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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.

London International Mime Festival 2019

London International Mime Festival takes place this January and February at venues across London. The festival is a great showcase for the very best international contemporary visual theatre, with a programme incorporating cutting edge circus-theatre, mask, physical theatre, object theatre and puppetry from all over the world. This year’s programme features exciting new work from Gecko, Peeping Tom and Gandini Juggling & Alexander Whitley.

Mime all began in Greece, at the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens. Actors wore masks and performed outdoors, before audiences of 10,000 or more, at festivals to honour the God of theatre, Dionysus. When the Romans conquered Greece, they took mime back to Italy, and found ways to make it their own. This is when comedy and tragedy developed.

Mime continued to grow throughout the Middle Ages, and in Italy early 1500's, Commedia dell'Arte emerged. Acrobatic street performers began wearing masks with exaggerated comical features, made to draw attention to the performers. The characters they created became known as Zanni. In 1576, a company of Italians led by Flamino Scala travelled to France, where mime became extremely popular. 

Nearly two and a half centuries later, in 1811, Jean Gaspard Batiste Deburau - an acrobatic street performer - introduced the lovesick  character Pierrot to French theatre, which changed mime from what it was then to the art form it is known as today. After the WWI, many other famous mime artists found fame, including Charles Dullin, Etienne Decroux and Jean-Louis Barrault, with Marcel Marceau coming around after WWII. 

The silent film era began in the 1890s, before it was replaced by 'talking film' in the late 1920s. A lot of the time in silent films they used title cards so they could tell the viewers what was happening in more detail.

 

Acting Workshop for Choreographers

International Physical Theatre Workshop is the international residential workshop open for practicing choreographers interested in developing their skills, exposing to new ideas and methodologies, refreshing what already is known and experience international context of creative process.

The program includes intensive practical training, lectures and discussions.

This workshop will introduce some of the most effective techniques and approaches towards contemporary performance making in the context of the short rehearsal time and multicultural aspect of the creative team.

Choreographers will participate in the practical process together with dancers, actors and directors.

The workshop is highly recommended to choreographers interested in learning about the ensemble building, structuring the rehearsal process, methods of creative process stimulation and performers motivation.

If you wish to get exposed to new techniques and methodologies, and ultimately, to network with practitioners from different countries and establish future creative partnerships with like-minded people - join us!

Trestle physical theatre and participation projects

Trestle is a mask and physical theatre company, with a highly regarded arts education programme. As a charity, their mission is to engage children, young people and adults in creative activity, which aims to enhance the cultural quality of their experiences.

Trestle has been making innovative and inspirational physical theatre and participation projects since 1981. All of the work is influenced by full and half mask; however, over the past decade, collaborations with artists from India, Spain, Eastern Europe and Africa, along with our partners in the UK, have inspired the evolution of the work they create.

Trestle is one of the leading providers of school workshops, teacher training and participation programmes in the country. They run mask, half mask, physical theatre and bespoke workshops, projects and residencies nationally and internationally.

Trestle Arts Base in St Albans is home to Trestle Theatre Company, from here they support the development and performance of new, high quality, professional productions. There are weekly classes, community events and meetings, as well as spaces for performance research and development. The longest standing professional theatre company in St Albans offers its students the opportunity to work, learn and play inspiring them to grow in confidence, make friends, improve communication and explore their creativity.

http://www.trestle.org.uk

 

Kully Thiarai and the National Theatre of Wales

National Theatre of Wales is the English language national theatre company of Wales, founded by a community of theatre makers and practitioners in May 2009 with the launch of an online community social network website. The company proposed a national theatre with no permanent theatre building, but instead based on an accumulated body of practice, commissioning a series of new works, each initially located within a different site.

the company focuses on the production of work in the English language, rooted in Wales, with an international reach, and aims to build strong relationships with theatre makers, creative talents, participants and audiences in and beyond Wales.

in 2016, Kully Thiarai was announced the new artistic director of the national theatre of Wales. Earlier this month, her first season was unveiled. It will set out to reflex the experiences of the millions of ordinary people whose lives have been touched by the NHS. NHS 70, an ambitious seven-trend, multi-platform celebration will take place across Wales and online in 2018.

More immediately, Thiarai is preparing We're Still Here, a piece created with Common Wealth Theatre company about the Tata Steel works and the future of those who work there. The show will find NWT returning to Port Talbot, the site of one of its greatest hits, The Passion, which starred Michael Sheen, and played out across the streets of the town in Easter 2011, a year after the company was formed. 

