Chris Marlow

Speech & Drama Teacher

My Services



I offer:

  • Speech and Drama tuition for children and adults, beginners to advanced, amateur and professional

  • Presentation and communication skills training for businesses, charities and corporate clients

    You are guaranteed expert yet affordable tuition, either in person or online, from a well-qualified, experienced and friendly teacher/coach, dedicated to your success. I offer a free 20 minute 'phone or online 'taster' when you can ask any questions and sample something of a 'proper' session without any obligation. Contact me: phone/text +44 (0)7792 309992, email  info@chrismarlow.co.uk or use the website Contact page. I look forward to hearing from you



Chris Marlow


About Chris


Chris Marlow BA MA PhD LLCM PGCE PGDip

Chris trained at the universities of Manchester and Oxford, winning, as an undergraduate, The John Osborne Award, and qualifying as a teacher of English and Drama. Subsequently, he obtained a specialist diploma in Speech & Drama from the London College of Music (LLCM) before completing a PhD in educational research at Lancaster University.

A member of Equity and the Society of Teachers of Speech & Drama, he is also a Life Member of the Oxford Union, the eminent university debating society. He's been a working professional with radio, television and theatre experience; credits include 'Born & Bred' (BBC One), Granada Reports (ITV), BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC Radio Merseyside and The Sound of Music (UK theatre tour). As a Speech & Drama teacher, Chris especially enjoys teaching a wide range of pupils, from absolute beginners (children and adults), to professional performers and teachers, as well as coaching business and corporate clients to develop their communication and presentation skills.

Chris is an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals and has extensive experience as a speech and drama examiner for the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA), travelling nationally and internationally to assess communication and performance skills. He co-authored 'Speaking Matters', a practical textbook for developing dynamic communication skills, published by LAMDA in 2010. While there he ran a series of popular summer courses, workshops and teacher seminars on speech, drama and devising. He is now an examiner for Trinity College London and enjoys examining drama and speech, both in-person and also digitally. Currently, he sits on the Awarding Organisations Committee of the Council for Dance, Drama & Musical Theatre (CDMT), the UK's quality assurance body for performing arts. In 2021 he was elected to the Council of the Society of Teachers of Speech & Drama. Chris holds an enhanced DBS check and is fully insured.

Before embarking on a freelance career, Chris, a qualified teacher of English and Drama, had been a Head of Department in both state and independent schools, a GCSE English/English Literature Examiner and a Senior Examiner/Moderator for 'A' level English Literature (Shakespeare paper). He has extensive, insightful and successful experience of Oxbridge entrance coaching and can advise on all aspects of university applications, such as choosing the right university/course for you, drafting a compelling personal statement and refining your interview technique.

Chris is married to Alison, a dance adjudicator, examiner and teacher (see www.edudance.co.uk) and has a son, Alex, a London-based actor, poet and creative practitioner. As dog lovers, the Marlow household is home to Kipp, a three-legged Lurcher from Romania (via Animal Care, Lancaster) and Dolly, a black Labrador Retriever.

Speech & Drama Tuition


For children (aged 5+) and adults, I offer individual or small group tuition in all aspects of Speech and Drama, either in person or online. These include:


  • Acting - scripted and devised drama 
  • Audition coaching for drama school
  • Verse and prose reading & speaking 
  • Reading aloud , including sight-reading
  • Public speaking 
  • Presentation and communication skills   
  • Speech writing and delivery
  • Interview techniques ( for employment/college/university)
  • Voice production and protection
  • Accents for actors
  • Accent modification
  • Performing and teaching diplomas in speech & drama

Many former pupils have progressed to top UK and USA drama schools and into careers in film, radio, television and theatre. More recently these have included:

  • Ciara Baxendale (RADA): Little Crackers (TV, 2011); Harriet's Army (TV, 2014); My Mad Fat Diary (TV, 2015)
  • Rosemary Berkon (ALRA, and winner of the Principal's Prize for excellence): Romeo and Juliet (TIE, 2013); Valhalla (2016); Moira and the Rest (2017); Tracing Grace (2017); MA Voice Studies (Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, 2021)
  • Niamh Blackshaw Coronation St (TV, 2017); Hollyoaks (TV, 2019 /2020)
  • Graham Butler (GSMD, and Ian Charleson Awards winner ): Law & Order (TV, 2010) ; Henry V & Henry VI Part 1 (Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, 2013 & 2016); Penny Dreadful (Film, 2014); Two Down (Film, 2015); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2014, National Theatre), Sweet Bird of Youth (Chichester Festival Theatre, 2017)
  • Angela Clutton Sunday Brunch (TV, 2017); Tonight (TV, 2018); Inside the Christmas Factory (TV, 2018); Inside... (TV, 2019); The Bone Detectives (TV, 2020); You and Yours (BBC Radio 4); ABC Australia Radio
  • Agyness Deyn Clash of the Titans (Film, 2010); Pusher (Film, 2012); The Leisure Society (Theatre, Trafalgar Studios, 2012) ; Sunset Song (Film, 2012); Electricity (Film, 2013); Patient Zero (Film, 2015); Hard Sun (TV, 2017); The Titan  (Film, 2018); Her Smell (Film, 2019)
  • Georgina Duncan (LAMDA): Stick Man (Theatre Royal, Brighton/Kings Theatre, Edinburgh and national tour (2019)
  • Lucie Entwistle Entertainer, Disney Cruise Lines
  • Ross Entwistle Runner-up, The Cranmer Awards, national final, 2012
  • Henry Farmer Jonny and Inel (TV, 2012); Billy Elliot (national theatre tour, 2014/15)
  • Mariella Giomarelli (LIPA): A View From A Bridge (LIPA, 2014); Medea (Liverpool Playhouse, 2016)
  • Rosie Goddard (Bird College): The Knife That Killed Me (Film, 2014);  Romeo and Juliet (TNT Theatre, 2019);  King's Man: The Great Game (Film, 2020)
  • Phil Lester Dan & Phil, The Internet Takeover (BBC Radio 1); Faintheart (Film, 2008), YouTube presenter
  • Meg Makin (American Academy of Dramatic Arts): Blithe Spirit; Les Miserables, Spring Awakening, Phantom of the Opera, My Fair Lady (Theatre)
  • Dorrie Partington Britain's Biggest Heists (TV, 2011); Crimes That Shook Britain (TV, 2012); Emmerdale (TV, 2013); 1 Versus 100 (TV, 2015)
  • Alice Schofield (Mountview & GSA): One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Theatre, Frankfurt, 2019); I Am A Cold Hearted Son Of A Bitch (Radio, 2020)
  • Phoebe Spencer-Hall A Christmas Carol (Charing Cross Theatre, London & national tour, 2013/14)
  • Alex Worsick BBC Breakfast (2016/17); BBC North West; BBC Radio Lancashire; Late Kick Off (BBC One, 2014)

Several students have gained places in the prestigious and highly competitive National Youth Theatre (www.nyt.org.uk) and the National Youth Music Theatre (www.nymt.org.uk) ; recently these have included Rosemary Berkon, Georgina Duncan, Dan Gray, Thomas Kelly, Alex Marlow and Alice Schofield. Aside from performing careers, former students have gone on to work in allied professions such as drama teaching/lecturing (e.g. Jane Maudsley, RSAMD, CEO & Founder of Little Voices), drama examining (e.g. Jayne Buchanan, LAMDA examiner ), drama therapy, law, publishing, media production and speech/language therapy.

Of course, and very importantly, you don't need to be an aspiring professional actor to take lessons! Instead, perhaps you fancy a new hobby for fun, or to develop some transferable skills, or maybe you enjoy amateur dramatics and want to polish your craft. Or perhaps you'd like to gain speech and drama qualifications (with UCAS points) from LAMDA or London College of Music or Trinity College London, or compete in drama festivals, or get signed by an agent for acting or voiceover work. Whatever your reason(s), don't hesitate to get in touch for expert, specialist advice and for tuition that's fun, friendly and dedicated to your success.

Exams & Qualifications


I offer tuition for London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA), London College of Music (LCM) & Trinity College London (TCL) graded exams and diplomas.


About these exams

These prestigious exams, similar to graded exams in music and dance, are designed to develop technical skills in voice, speech, characterisation etc., alongside nurturing self-expression, self-assurance, achievement and empowerment. Globally recognised, they also offer valuable qualifications, which at Grades 6, 7 and 8, carry UCAS points towards university entry.

Why take an exam?

A wide range of exams is available – see below for a list of subjects. No matter what direction you may follow in the future, these exams provide the opportunity to nurture your natural abilities and skills and so empower you to fulfil your potential. Tuition is available both online and in person.You can be assured of outstanding tuition from an experienced examiner and teacher with an impressive track record of success. Exam sessions are held in-person in Lancaster but exams can also be taken online.

