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Masterclasses Spring 2019
Saturday  Masterclasses
We are delighted to offer Saturday Workshops and Courses for Adults. Aimed at actors, teachers and drama students, these Masterclasses offer cutting edge professional development and are led by industry specialists.

FEES for these Masterclasses can be paid using PayPal  here 

Fourth Monkey Flow  
SATURDAY 4th May 2019 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

Following their inspirational workshop with our foundation course students in November, we are delighted to welcome the immensely exciting and innovative FOURTH MONKEY TRAINING COMPANY back for a professional masterclass.

Places will be strictly limited – so sign up early to avoid disappointment.

In physics, if you talk about ‘flow’ it is defined as ‘a transference of energy’. Fourth Monkey’s Flow workshop is designed for participants to experience the transference of their attention, their physical energy and their skills to serve the moment and ensemble they are playing with.

The initial warm-up and exercises will provide a common language of play and boldness which, as an ensemble, we will then use to support the creation of ensemble material, to finally be re-focused with direction. This process will include:

• A warm-up designed to build and engage an ensemble made up of individuals.

• Exercises inspired by Viewpoints, Contemporary dance, Meisner, and
  Authentic Movement to allow impulsive responses and truth to take the
  place of contrived or pre-conceived choices.

• Solo, partner and group exercise on content building, which can be
  transferred into a devising room.

Current students of The Actors’ Workshop £15
Students/Equity £25, Full Price £35
  Fourth Monkey  
  Fourth Monkey Training Company
In an industry that is in a constant state of transformation, actors of today must be ready to learn, adapt and collaborate within any number of professional environments. This is why at Fourth Monkey, we believe that training for the world of contemporary performance requires an innovative, inclusive and forward-thinking approach. Our training programmes centre on equipping each individual with the wide variety of skills they will need for a career as a professional actor, whilst focusing on the strength of the collective and empowerment of the ensemble.

We want to celebrate every individual who comes through our door and escape the often intellectual and exclusive attitude towards actor training in the UK. Our approach looks to celebrate your humanity, encourage your passion and help you to seek out physical and emotional truth. However, we also believe strongly in the power of the group dynamic and ensemble ‘play’. We develop collaborative, open performers and creative individuals who are not driven by the pursuit of stardom or the individual spotlight, but by the desire to deliver bold, visceral and collaborative work.

The training we provide facilitates apprenticeship with leading practitioners from across a diverse range of fields. It is tailored to produce a performer not trained in only one way of working, but as a rounded artist who is confident to work with anyone and indeed, to create creative methodologies of their own. We are the forerunners in bringing repertory theatre back to London, in both a training and performative capacity. Repertory is a key element of our ethos and training. We believe that rep is the most effective method for an actor to explore their creativity and to grow. Students on our training programmes are treated as actors in training, in whom we instil a professional discipline and expectations from day one.

We deliver multiple seasons of work in repertory, to showcase our students’ work to the wider industry. We offer numerous performance opportunities for the practical experience which is essential to all actors in training. Whilst actively pursuing the traditional paths of agent representation upon completion of training (the majority of our alumni successfully obtain agent representation upon graduation), our actors also benefit from the company’s particular focus on providing them with the tools and empowerment to create professional work, a theatre company or ensemble of their own. Fourth Monkey alumni work across all areas of the industry.

With an industry retention of 97%* (five years after graduation) our alumni demonstrate a track record of delivery that is second to none and celebrates the sustainable approach we take to our actor training. In addition, and quite uniquely to Fourth Monkey, a number of our graduates go on to work for the Fourth Monkey professional ensemble, a successful Arts Council funded touring company comprised entirely of graduates from the training programme. We always look to develop our actors and their work beyond the training programme, offering additional elective short courses, weekend intensives and Professional Development training. This, among many other aspects, is what makes training with Fourth Monkey refreshingly different. This may not be a revolution, but it represents true progression in the current approach to actor training, and we are proud to be at the forefront of this evolution within the contemporary industry.

 Fourth Monkey 
Sophie Cottle SATURDAYS 12th January + 2nd February 2019 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

Are you auditioning for LIPA (Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts) this year? Creating your two-minute devised piece can be daunting. Don’t worry - we are here to help you!

Back by popular demand, these sessions with LIPA Graduate Sophie Cottle and The Actors’ Workshop Director Clara Marullo will help you hone your work, getting your ideas from your brain into your body, finding new ways to tell your story making sure you meet the audition requirements.

