The Actors' Workshop
HOMEPAGE Masterclasses for Adults CONTACT US
Part-Time Foundation Course When + Where Achievements
Teenage Classes Who We Are Endorsements
Singing + Dance Classes Colleges + Links Terms + Fees
  Masterclasses Spring 2020  
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 

More Comedy with  Angie Belcher  
  SATURDAY 18th January 2020 -10.00am to 3.30pm

Back again by popular demand, the wonderful Angie Belcher delivers some further wisdom on working with audiences, turning your 5 minutes into 20 minutes, punching up your jokes and telling comedic stories. 

As usual the aim is for a 5-star calibre show and will  provide help to create character work, sketches and tuition about microphone technique too. 

We will also deconstruct some famous comedy masterpieces and analyse stand up structure to get our own material more laugh- heavy.

Angie Belcher is an award winning stand-up (Finalist What the Frock Best Comedy National Newcomer 2015 and North East Theatre Best Spoken Word Show 2015). An accomplished comedy performer she has supported Supporting John Gordillo, Ian Cognito, Silky, Shappi Khorsandi and Shazia Mirza as well as compering Glastonbury Festival's Cabaret Tent. She had a full and successful at Edinburgh Fringe (★★★★ Fringe Review, Part stand-up, part poet part stylised story telling all hugely entertaining" John Fleming, "Highly recommended, go see her”, Phil Jupitus "Bloody Marvellous", Kate Copstick - The Scotsman). She was also Team Captain for political comedy panel show Comedy Manifesto during its Edinburgh run (Unbelievably jealous of all those of you that can catch this show every day' (★★★★★ Angie is stand-up comedy tutor for Circomedia in Bristol and is writer in Residence for First Story. She also runs The Comedy Depot in Bedminster. Angie also works as an actor; she is in forthcoming horror flick Crispy’s Curse.

Cost Students / Equity £25, Full Price £35
  Angie Belcher  
Introduction to Voiceover with Peta Maurice  
Peta Maurice SATURDAY 25th January 2020- 10.00am to 3.30pm

In this Voice Masterclass, Peta will focus on each person’s individual voice and will challenge the participants to find new sounds, range and techniques, encouraging new voices to emerge! You will explore what is it that makes us all sound different incorporating techniques to find other accents and dialects. It is a really fun class, with the aim of making a few recordings by the end of the session putting newly learnt skills into practice.

Peta Maurice is a Bristol based voiceover artist, actor and director who completed her training at The University or Glamorgan and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2000. 

Alongside the many productions she’s appeared in she also works closely with world renowned Children’s Author, Julia Donaldson in a directing capacity. She is a member of the comedy improvisation group ‘Instant Wit’ and a current cast member of Closer Each Day, the world’s longest running improvised soap opera.

Peta works as a voiceover artist providing all sorts of voices for radio and TV and also coaches PHD students in Public Speaking techniques for ‘Gradtrain’.

This Christmas you can catch her in Rapunzel at The Egg, Bath!

Cost Students / Equity £25, Full Price £35
Devising and Writing for the Storytelling Actor with Alex Murdoch  
  SATURDAY 1st February 2020 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

A workshop for actors who want to tell stories. What happens to the actor if the rehearsal focus is on story? Who is the ‘writer’? Who has the ideas and when you have them, where do you start? 

We'll explore your agency in the devising room, how much you can own and how much you can let go.  Practical and provocative devising for actors and theatre makers which includes managing and editing non script-based process towards production.

Participants should bring source material, stories or hunches they want to explore, and also be prepared to try everything!

Alex Murdoch’s acting credits include Young Vic, Barbican, BBC, LIFT Festival, Kneehigh. She ran cult indie theatre company Cartoon de Salvo, touring nationally and internationally for 20 years.  As a writer she’s been commissioned by National Theatre Wales, was 2018 Writer in Residence at Theatr Clwyd and is currently under commission to the Royal Shakespeare Company, with another seed-commission to NTW. She’s an Associate of Improbable Theatre for whom she’s performed in Animo, Permission Improbable and Lifegame.  She's appearing in NIE's Snow White at the Tobacco Factory until January 19th.

Cost Students / Equity £25, Full Price £35
Alex Murdoch
Musical Theatre: Acting through song and dance with Clara Marullo and Jennifer Higham  
Dance SATURDAY 29th February 2020- 10.00am to 3.30pm

This past-paced day of singing and dancing will take you through a proper vocal and physical warm-up followed by learning and performing a scene from a contemporary musical. With in-depth singing coaching and exciting original choreography, this is a workout for your voice, body and mind. Most importantly, we will focus on storytelling through song and dance: how to move an audience and draw them into your imaginative world as an MT actor night after night, show after show….

