduating in the summer.

He said, “I’ve not got a job yet but I don’t think it’ll be too hard getting one, the course has a pretty good employment rate.

“It might be trickier for me, due to my partners job I’m pretty much stuck in Glasgow or Edinburgh whereas others on the course are applying all over the world. It’s a pretty well recognised course internationally so that’s the route a lot of students go.

“I should be fine though, this is my second degree so I’d  hope I can get a job with two masters degrees.”

Lewis Mcdonald, 22, is at Glasgow Caledonian studying a BA (Hons) in Media and communication and will also be finishing his studies in the coming months.He said;

“I don’t have a job lined up, but mostly because I haven’t looked. With my dissertation and work outside of Uni i haven’t spent much time focusing on getting a job with my degree.

“I do think the degree was worth it  but more so for just having a degree than it being this specific degree. I suppose i’ll be able to answer that better in a few years.”

With the amount of graduates entering the workplace year on year, most companies look for more than just a qualification when interviewing.

JP Morgan Office, Dublin, Image Credit: Eric Jones


Adele Gibson is a Senior Associate at JP Morgan who works in graduate recruitment.

She said, “We always look at applicant’s extra-curricular activities while at university alongside their academic qualifications.

“While we do obviously look for people with good degrees from top universities, we have found that candidates with other life skills can often outperform someone who perhaps has a first but no real life experience.

“We also aim for diversity in our recruitment process, having people from lots of different walks of life helps us look at projects from many different perspectives.” 

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Police appeal for help to find missing Edinburgh student

Concerns are growing over a missing French student who disappeared from the Edinburgh College accommodation on Monday.

Antoine Maury, a French national studying in Edinburgh, has not been seen since and officers are growing concerns for his safety.

The 21-year-old man was last seen wearing a brown/ green bomber jacket with dark coloured chinos and a white beanie hat.  He is also believed to have been wearing black and white Vans trainers.

Antoine has a good level of spoken English, but is unfamiliar with Edinburgh and may have become lost.

The Police Scotland helicopter was deployed yesterday as part of the ongoing search for Antoine.

Inspector Neil Clyde of Craigmillar Police Station said:  “Antoine is new to Edinburgh and will not familiar with the layout of the city.

“With this in mind we believe he may be lost and we are eager to trace him as soon as possible. “We would ask anyone who has seen Antoine or recognises his description to contact police on 101.”




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