SHAKESPEARE & THE VOICE
Next Masterclass to be arranged for autumn/winter 2022/2023
“What, a play toward? I’ll be an auditor. An Actor too perhaps, if I see cause.”
Puck: Act III Sc. I
Enchanted Voices: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
What better play to mark the beginning of summer than Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream?
In our seasonal Shakespeare Sessions, we’ll be exploring these ‘enchanted voices’, looking at how Shakespeare’s masterful use of language and the voice conjure a sense of power and magic. Additionally, we will uncover Shakespeare’s acute humanity and searing wit as he analyses the morals and madness of young love.
The Human Condition
Few, if any, writers throughout history have been able to plumb the depths of human emotion to the level of William Shakespeare. His ability to drive the drama forward; to enhance plot, develop character and create stunning atmosphere with every syllable that is uttered, using only his breath-taking language and the human voice is second to none.
In these sessions, we will be exploring these depths, the vivid imagery and the genius of the Bard’s imagination through the lens and language of the otherworldly and magnificent Oberon and Titania in their enchanted forest.
We will also discover how Shakespeare highlights his keen instinct for comedy via conflict as we play with seminal scenes between the four young lovers as their worlds unravel in that same forest.
Everyone is welcome
These Shakespeare sessions are for anyone. You don’t need any prior experience in reading or acting Shakespeare, just a desire to learn more about Shakespeare as a voice actor and discover why he is as alive and as relevant to our lives today as he was in Elizabethan times.
“It's not to do with being educated or clever or whatever that means. It's to do with a true understanding of how people think and how that makes them act and do things.”
- Cicely Berry
Week 1 – The Basics
Using working examples from various seminal Shakespearian plays, we'll explore Shakespeare as voice actors, looking at the basics of how Shakespeare writes and how we can apply this to our work. We’ll consider both prose and verse and apply the VO rules of script analysis to uncover techniques.
For those familiar with these basics, it will serve as a brief refresher and for those new to Shakespeare, it will highlight how easily these linguistic templates can easily be applied to a wide range of commercial copy found across the industry today.
Using the tools from Week 1, we will delve into the complex and beautiful language and discover how Shakespeare elucidates universal themes whilst breathing life into the seminal characters of Titania/Oberon. We will also explore how their language differs from the cheekiness of the subversive Puck.
Further exploration of scenes and monologues from the play, before moving into the world of the lovers, to benefit from the Bard’s innate ability to write quick-fire dialogue. We will analyse how an expert writer builds wonderful rhythmic beats, to create a symphony of comedic conflicts and how to honour these beats and discover the joy (and discipline) of saying them.
This three-week masterclass will be led by renowned Shakespeare actor and master coach, Chris Donnelly.
Chris has worked as an actor for twenty-five years, playing various roles on TV in the UK, upwards of thirty radio plays for BBC Radio 4 and a wide array of roles in theatre, nationally and internationally. He's played the title role of Macbeth, Prospero in The Tempest and Iago in Othello.
Chris works extensively in schools and universities and presently runs the Education/Outreach arm of Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory.
Next class: to be arranged
The next Shakespeare & The Voice Masterclass will take place in autumn/winter 2022/2023 over three evenings, one week apart. There will be some homework to complete between the sessions and ongoing support during the three weeks.
All sessions will take place on Zoom. Limited to a maximum of 12 students.
Cost: £120 (3 x 1.5hr sessions and support)
If you'd like to know as soon as we arrange the dates for this next masterclass, please sign up below and we'll let you know by email.