Cost This class is FREE for current students of The Actors’ Workshop.
All others £25 for a single session or £45 for both sessions.
Clara Marullo
SATURDAY 26th January 2019 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

Locked within the pages of any great script are all the ingredients you need to produce an engaging, informed and exciting piece of theatre. In this workshop for actors and theatre makers, Playwright and Director Matt Grinter will take the play from first read through to first night.

Using Chekhov’s masterpiece The Seagull, we will use the techniques of well-respected practitioners such as Stanislavski and Katie Mitchell to take the playwright’s words and translate them to performance. Whether you want to improve your own practice as an actor, learn how to dissect a play or learn the practical steps that inform an actor or director, this workshop will introduce you to the skills required when creating arresting plays and performances.

Matt Grinter - Director/Playwright    Matt Grinter 

Cost Students/Equity £25, Full Price £35
  The Seagull  
DEVISING FROM SCRATCH – with John Nicholson  

SATURDAY 9th February 2019 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

If you already have a grounding in Commedia dell’Arte and would like to put your skills to the test, join us for a ‘play day’ with the characters. Just like the actors of this Renaissance form, the group will work from a simple scenario to create a 20 minute performance by the end of the day. During this intensive session, you will:

• Sharpen and refine your mask performance skills
• Rehearse speeches, songs, routines and comic devices, such as lazzi, burle
  and concetti
• Develop stagecraft, considering pacing, timing and proxemics
• Extend your understanding of the style

Can you juggle, perform acrobatics, walk a tight rope, dance en pointe, play an instrument or perhaps, stage fight? Many commedia actors were multi-skilled, so if you have a special skill, please bring your instrument or tools! Whether or not you bear additional skills, everyone should be prepared to sing, dance and laugh – a lot! You will need a good practical knowledge of the commedia dell’arte stock characters to benefit fully from this masterclass. The day is entirely practical and fast paced requiring a good level of physical fitness and stamina and culminates in the performance of a play to which you are welcome to invite friends.

Cheryl Stapleton has been working with Commedia dell’Arte for over 20 years as a performer, director and teacher. She has taught and performed internationally and has been directing theatre productions and tours for 10 years.

Cheryl’s passion for Commedia dell’Arte was ignited at University when she spent several summers studying in France with John Rudlin, author of Commedia dell’Arte: An Actor’s Handbook. She then deepened her knowledge and further honed her performance skills in comedy, masks and physical theatre through training at École Philippe Gauliér. Cheryl has also trained in Commedia with Antonio Fava, Michael Chase and Olly Crick. Working with her own performance company, Kabosh, in the mid-90’s, Cheryl developed Commedia dell’Arte street theatre shows that played festivals in London, Edinburgh, France and Ireland.

Cost Students/Equity £25, Full Price £35
SLAPSTICK AND FARCE with Cheryl Stapleton  
Alison Reid SATURDAY 23rd February 2019 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

Alison Reid
is an actor, director and teacher who trained at Guildhall School of Music & Drama and has performed at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse - Globe Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Bristol Old Vic, National Theatre and BBC. She has worked with leading theatre-makers and story-tellers including Robert Lepage, Tim Supple, Melly Still, David Fielding, Adrian Noble, Michael Morpurgo and Filter Theatre. She has taught in the UK and in Tamil Nadu, Southern India. She has also worked with Tim Supple in an experimental workshop setting at Adishakti Theatre, Pondicherry, India and with actors from all over the world at Warwick Arts Centre as part of a Global Theatre Shakespeare project. Recently Alison returned to study at Adishakti Theatre Laboratory participating in their ‘Source of Performance Energy’ training for actors.

Based on the laboratory work from Adishakti, this workshop will introduce a new performance methodology developed by Adishakti: involving breath, emotion, centres and voice.

Exploring the 9 basic emotions we will look at a new and different way of approaching the emotions for performance on stage. What is the best way to find the truth of an emotion; inside-out – or outside-in?

The workshop will involve some physical and breath work to open the emotional centers and then an exploration of a range of emotions from Shingara (love/beauty) through Karuna (sorrow) to Raudra (anger).

Cost Students/Equity £25, Full Price £35
Creating physical Performances  

SATURDAY 2nd March 2019 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

In this masterclass, playwright and director Matt Grinter will introduce you to telling stories that resonate on stage. From narrative structure to character, this workshop will introduce the budding playwright to what it takes to write an engaging and exciting play. We will look at the practical steps to planning and preparing through to populating your piece with characters, locations and a plot that will tell your story and stay with an audience. This workshop is an overview of the processes a playwright should undertake whilst writing their play, from its early conception, to the drafting process. Each participant should leave with synopsis and plan for their next piece.

