Tutor: Janice Dunn
Let's do the Show Right Here (acting, singing, performance)

Tutor: Janice Dunn
Our Digital Town (devising, acting)

Tutor: Freddie Machin
A Writing Retreat (Writing)
A reflection on writing for today, taking inspiration from the present times
13.5 hours over the whole period 1 session/day | 5 to 15 participants

This course will offer participants the opportunity to reflect on the world we live in now through their writing. When we come together each day, I will set provocations, and introduce skills and then send the group off to see what they can write in their own time. We will then share and reflect on what has been written. It will give each person the time to reflect on this fast moving world crisis through their writing. The course will run the entire length of summer school 2020 but with only one teaching session per day so as to allow plenty of time for each participant to reflect and write.


Tutor: Graeme Du Fresne
The Karaoke Chorale (unison and part singing)
Being creative, exploring singing technique and having fun
12 hours from Mon 27 to Jul to Sat 1 Aug. 1 or 2 sessions per day | 6 to 12 participants

The word Karaoke has been almost exclusively linked with singing pop songs in a pub or bar. Karaoke’s popularity is generally based on its sociability with the added plus of alcohol being a forgiving factor if some of the notes aren’t quite right. The word karaoke is derived from the Japanese words Karappo which means 'empty' and Okesutura meaning 'Orchestra'. We more simply understand it as music that has the lead vocal melody line omitted.

I have a catalogue of Karaoke songs across a range of styles and genres. The tracks consist of orchestra, band & some piano arrangements that sound much like the original. All you have to do is fill in the missing vocals. 

There will be unison and part singing. There will be optional opportunities for some solos within some of the songs. We will be applying 'acting through song' techniques and will spend a little time each day on developing our singing technique. 

Songs from Musical Theatre will form the core of the material we will be working on. You may have seen the wonderful 90th birthday tribute to Stephen Sondheim called ‘Take Me to The World’ which is on YouTube. In this recent on-line concert celebration of his work one of the highlights for me was a version of ‘The Ladies Who Lunch’ performed by three women. At summer school we can share this song as non-gender specific ensemble. You don’t need to be able to read sheet music and the course is suitable for all ages. The aim is to have fun, be creative and improve our singing technique. 

 The songs will be drawn mainly from Musical Theatre & Pop including some Sondheim but also some lighter songs such as  Bring Me Sunshine (Morecambe & Wise), the Little Shop of Horrors Prologue, Cliff Richard’s Summer Holiday, and songs from ‘Dirty Rotten Scandals’.

Tutor: Graeme Du Fresne
The Craft and Graft of Songwriting (songwriting for beginners and more)
How to write your own song – and enjoy it
12 hours from Sat 25 Jul to Fri 31 Jul 1 or 2 sessions/day | 6 to 8 participants


Having introduced song writing at summer school for the last two years, I am offering another course this year. It will be limited to a small number of participants. This will allow me to complete everyone’s ideas in ‘writing up time’ between sessions. You don’t need musical skill or experience to do this course. We’ll do some preparation on ‘how to compose a melody’ to get us going but from past experience everyone’s got a tune in them! You hum it and I’ll play it. We’ll look at themes, styles and structures with some examination of a few well-known songs. 


Two of the hardest words in the language to rhyme are life and love. Of all words!                                   Stephen Sondheim
If you're horrible to me, I'm going to write a song about it, and you won't like it. That's how I operate.                 Taylor Swift


Tutor: Kate Colgrave-Pope
Monologue Mash-up (Acting)
How to fully develop a character through exploring the intricacies of a monologue
18 hours over both weekends 3 sessions/day (6h per participant) | 9 participants working in groups of 3 (1 session/day/participant)

This course is tailored for anyone wanting to develop their acting technique and craft and for those actors who may be auditioning for drama schools who need a helping hand in taking themselves towards their chosen monologues. The course will also be of use for anyone interested in improving their skills in ‘presenting’ themselves to the public.

Over the week we will be exploring how to mine a text for its gold, build tension and transform character. We will be using the fundamentals of Stanislavsky techniques to structure your monologues and Lee Strasberg’s ‘sense memory’ to strengthen a personal connection to your material. Additionally, we will use exercises that will build your confidence and encourage you to follow your impulses, free your inhibitions and release your imagination so that you can bring exciting and meaningful characters to life.

Preparation: Participants need to choose a monologue based on the above brief – this should not be longer than 2.5 minutess so that we can really explore the speech. 

Please feel free to cut larger monologues to that time if you would like.


You need to have read or know the play fairly well and be familiar with the lines of your speech before our first session.


Each group will be given access all the speeches before the session so we can work on the material together for a sense of shared ownership and collaboration.


Tutor: Mike McCormack
The Best Pictures (Radio Drama)
Practicalities and unique elements of creating audio drama
7.5 hours weekday evenings only, 1 session/day with individual works at home | 5 to 15 participants

Over the space of 5 days, the course will introduce participants to the practicalities and unique elements of the creation of Audio Drama. It will also be of value and interest to those with ambitions to become skilled at creating sound for theatre. Each of the five sessions will comprise a webinar lecture-demo by Mike, examples of sound dramas and opportunities for questions and comments from participants. Following each session, a practical exercise will be suggested, to be undertaken before the next webinar. At the end of the five days, participants will have created a number of short radio dramas.

Participants are encouraged to download 'Audacity', a free digital sound software, in advance of the course.

The course will be of less value to those already skilled with digital sound software.

The sessions will include work on: