The HERO challenge

The new sessions of The Acting Class began on Sunday morning, with the first of the six Archetypes we will be exploring – one per class. What is an Archetype? Well, first let me acknowledge that everyone who works with some principle involving Archetypes will do it differently. I begin with John Wright’s Masks of the Archetypes approach, and then play with it my way. You will do it differently. That is because Archetypes are just ways of being human, ways of recognizing certain ‘types’ of people, ways of recognizing certain aspects of our own ways of being. There is no such thing, in the world, which can be identified as being an actual Archetype, and there is no such …

Open Slather

I’ve just removed the password protection on the handouts, and video demos. Having thought about it long and hard while I was away, I have decided that I would much rather everyone had access to these, and that people actually made use of them. Of course, you will get much more from the exercises if you do them under supervision, with a teacher or trainer whom you trust. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to chat about any of the exercises, or to enquire about matters to do with actor training, or voice coaching.

The fate of June Bloom

There are some pretty cool tools out there on the world wide web, including Wordle, which creates a ‘cloud’ from text you enter into it. Following the example of Canadian actor Kris Joseph, I extracted all of June’s lines from the script, and entered them into the Wordle. Here is my cloud:

"Deep Voice" is coming to The Acting Class

Just back from my trip to the States, I managed to sleep from 8 pm till 3.30 am, so here I am… And I am inspired!  So much rich inspiration at the VASTA Conference in New York, catching up with the work of Kristen Linklater, Catherine Fitzmaurice and Patsy Rodenburg,(in workshops) and Arthur Lessac (4 weeks short of his 100th birthday) gave a totally wonderful, political and joyous Keynote speech. He actually danced down the aisle to receive his Lifetime Honorary Member plaque! I collected my copy of the latest Voice and Speech Review, dedicated to “The Moving Voice”, and an article by Marya Lowry has reminded me just how far our voices will take us, inwards and outwardly, if …

'How Plays Work'

David Edgar, the English playwright ( has a new book out, “How Plays Work” published by Nick Hern.  You can read a section here in the form of an article in the Guardian newspaper.  You can also listen to Edgar being interviewed about the book, and about his attitude to teaching playwrighting here As actors, we can be too precious about what we need to know about how plays are written, how they are structured (or not), and why. I do think it is important to understand how plays work, as long as we recognise that the craft of writing a play involves acquiring certain skills and techniques while the craft of performing in a play requires a …