This masterclass is aimed at student and professional performers with some dance/singing experience.

Clara Marullo trained at The Royal Academy of Music, after doing a degree in English at Oxford University. Her varied career has spanned everything from opera (she was a principle for Welsh National Opera and at Glyndebourne) to leading roles in musicals (West End and national tours) including Fantine in Les Mis and Jenny Lind in Barnum. Clara has worked as an actor on both sides of the Atlantic, including classical and contemporary theatre, TV and voiceover. She is the founder/director of The Actors’ Workshop and The Actors’ Playground.

Jennifer Higham is an actor and dancer – who was already working at the National Theatre at the age of 18! Jen has also appeared in film and television, including Crooked House as Ruth (2 episodes), Cassandra's Dream as Helen, Ella Enchanted as Olive, Ella's stepsister and Hattie's sister, Doctors, Persuasion as Louisa Musgrove, Born and Bred as Amy Marl, Gideon's Daughter as Girl playing Richard III, and I Shouldn't Be Alive as Jennifer.

Theatre includes Juliet at the Rose Theatre; Viola and Juliet for Actors From The London Stage; Winter, Three Farces, Alison’s House and The Woman Hater at the Orange Tree Theatre; Rope at the Watermill and The Pillowman at the National Theatre. Jennifer is a qualified dance teacher with her Graduate 1,2,3 and Associates in all three disciplines: Ballet, Jazz and Tap. She is a beloved member of staff at The Actors’ Workshop.

Cost Current members of The Actors’ Workshop £15,
Students / Equity £25, Full Price £35
  Clara Teaching  
Stand Up comedy  
SATURDAY 7th March 2020 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

Using a selection of classical, contemporary and poetical texts Bryn will guide you through an exploration of the actors connection to text; using the written word in form and structure as the foundation of your acting choices, finding the need to speak, forming character through language and ensuring we serve up the text at its best. This masterclass should leave you thirsty to explore the black and white etchings on the page more deeply, to pay closer attention to the innate gift of language and to encourage you to surrender yourself to the words - allowing them do the acting work for you

Bryn Holding graduated from LIPA in 2008 with a first class degree in acting, and now works both as an actor and as a director. Acting credits include include work with the RSC, New Vic, Royal Exchange, Derby Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Theatre By The lake, Tobacco Factory/Myrtle Theatre Co, York Theatre Royal/Pilot Theatre Co, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Liverpool Everyman.

Bryn is associate director of Hammerpuzzle Theatre Co, Associate Artist for the Theatre Royal Bath and was resident Assistant Director at the New Vic Theatre (2016-2017). His directing work includes: Across the sky (Opera - Cheltenham Festivals), The Sloe Pickers, The Arrivals (Theatre Royal Bath, the egg), The Velveteen Rabbit, Tales of Hans Christian Andersen and The Old Curiosity Shop (Hammerpuzzle Theatre Co / Everyman Theatre Cheltenham), On The Mend (Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham), Common Lore (Award winning - Breakthrough Performance Rural Touring Awards 2019 for Stute Theatre / Northern Broadsides), Little Potatoes, Tossers, (Out Of Your Mind New Writing Festival, Theatre Royal, Bath), Just Soph, (Stute Theatre / New Vic Tour), Tail Trail to The Snow Queen (New Vic Theatre, Studio), The Woodlanders (Everyman Theatre Cheltenham / Hammerpuzzle Theatre Co), King John (Hammerpuzzle Theatre Co, commissioned by Theatre Royal Bath), Dogs of War (Theatre Royal Bath, Engage), Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors (Greenwich Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (UK Tour, Sell a Door), Did My Heart Love Till Now? (Bristol Shakespeare Festival), Player One Vs The World (Theatre 503).

Cost Students / Equity £25, Full Price £35
Stand Up comedy  
  SATURDAY 14th March 2020 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

After an initial warm-up, the focus of this workshop will be on how the complex layers of story, character and atmosphere are revealed by two phenomenal playwrights, whilst exploring how they have rightly earned their reputations for being absolute masters of subtext.

First, a scene from Harold Pinter’s contemporary classic play, ‘Betrayal’, will be explored. Based on a foundation of in-depth textual analysis and subsequent good stagecraft, the words from the page will then be manifest on the stage.