Matt Grinter has worked as a Writer/Director in both Film and Theatre and is currently forging a career within both media. His work has appeared in a number of prestigious venues across Britain and beyond including Trafalgar 2, The Bristol Old Vic, The Pleasance, The Finborough, Tate Gallery, The Royal Academy Summer Show, Encounters, Palm Springs, Leuven, Corona Cork, New York Metropolitan, Zagreb FilmFestival and Glastonbury Festival and have earned him a number of accolades including a Kodak Award, an Honourable mention at the New York Metropolitan Film Festival, Lost Theatre Company’s One Act Play and winning the Papa Tango New Writing Competition with his play Orca. Matt’s second play ‘The Dog and the Elephant’ recently ran at the Bristol Old Vic Studio and Vault Fest and was produced in conjunction with Ferment. Matt is currently one of the Open Session Writers on attachment at The Bristol Old Vic.

Cost Students/Equity £25, Full Price £35

  Matt Grinter  
Expressionist Theatre  
  SATURDAY 9th March 2019 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

This masterclass will transport you from reality to the dream-like – sometimes nightmarish – world of expressionist theatre, where characters are distorted and stylised; language becomes heightened, rhapsodic and rhythmic; narrative becomes disjointed and episodic reflecting the internal struggles of the characters. This physical theatre day will stretch and challenge you, covering all this and more:

• A range of physical and vocal techniques (from Lecoq, Brecht, Grotowski,   Berkoff)
• The expressionist ‘mask’ – using body, face and voice to create exaggerated   characterisation
• The chorus of heightened expression
• Grotesque human-animal work
• Soundscaping, vocal patterning and the physicalisation of language
• The actor-spectator dynamic

Extracts from Sophie Treadwell’s expressionist drama, Machinal, as well as Berkoff’s plays, such as Metamorphosis will be examined practically. Handouts will be provided to accompany the masterclass. Ideal CPD for teachers and directors or intensive physical training for actors wishing to extend their expressive capacity.

Cost Students/Equity £25, Full Price £35
SATURDAY 6th April 2019 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

Following on from John’s excellent masterclass on devising last term, this workshop will explore approaches to adapting (and scripting) existing stories for the stage:

• We will look at how and why texts might be suitable for adaptation.
• We will consider how theatre can best serve and bring to life the original text.
• We will look at approaches for discovering fresh ways to present events and   characters contained within well known/loved stories.
• We will also consider ways to subvert and derail the original source material in   order to highlight themes/events/characters in surprising ways.

John Nicholson is a Bristol-based actor/writer/director and has adapted 10 classic texts into radio plays for BBC Radio 4 and written 20 or so stage plays, including Baskervilles which ran in the West End. Three of his plays are published by Nick Hern books and are regularly licensed world-wide. 

Cost Students/Equity £25, Full Price £35
  SATURDAY 27th April 2019 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

In a world of theatre, where it seems that more and more performers compete for less and less jobs, the need to develop ways to create your own work is becoming an essential skill.

A well thought out solo show can be a great place to start.

In this masterclass we will explore:

• What makes a good solo show?
• How to choose our topic
• Working alone or with a director
• Connecting with our audience
• Design, sound and lighting
• The question of Stage management – how to transport the show
• Where to find an audience – the festival circuit – rural touring Flexibility!
• The importance of reviews - Promoting the show

We will be putting work on its feet as well as discussing the more practical aspects.

Note Please bring a favourite piece of writing to work with - a novel, a poem, something you have written yourself, a story you want to improvise around.
Some form of note taking is highly recommended.

Kim Hicks is a 7th generation theatrical who trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has remained living here for her entire working life. She has a wide experience of the profession regularly working with Show of Strength theatre company as well as other local theatre companies such as Theatre West, Stepping Out and Red Dog. She has recorded well over 100 audio-books and has many radio credits. Kim is best known for her one woman shows – “Courtship” – scenes from the novels of Jane Austen (which launched in 1981 – the year after she left Theatre School and has toured to America, Australia and Germany), “Couples?” – Short stories and Poetry by Dorothy Parker, “All Aboard” – a voyage on board the SS Great Britain created from passenger diaries written on board – and “Hers was the Earth” – The extraordinary life of Victorian Novelist and Egyptologist Amelia Edwards. “Sarah Guppy – The Bridge, The Bed, The Truth”, written for her by Sheila Hannon, it is currently being lined up for a tour during 2019.

Cost Students/Equity £25, Full Price £35
Kim Hicks
Call Clara on 07970 748640 
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