Courses for 2017

Our 2017 Summer Theatre School has now ended.
All the information on this page is given as a record of what went on in 2017, but may not reflect our 2018 Summer School. 

For 2017 we’ll be running the following courses, including the return of The Full Works and a brand new course Three Enterprise, bringing writers, directors and actors together.

The courses are designed to cater to all abilities, and our course tutors have plenty of experience of working with those new to theatre as well as seasoned actors. However, if you’d like to sign up for Face the Music then we’d suggest that some musical experience and a willingness to sing is needed.

Our 2017 theme is Laugh Out Loud: Having fun with Comedy and Satire.

Drawing on the Company’s own reputation for these things over the years, Having Fun with Comedy and Satire seems like an excellent focus for a high-energy week of theatrical merry-making. We will revive some classics and create some brand new work to chuckle over. So do you fancy stretching your theatrical muscles or learning some technical skills? Whether you are a writer, a performer or a director, there’s a space for you to fill!

Tutors: Sally Maddison & Abigail Oscroft

Come together to create a dynamic, fast-moving, physical theatre production all in one week – fun to be part of, exciting to watch. Building on last year’s triumphant, hilarious Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Express company will bring their energy and imagination centre-stage to create a Summer School blockbuster from the ‘world-shattering events’ satirised in George Orwell’s comedy Animal Farm. Raise the flag, release the animals, take control of production!

FACE THE MUSIC (age 14-18)
Tutors: Erin Burbridge, Tim Burnage & Edith Kirkwood

After last year’s exhilarating musical inspired by Romeo and Juliet, this full-on course takes up our comedy/satire theme this year with a pulsating version of the 1961 Broadway classic How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. ‘It stings mischievously and laughs uproariously’ (New York Times) Sing, dance and act your heart out all week!

Tutors: Jonathan Bidgood & Owen Kingston

Sharpen your wits and put a keen edge to your satirical swipes. This course will not only create and perform some topical comedy sketches and stand-up routines but it will also learn how to film them. Devise it, script it, perform it, film it.  Turn your work into nuggets of YouTube gold…  It might go viral, or, there again, it might need antibiotics.

STAGE BY STAGE (age 19-90)
Tutors: Jon Boustead & Kelvin Goodspeed

Join this ambitious ensemble as they stage a play in a week. Creative work will focus on developing vivid characterisation and exploring story-telling techniques to deliver a climactic production of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. This classic satire of a failed political revolution was adapted for the stage by the National Theatre. A ‘barn-storming’ show (literally!), with collaboration towards the end of the week from members of Riding Lights Express.

THE FULL WORKS (age 19-90)
Tutors: Rich Hasnip & Peter Hutchinson

For those who enjoy the fun and freedom of devising their own performance, through improvisation and exploring comic characters and situations, this is the course for you! Taking a little inspiration from wonderful comic writers like Jonathan Swift, Jane Austen and Dario Fo, delight in creating a sharp show, poking ‘serious’ fun at some of our current follies and foibles.

Tutors: Paul Birch & Paul Burbridge

A new course for 2017. Participants choose to develop their skills in two of three related disciplines. Calling writers: three short comic plays will be written at the beginning of the week. Calling actors: performing skills will be honed in readiness. Calling directors: who will learn some trade secrets and practice them by staging these new plays… written, directed and performed by Three Enterprise.

Tutor: Ollie Brown

This highly practical courses returns to shine the spotlight onto a range of behind-the-scenes operations, learn technical theatre skills from an experienced professional. Discover how to stage-manage a show successfully, rig and operate lighting and sound, as well as work with a director to bring one of the Summer School shows to life and to light.

So, has a particular course caught your eye or peaked your creative interest? If so, you can apply here.