Relaxed Performances in London Theatres

A relaxed performance is a specially adapted show, modified for adults and children who might benefit from a more relaxed environment. Typically, they are for people who have autism or have sensory communication disorders or learning difficulties and some theatres also occasionally run them for people with dementia. A standard performance of a show can be unsettling for people with the above conditions. This could be because of the darkness of the auditorium, the loud music and sudden noises on stage, not to mention the expectation that a child must sit still and quiet for a relatively long period of time.

Relaxed performances differ from theatre to theatre, so you should always check with each venue first. But generally, at a relaxed performance it is a more informal atmosphere; the house lights don't go down as much as they normally would and in some cases are kept on entirely. Strobe lighting is avoided and if there is music then it tends to be played more quietly with no loud or sudden sound effects.

Often venues will also provide a "chill-out" zone for you to take your children to if they become distressed and quite often the theatre staff and the cast will have been briefed on how to help children with special needs.

Perhaps most importantly there is an acceptance that if your children chatter, shout out, make noises or fidget, it's absolutely fine! Tutting is most definitely not tolerated so that you can also relax without worrying that his behaviour is disrupting other patrons.

So many amazing and reputable theatre venues and companies now schedule in a relaxed performance of their productions just as they would a signed or audio-described performance, so always check with the box office to see if such an option is available. If your local venue doesn't offer relaxed performances why not write to the artistic director or general manager asking them to consider doing one in the future?

New Theatre Directing Diploma Course in Berlin

The New International Performing Arts Institute (NIPAI) provides special educational programs, equipping current and future directors, movement directors, actors coaches, choreographers, arts managers and creative leaders with special knowledge and skills necessary to bring positive results in their careers and in modern Performing Arts industry.

NIPAI gives an opportunity to learn directing through a variety of options, through dynamic blend of InClass sessions, distant learning, workshops, and immediate application of gained knowledge. Students work with actors from the first day of their classes and will learn and explore the numerous visual, dramatic, and technical challenges that face directors. In addition to writing, analyzing plays, directing, and working with performers, students assist other members of their crews in the roles of choreographers, performers, and in NIPAI Diploma Programs students should make their graduation performances with theatre organization or group. Ultimately, through intensive hands-on guidance and immediate application, our goal is to empower students to make their work on performances interesting, to make actors and crew work on performances interesting and make audience enjoy the show!

Another wonderful aspect of NIPAI programs is the multiculturality of our students. The NIPAI draws an incredibly diverse, international groups of students who share a passion for telling, creating and sharing stories. Recent programs included students from the USA, Canada, France, Italy, UK, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, India, Israel, Japan, China, Lebanon, Taiwan, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Russia.

Act, dance and sing under the guidance of industry pros

As the leading musical theatre company for young people, British Youth Music Theatre offers intense, creative training courses led by top theatre professionals from the West End and beyond. Their Summer Courses are open-access summer activity holidays for anyone looking to explore their potential and develop their singing, acting and dancing abilities.

At BYMT’s Summer Camp, you will take part in creating an exciting, brand new show, whilst building your confidence, advancing your performing skills and meeting other like-minded performers. This summer BYMT is delivering 8 fantastic Musical Theatre Summer Camps across the UK for anyone aged 11-17.​ ​All participants will train with well-known industry practitioners and will receive a Grade 6 Certificate from Trinity College London. The course can also contribute to a young person’s Arts Award or Duke of Edinburgh Award.

BYMT is excited to announce a brand new course for Young Writers and Composers aged 16-25!  Discover the secrets behind writing music, lyrics and script in this mind-expanding, week-long residential retreat for those wishing to develop skills and unlock their creative inspiration!


Great London Stand Up Comedy in March

Three piece comedy outfit Pappy’s bring another recording of their podcast Pappy’s Flatshare Slamdown to the Pleasance Theatre with special guests Iain Stirling and Amelia Dimoldenberg. In this flatsharing-themed show, they’ll solve any beef you might have with a housemate, and proudly play the longest 'quickfire round jingle' ever composed. If you don’t like puns, you’re in the wrong place.

Suzi Ruffell is at the Soho Theatre. Have you looked outside lately? There’s a lot to be worried about and Suzi Ruffell is losing sleep over it. From homophobic trolls to human rights around the world to her cat’s quality of life, she’s tackling them all with the same energy.  In her words: “If you don’t have anxiety, I don’t think you’re concentrating.”

Also at the Soho Theatre is Henry Paker. Mixing stand-up and illustration, computer animator-turned-comedian Henry Paker uses cartoons to tell a story about a lonely man who lives in a forest house full of clocks. Man Alive, a show about expectation meeting reality somewhere between a graphic novel and a stand-up show, was a hit at the last Edinburgh Fringe.

Modern Times at the Union Theatre London by W&M Productions

After successful sell out runs of their last five shows (Shorts @ The Canal 1 & 2, The Twilight Hour 1 & 2 and Love Shots) at venues which include the Canal Cafe Theatre (Little Venice), the Union Theatre (Southwark) and the Etcetera Theatre (Camden), W&M Productions would like to let you know about their next show: 
"Modern Times" taking place at the Union Theatre from 9 to 13 April 2019: a series of brand new one-act plays by some outstanding new generation playwrights. Each play offers a unique insight into being a woman today, and brings a new perspective to the way we live now: always exciting, mostly extraordinary and with sometimes terrifying immediacy. 
Their aim is to give an outlet to all emerging writers, directors and actors. The 6 short plays of "Modern Times" were selected from over 1000 submissions. Lots of recent graduates/3rd year students have been involved from various drama schools in the past, including those from RADA, Central, Mountview, East 15, KADA, ArtsEd and others.

London Playwright Blog and Workshops: A Resource For Emerging Playwrights

London Playwrights’ Blog was started in 2013 as a resource for emerging playwrights.  They aim to bring together the latest opportunities, best resources, and good advice in one place.​ ​In 2015, the team formed London Playwrights’ Workshop Ltd as a non-profit company to help expand this support for writers through workshops, events, and expanded online resources.
​​Are you interested in using lyrics in your plays or even writing for musical theatre? Learn how to channel your playwriting skills in a new direction to open new doors. Coming up in November a half-day intensive encourages participants to open their imaginations and work with language in a new way as they explore the intricacies of lyric writing.

Playwrights generally have a good instinct for compelling turns of phrase, but turning these into songs requires a different skillset. Powerful dialogue, or even beautiful poetry, do not necessarily translate into effective song lyrics.​ ​Whether you want to write for a band or a West End stage, there are certain patterns and tricks that songwriters use to make their lyrics compelling and exciting.

This workshop will cover​ ​inspiration – finding and nurturing song ideas​, ​structure – finding the right frame for your idea​, r​hyme – when to use it, when not to, and the wisdom to know the difference​, f​eel & ​f​low – how to judge the ‘singability’ of your lyrics​, t​he basic ‘rules’ of lyric writing – and also how and when to break them. Where to go next – ideas for continuing to develop your skills as a songwriter

This workshop is primarily targeted at people who want to write songs for characters (building on their skills as playwrights), but that doesn’t mean you need to be interested in writing for musical theatre.​ ​Each participant will complete a series of writing exercises during the workshop, that will see them leave with lyric ideas and a clear plan for how to take these forward and continue to develop them into complete songs.

New Production By Russian Theatre Company Xameleon in London

Xameleon Theatre is a London-based theatre company founded by actress and producer Vlada Lemeshevska in 2015. Over last couple of years Xameleon Theatre presented various shows based on Russian and international classics, including A Dog’s Heart by Bulgakov, The Little Prince by Saint-Exupéry, Ibsen's A Doll's House and Love in a Nutshell based on Anton Chekhov’s short stories.

Working with professional actors and directors from Russian speaking countries, Xameleon Theatre promotes Russian theatre in the UK. Performing in Russian with English subtitles, their work is appealing to both Russian and English speakers interested in Russian theatre and culture.

They are currently working on various projects and will be presenting their next show Diaries of a Mad Man based on Nikolai Gogol’s novel and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s diaries in February 2019. Director Konstantin Kamenski combined the stories of two civil servants, and together with the designer Irina Gluzman, explored the relationship between genius and madness, hopelessness and the desire to escape into the imaginary world.

