Big kids at the rose
Posted on Fri 30 Dec 2011 by Ciaran McConville
It’s quiet in the office today. I’m making the most of it by catching up on email and reviewing our Rose Plus groups for the new term.
Last term, we introduced two adult groups to Rose Plus, and I want to talk a bit about them now in the hope that either you or someone you know might be interested in joining. Whilst we have a waiting list for Rose Youth Theatre, it’s often harder to push the adult groups. I am, however, as proud of these as I am of our work with young people.
Rose Plus Players is a youth theatre for grown-ups. Last term’s group (most of whom have re-booked) were a diverse bunch in terms of age and experience, but really gelled over the course of the twelve weeks to form a strong ensemble. Their performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Gallery was absolutely delightful.
Madeleine Hutchins is the course director. She is a very talented actress with a wealth of stage experience, including a performance at the Rose in Peter Hall’s As You Like It, back when this was still a shell of a building. She has also worked in the West End and in the United States. She and I worked together at the Garrick in You Never Can Tell, one of George Bernard Shaw’s lighter plays. Madeleine was alternately the chambermaid and the romantic lead. I was an under-waiter and had not only to serve a fish lunch for eight people, but also to cook it in the wings. I stank for months.
More to the point, Madeleine is a wonderful tutor. She trained at East 15 and has a strong grounding in Lee Strasberg’s Method and Michael Chekhov. She has designed the Players course as a series of workshops on craft and technique, backed up with rehearsals and performance of a classic play.
If you’re interested in acting, are over 18 (there’s no upper limit), and have your Monday evenings free, please do sign up for Rose Plus Players. It is genuinely a fabulous course and a great way to meet new people.
Rose Plus Playwriting is led by playwright Stephen Brown, who is currently writing a play for the National Theatre and has done a lot of work with Filter. He’s a fabulous dramaturg and his one-to-one feedback to students is invaluable. The design of the course is beautifully simple: you’re asked to write a stage play over twelve weeks. Stephen takes you through everything, from the fundamental rules of drama, to complex and sophisticated techniques which will help your writing really sing. There is even the opportunity to workshop your play with actors.
My background is as a playwright – in fact, that’s how I first became involved with the Rose – so this course is really close to my heart. There is little in life as satisfying and exciting as the moment when you hand your script to a group of actors.
The Players meet on Monday evenings, 7-9:30pm. This term runs from 9 January – 26 March.
Our Playwriting group meets on Tuesday evenings, 7-9:30pm. Term runs from 28 February – 8 May.
Places on both groups can be booked direct on 08444 821 556.
If you know anyone who might be interested, or if you want more information, you can reach me on 020 8939 4060.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and have a very happy New Year.