Our recently established Skills Development programme aims to introduce and develop theatre skills in a variety of areas. Workshops are led by experienced practitioners who are eager to share their knowledge and enthusiasm.

MDG is always looking to give members the opportunity to learn and develop your skills and we have both run one-off events and introduced our members to expert tuition of Dave Farey, who runs various courses at Norden Farm. Last year these included:

Adult Drama Classes at Norden Farm
A handpicked selection of bespoke theatre workshops for keen amateur actors, students and semi professionals. All sessions are practical in nature and encourage meeting new like-minded friends and potential colleagues.
1. Stanislavsky and The Method – An introductory session to the most influential theatre practitioner in modern drama. Based on his books “An Actor Prepares” and “Building a Character”, this workshop will guide you through the essential elements of naturalistic performance.

2. Brecht and Epic Theatre – As a reaction to “Naturalism”, Brecht wanted to make the audience think, and used a range of devices to remind them that they were watching theatre and not real life. Explore his techniques, using various scripts, to gain a full understanding of how to distance the audience whilst still provoking a strong reaction.

3. Advanced Improvisation – Everything from “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” games, to improvisation as script development. This session will enhance your improvisation skills for use in rehearsal and performance.

4. Commedia dell’arte and Physical Characterisation – Mimicry, stock characters, weight, form and speed of movement. A selection of physical exploration exercises will expand your knowledge and ability to create a large variety of physically distinct characters.

5. Stage Combat (Unarmed) – Unarmed combat for the newly initiated. A “crash” course in how to punch, kick, pull hair and collapse with style. All without actually hurting yourself, or others! Create your own fight routines for use in all sorts of theatre production.

6. Accents (Regional) – Whether you have a natural “ear” or not, this workshop will teach you the tricks of the trade to be able to recreate any British accent you desire. A combination of physical and script based techniques will allow you to build a repertoire of voices for performance.

7. Greek  and Roman Theatre and The Chorus – Choral speaking, group movement, the invention of the individual actor and mythology collide in this performance workshop. A brief history of hundreds of years of theatrical development are framed in a fun and practical environment.

8. Shakespearean Verse in Action – Unlock the mystery of iambic pentameter. Know which lines should be “end stopped” or “run on”. Discover, what is a “feminine ending”? Based on John Barton’s “Playing Shakespeare” this workshop will give you the confidence to recite Shakespearean verse in style.

9. The Great Theatre Quiz – So you think you know theatre? A chance to show off your knowledge and skills in a friendly and (mostly) non-competitive environment. This is no ordinary quiz as it involves not just questions but practical rounds too. Who is the best at a quick costume change? Who can create the best slapstick routine? Let the games BEGIN!

10. Acting for Camera – How to translate your theatre performance skills to camera. Subtlety and accuracy are the order of the day with guidance taken from ideas suggested by some of the film and television industry’s biggest names.

To find out what Classes and Workshops Norden Farm currently have on offer visit Norden Farm

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