These exams will develop your ability to:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • expand vocabulary to improve powers of self-expression
  • improve confidence in speaking and listening
  • interpret and perform a range of drama, poetry and prose
  • memorise and recall information
  • deliver persuasive formal presentations
  • creating and defending arguments working successfully alone or in a team
  • engage in constructive informal conversation
  • develop vital life skills

What exams/subjects are available?

  • Introductory/Initial

  • Speech & Drama: Grades 1-8

  • Acting: Grades 1-8

  • Devising Drama: Grades 1-8

  • Miming: Grades 1-8

  • Speaking of Verse & Prose: Grades 1-8

  • Performing Text/Reading for Performance: Grades 1-8

  • Communication Skills / Speaking in Public: Grades 1-8

  • Performance Arts: Grades 1-8

Introductory/Initial exams

The exams are designed to introduce you to creative expression and to the graded examinations framework. They are the perfect start for both young learners and those who have never taken an exam before. By learning the words of a fun poem from the likes of Michael Rosen and Valerie Bloom, you'll develop the ability to express yourself clearly while also improving memorisation and recall. Not only that, you’ll also gain in self-confidence as you talk about the things you love, like a favourite toy, place or book. These conversations will encourage you to feel at ease with answering questions, listening and using description.

Speech & Drama exams

Speech & Drama exams offer you the chance to engage with a variety of play extracts, poetry and prose from different periods and in a range of styles. Emphasis is placed on honing skills such as expressive speech, voice production, realisation of character, textual interpretation and sight reading. Often regarded as the core subject, these Speech & Drama exams offer an all-round enriching and enjoyable experience for actors and speakers, children and adults.

Acting exams

Acting exams are designed to develop your vocal, physical and interpretive skills as you delve into characters and explore the background of dramatic texts. Alongside producing authentic performances of your chosen scenes, you'll also gain an understanding of the context and characters within them. You'll always have plenty of choice and can follow your interests. Plays can be old, from the likes of Sophocles, Shakespeare, Behn, Haywood, Sheridan, Ibsen, Wilde and Coward, or from contemporary playwrights such as Caryl Churchill, John Godber, Dennis Kelly, Lucy Prebble, Simon Stephens, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Tanika Gupta.

The Acting exams also help to develop key life skills, such as understanding and empathy, by allowing you to engage with different circumstances and/or situations in a practical way. They also promote creative thinking and exploration, whilst enabling you to acquire memory skills, spatial awareness, vocal confidence and physical presence.

Devising Drama exams

If you want to make your own work, the Devising Drama exams allow you to create your own scenes from scratch. Provided with a list of themes to pick from, you’ll create the characters and write the scripts yourself. As you progress to the higher grades, you’ll develop an understanding of dramatic structure and staging, using movement, mood, style and space. In the higher grades you’ll also perform short improvised scenes which are unplanned and unscripted.

Miming exams

Mime allow us to communicate without using a single word. Through single mimed activities and fully developed scenes, you’ll work on coordination and control, physical awareness and precise movements of your body to articulate emotion and characterisation in your storytelling. You’ll also create your own work, expanding your physical theatre skills as you assemble your own scenes. At the higher grades you’ll discover the work of famous mime artists like Charlie Chaplin and Marcel Marceau and learn the history of one of theatre’s most influential forms, commedia dell'arte.

Speaking of Verse and Prose exams

The Speaking of Verse and Prose exams allow you to explore poetry and prose in an engaging and practical way, developing solid communication skills as you perform to an examiner and an imagined audience. Developing a good speaking voice is key for these examinations and you’ll learn how to use your voice in different ways to provoke different reactions. Equally important, memorising a number of pieces will encourage self-discipline and focus. Technically, you’ll develop transferable skills in voice, diction, posture and body language , as well as an in-depth knowledge and appreciation of the literature.

At each grade, you’ll perform a set verse and/or prose selection and an own choice selection from memory. You’ll also answer questions about your chosen selections and any other theory required for the grade. In the higher grades you’ll also delve into Shakespeare's sonnets, exploring his life, work and influence, as well as discovering the other writers whose works you are performing.