The other scene to be explored in this vein is Anton Chekhov’s ‘The Three Sisters’.

Chris trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has been an actor for over twenty years, playing a wide array of roles in television, on stage and on radio. Chris has many national and international theatrical credits but is particularly proud of his association with two Bristol-based theatre companies. He has been a part of Andrew Hilton’s highly acclaimed, award winning ‘Shakespeare At the Tobacco Factory’ theatre company ensemble since its inception in 2000 with whom he has played many major roles and has been education workshop director for the last twelve years. He has also worked severally with the innovative ‘Insane Root’.

Most recently, Chris was part of the national tour of the original stage adaptation of Matt Haig’s award-winning novel, ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’, with Sheffield/ETT.

Among Chris’ TV credits are No Offence, Fat Friends, Silent Witness, Wire In The Blood, The Musketeers, The Derren Brown show, Vital Signs, Casualty, Shameless, Drop the Dead Donkey, Wycliffe and Eastenders. He has also performed in upward of thirty radio plays for BBC Radio 4 and recently recorded his first audio short story.

Chris directs projects and teaches acting, stagecraft and improvisation at his old drama school, where he also sits on the audition panel. He runs Shakespeare workshops at universities, schools and colleges when available and offers private tuition in acting. Chris taught at The Actors’ Workshop for over ten years. Most recently, he gained a Master’s degree in Creative Writing with the Open University.

Cost Students / Equity £25, Full Price £35
Commedia dell’Arte with Cheryl Stapleton  
Cheryl Stapleton

SATURDAY 21st and 28th March 2020 - 10.00am to 3.30pm

Week 1 - Introduction to Commedia dell’ Arte. Our starting point for this fast-paced, practical workshop is the physicality of the characters and creating comedy. We will cover the movement, mannerisms and behaviour of the stock characters of the Commedia dell’Arte: Zanni (including Arlecchino, Columbina and Brighella), Pantalone, Dottore, Capitano, Signora and The Lovers. Relationships between several characters are briefly explored with classic pairings e.g. Master and servant, doctor and patient, dumb and dumber fools, in order to deepen the understanding of the masks. Staging and the relationship with the audience are considered throughout along with comic devices to allow the mask to work effectively.

Participants will learn:
• the historical context of Commedia dell’Arte, the origins and theatrical
   relevance of each character
• specific exaggerated movement, voice and mannerisms for the characters,
   using the breath, grummelot (gibberish language), masks and props
• the key principles of mask work and the imperative for the actor-audience
• the relationships between the characters, exploring classic lazzi (comic gags)
   or meccanismi (rehearsed comic sequences between two or more characters)

Week 2 - The Influence of Commedia dell'Arte. Comic Archetypes in Shakespeare and Molière Discover new ways to engage with the texts of Shakespeare and Molière as learners explore characters from the outside in. Through a process of physical embodiment, that could include the use of archetypal masks, the actor transforms their body, voice and movement and experiences the behavioural traits, gestures, facial expressions and rhythms of the archetypal character. By literally stepping into their shoes, we discover the inner feelings, thoughts and motivations that drive the characters. Relationships suddenly start to make sense as the archetypes banter and the dialogue begins to flow.

Working with comic archetypes enables participants to overcome barriers often presented by words on a page, freeing them up to play with the timeless and universal characters. Once we start to ‘live’ in the world of the play we discover that we can relate to the situations and modern parallels become apparent.
The text then becomes less daunting and more accessible. Texts may include 
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Comedy of Errors, Taming of the Shrew, Tartuffe, The Hypochondriac.

Cheryl Stapleton
trained in ballet and contemporary dance and went on to study at Brunel University and École Internationale de Théâtre Philippe Gaulier. Cheryl is an actress, director and teacher, specialising in physical comedy and masked performance. Cheryl is the founder and director of Learning Through Theatre, a theatre education company specialising in commedia dell’arte. Cheryl has performed and taught internationally with clients that include RADA, UCL, UCA, Circomedia, Haileybury and The Loreto Network. She is currently performing in her company’s second devised play, The Breath of Love. Cheryl teaches regular masterclasses at The Actors’ Workshop and is a founding member of The Actors’ Playground.

Cost 2 Day Course - Students / Equity £50, Full Price £70

  Commedia dell'Arte  
Call Clara on 07970 748640 
  The Actors' Workshop © 2020