Training the future quadruple threats

Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

Originally published in The Stage, May 2016 It is sometimes said that musical theatre actors need to be triple threats – able to act, dance and sing – but these days they are equally likely to be asked to play the oboe or bassoon as well. The rise of the actor-musician has been one of the biggest […]

New creatives courses are tailor-made for musicals

Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

Originally published in The Stage, May 2016 One of the biggest factors in the success or failure of any musical will be the creative team attached to the project. This team on a musical comprises a director, a musical director, a choreographer and a design team. These people will drive the creation of the project forward, through […]

How is new work commissioned?

Posted by on May 12, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

Originally published in The Stage, May 2016 One of the most exciting changes Rufus Norris has made since becoming director of the National Theatre is the merging of the literary department with the NT Studio to create a New Works department. The studio, which was founded by Peter Gill in 1984, has long been home to the […]

Studying classical performance

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

Originally published in The Stage, April 2016 Recently, Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington mentioned in an interview that his aim upon leaving the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama was to become a spear-carrier for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Having been inspired by Ben Whishaw’s performance as Hamlet at the Old Vic, London, Harington had […]

The Workshop: Nurturing regional talent for national success

Posted by on Mar 18, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

Originally published in The Stage, March 2016 What’s the connection between Samantha Morton, Jack O’Connell, Vicky McClure, Joe Dempsie, Chris Gasgoyne – and me? The answer is that we are all former students of the Television Workshop, which operates from a basement in the centre of Nottingham. Since the 1980s, the group has trained some of the […]

So what if you don’t get into drama school?

Posted by on Feb 26, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

Originally published in The Stage, February 2016 If you work with young people in the performing arts, the most common question you get asked is: “How do I get into drama school?” The second most common question is: “What do I do if I don’t get a place at drama school?” It’s long been known that drama […]

When understudies step into the limelight…

Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

Originally published in The Stage, February 2016 When Melissa Bayern put herself forward to understudy the role of the Witch in Into the Woods at Manchester’s Royal Exchange, the story fulfilled a theatrical fairytale. It’s the 42nd Street myth of going out a youngster but coming back a star. Bayern had spent three years training, and had […]

What do you get from an applied theatre course?

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

Originally published in The Stage, February 2016 What does the term ‘applied theatre’ (or ‘applied drama’) mean? It’s a term you hear used with increasing regularity, and it refers to one of the most diverse sectors of theatremakers. Simply, applied theatre refers to theatre in an educational setting, work where the participants are not professionals, and often […]

How do we archive theatre?

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Blog | No Comments

Originally published in The Stage, January 2016 Theatre is a transitory art form, and in many ways we celebrate that. One of the great joys of seeing a play is the ‘live’ nature of the event, knowing that never again will that performance happen in quite that way, with quite that group of people. But if that […]

Why the Linbury Prize is a signpost for designers

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Blog | No Comments

Originally published in The Stage, December 2015 Last week marked one of the most important dates for graduates of theatre design courses, when the winners of the 2015 Linbury Prize for Stage Design were announced at the National Theatre. Grace Smart, from Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, was announced as the winner. She will see her design […]