For all information and booking https://nationaltheatrewales.org

New Drama From Shore to Shore tells the stories of UK Chinese communities

Three stories, three lives, three journeys to find a place to call home. Cheung Wing is escaping from war, Mei Lan's had enough of the potato peeler and Yi Di wants the impossible: her parent's approval.

Taking place in Chinese restaurants across UK, Piao Yang Guo Hai From Shore to Shore, blends English, Mandarin and Cantonese to tell the stories of Chinese communities living in the UK today. 

Award-winning author Mary Cooper, with multi-lingual collaborator M.W. Sun, draws on real life stories from Chinese interviewees to create a powerful new drama of love and loss, struggle and survival, performed along side live music and great food.

More than a play, From Shore to Shore is described as a theatre event. Poems and stories, personal perspectives on chinese identity created during the workshop program are shared online. From Shore to Shore will be touring nationally from 16 May to 10 June 2017 to Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Oxford.

https://www.fromshoretoshore.co.uk

National Youth Theatre of Great Britain

The National Youth Theatre of Great Britain is a world-leading youth arts organisation. Established in 1956 as the world's first youth theatre, they have nurtured the talent of hundreds of thousands of young people over 60 years. They inspire, nurture and showcase exceptional performers and theatre technicians from Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commissioning brave and relevant new writing and reinterpreting classic stories for our time.

They are ambitious as the young people they serve, platforming young talent on West-End stages, in stadiums world-wide and at iconic sites both homes and abroad. Their world renown alumni include: Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig, Colin Firth, Rosamund Pike, Daniel Day-Lewis, Orlando Bloom..

National Youth Theatre gives young people the opportunity to learn as much about themselves and how to relate to others, as they do about acting and technical theatre. Whilst some of their members go on to become well-known faces of stage and screen, many others go on to be great lawyers, journalists, doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs, CEO's and much more.

Last year, NYT awarded £140,000 of bursaries to young people in need to ensure that financial barriers do not prevent young people from reaching their full potential. 

Ovalhouse South London's Theatre

Ovalhouse is a theatre in South London for innovative artists, adventurous audiences and young people with something to say. For the past 50 years Ovalhouse has been part of the London fringe, providing development and performance space to the experimental, radical and overlooked artists. Today Ovalhouse is known for theatre, performance and participation that speaks to a world beyond the main stream. 

Ovalhouse is a leader in its field for organisation involved in participatory work with children and young people, and continues to be a vital home for boundary-pushing art, artists and audiences with an eye on the future. They're currently based on the Kennington Oval right opposite the famous cricket ground. Open from Monday to Saturday, they offer a warm welcome to audience members, practitioners, patrons and workshop members.

A hotbed of artistic activism in the five past decades, Ovalhouse has seen the social and artistic ideals it has aspired to become widely recognised as the model for a better society. They have sheltered social and political movements staffed by the stage and screen stars of the future, pursued an unerring agenda for positive artistic political and social change, and once stabled a donkey in the theatre upstairs.

The roots of Ovalhouse can be traced back to the 1930s and its foundations by the graduates of Christ Church College, Oxford. The young people of disadvantage areas in South London were able to use the space for sport activities and were taken on away days along with skills training. Since that time Ovalhouse has pioneered enabling form of education and artistic endeavour.

 

 

Roundabout Drama Therapy Turning Lives Around

Roundabout is the largest and most successful charity of its kind in the UK. Their mission is to use drama therapy to provide psychological, educational and artistic benefits to a wide range of disadvantaged people throughout Greater London. They are the only organisation in the UK that offers tailor-made professional facilitated drama therapy sessions to such a wide range of audiences, from individuals to groups of all ages.

Drama therapy includes verbal and non-verbal practices. It makes use of a wide range of theatrical and dramatic techniques, such as story-telling, story-making, enactment, improvisation, role-play, mime, puppetry, movement, music and voice work.

The general aims of Roundabout drama therapy sessions include: building trusting relationships, expressing and exploring feelings, developing social interaction skills, developing artistic and creative skills, improving self-image and self-confidence, working with the imagination and having fun!

Roundabout therapists regularly present their clinical work and research to conferences both throughout the UK and internationally. The dram therapists are registered with the Health and Care Profession Council (HCPC).They work according to the British Association of Drama Therapists' Code of Ethical Practise. 

http://www.roundaboutdramatherapy.org.uk

 

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