Actor, Theatre Director and Teacher Michael Chekhov

For the Russian actor, director and teacher Michael Chekhov (1891–1955), the essence of artistry in acting, as in any discipline, was transformation. He wrote extensively about ‘the hallmark of talent and the divine spark within the actor’ — the ‘ability to transform oneself totally’ — and explored this transformation in unusual depth in his teaching.
Chekhov was an Anthroposophist, a follower of the teachings of the spiritual philosopher Rudolf Steiner, and his association of artistry with divinity was not merely a turn of phrase, but a reflection of that belief system. Steiner posited intimate connections between the human and the divine, or between ‘the sense-perceptible world’ and ‘the spiritual realm’​.​
​H​e taught a process of ‘clairvoyant perception’ by which he claimed that his followers would be able ‘to perceive the world we enter after death’ and thereby see beyond physical appearances and ‘move from the figure we perceive to the actual being.’ For Steiner, however, ‘clairvoyance’ was not only spiritual but artistic: he defined the artist by the capacity to ‘create in beauty a piece of the world, so that the image on canvas or in marble lets us see more of the world than we do on our own.’

Old Vic Theatre for Young People in London

The Old Vic is a gateway to a world of creative, social and employment opportunities in the theatre. World renowned, The Old Vic today leads the way for the next generation of theatre-goers and theatre-makers as it has done for almost 200 years. Whether your interest is in theatre on or off stage, in broadening your creative imagination, or simply learning how to communicate better in an interview, this is where futures begin.

Whether it be a creative business, a side project or if you’re simply interested in working for yourself. We know you’ll be leaving more inspired, knowledgeable and that one step closer to reaching your entrepreneurial potential.

Our day-long Careers Festival in partnership with ERIC FEST is open to young people aged 16-25. This interactive and immersive festival will offer creative workshops, networking opportunities, panel discussions with industry professionals and a chance to find out more about jobs in the creative industries and beyond.

Our highly successful creative practitioner programme is for young people aged 18+, offering advanced hands-on experience in creative facilitation and the chance to develop key transferable skills.

Over 12 sessions, you will experience practical facilitation training from The Old Vic Education & Outreach team and guest creative practitioners as you learn about different workshop delivery practices.

Areas of training will include: communication and presentation, leadership, Practical facilitation skills, writing and creating workshop plans, behaviour management, CV and interview skills.

This free programme will help you hone your own delivery style and build your own toolkit of techniques and exercises. Your training will end with you experiencing life as a professional facilitator, as you devise and deliver your own workshop alongside your fellow Front Line Facilitators. All facilitators will be paid a fee for their final workshops.

How to Act (3): Theatre actors and their secrets

Roger Allamhas worked with the RSC, the National, Shakespeare's Globe and in the West End. TV and film includes The Thick of It, Tamara Drewe and Parade's End. Here's what he says:

Learn your lines so well that you never have to worry about them.​ ​Keep a notebook about the play, the character, the period, your moves. It'll help you remember what you have done so far – especially if you're having to rehearse in your spare time rather than all day, every day.

Never go dead for a second on stage. Even if you are doing nothing, do it actively. Listen.​ ​If something goes wrong – say someone drops something – don't ignore it. Try to deal with it in character.

Warm up your voice and body. Get used to the size of the auditorium; if you don't know it already, go to the worst seats in the house and have conversations with people on the stage so you get to know what kind of energy is needed to be heard.

Be ambitious. The great actor, director and playwright Ann Jellicoe commissioned writers like Howard Barker and David Edgar, and put on magnificent, large-scale plays in Dorset that involved the whole community.

On the other hand, probably avoid Aeschylus's Oresteia or anything by the German dramatist Heinrich von Kleist.​ ​Try not to worry about embarrassing yourself. That's a lifetime's task.

The Victorian actor Henry Irving said: "Speak clearly and be human" – but if you listen to his recordings, the boundaries of that are pretty vast. James Cagney said:"Never relax, and mean what you say." I think that's pretty good.

You are released from the miserable aspects of having to earn your living in this marvellous business called show, so have fun: be as serious as you like, but enjoy yourself.
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