Performing Text/Reading for Performance exams

These exams explore the art of bringing a book to life by selecting texts and forming them into performance recitals, linking the works with your own words.The performances are animated, imaginative and designed to draw in an audience by using movement and vocals to reflect the contrasting own-choice texts. On reaching the higher grades you’ll use your research and performing skills to prepare an entertaining recital, and this can include your own original writing if you wish. This syllabus will develop your skills in reading aloud to an audience, using both prepared reading and sight reading.

Communication Skills/Speaking in Public exams

Speaking in Public exams will prepare you for a task that daunts so many people. You’ll write your own speeches, researching the topics, creating visual aids and presenting them from memory (although you can use notecards, if you prefer). You’ll learn the techniques required to engage an audience and to structure your speeches effectively, developing the confidence to deliver clear, focused and polished speeches, as you build the foundations of successful public speaking. At the higher grades, you’ll be asked to create an impromptu speech with minimal preparation.

Performance Arts exams

The Performance Arts exams offer you the freedom to cross subject boundaries and combine two or more performance skills to create a unique programme. You could therefore draw on any of these skills: acting, devising, improvising, speaking, singing, dancing, miming or playing a musical instrument. Equally, you might perform as a stage magician, juggler, clown, stand-up comedian or impersonator.Similarly, you might chose to perform a scene using puppets or masks or perform a stage fight with another actor.

Beyond these, you might opt to focus on a contributory performance skill such as writing, composing, devising, directing or choreographing original material for performance. Other technical skills, such as make-up, costume design, devising lighting plots or film making, can be offered for assessment. This flexible syllabus allows you to follow your interests and integrate them in a creative, unique way.

Want to know more about any of these exam subjects or about tuition? Then please get in touch.

 Business & Corporate Coaching




I offer a range of services to business and corporate clients, including 1:1 sessions, mentoring and group workshops, either in person or online. These include:

  • public speaking
  • presentation training 
  • voice projection for clear, confident communication
  • vocal techniques - pitch, pace, power & pause - for varied, colourful, charismatic speaking
  • body language/non-verbal communication skills 
  • dynamic, persuasive speaking for impact
  • interview techniques
  • breathing techniques for relaxation and endurance
  • using drama techniques (such as role play) for change management, team-building etc
  • accent modification
  • the art of listening
You can be assured of a confidential, bespoke service, dedicated to meeting your needs and exceeding your expectations. So, whether it's learning how to relax and calm those nerves, engage your audience or use your voice with authority, simply get in touch for a no-obligation chat.  

We learn best by doing, and so all sessions/workshops are interactive, practical, relaxed and fun! They're full of tips and tricks to engage and inspire you/your colleagues, building confidence as you learn to use your voice to meet your goals. Whatever your role, CEO or otherwise, harnessing the unique power of your voice is an investment in you, your future and your organisation. Contact me today to see how I can help (07792 309992 or info@chrismarlow.co.uk ).

Testimonials


 I love my lessons with Chris. He always makes them fun and the time goes so fast. I've learnt how to speak poetry and read prose which has helped me with my work at school too. I'm now working on my first acting pieces, playing Lucy from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I'm entering one for a festival but don't know which one yet. Chris is a top teacher, he's cool and funny. I really like it when he does all the voices !"

SunyaPupil - 9 years old
     

 My acting lessons with Chris are always good fun and I've learnt how to develop characters from Greek drama, Shakespeare and Restoration comedy through to contemporary drama and everything in between. I'm just about to take Grade 8 Acting and have already passed my Grade 8 Speech and Drama. The extra UCAS points are handy and I've had leading roles in my school productions for the last 2 years. More than anything, lessons with Chris have given me so much confidence in how to present myself. He's great teacher and I'm continuing my lessons online with him when I go to uni in October ."

DanielPupil - sixth form
     

 Chris spent the day at our HQ with our leadership team, working on developing their inter-personal skills. Their feedback was amazing and we have already re-booked Chris for 3 months' time. The morning workshop focussed on using the body and voice for clear, consistent and effective communication. The role plays were eye-opening, enjoyable and especially valuable as we watched the recordings that Chris made. In the afternoon, he helped individual colleagues with a range of issues such as voice projection, dynamic, persuasive speaking and microphone technique. We are already looking forward to the next workshop with Chris who we think is brilliant."

JWManaging Director
     

 Chris was brilliant and helped me so much with my public speaking. My presentations are so much more polished and I was able to get the promotion I was seeking. Thanks again, Chris"

AndyHeadteacher
     

 I can't thank you enough for helping me get into Oxford. I couldn't have done it without you. Right from the initial application, choice of college, writing the personal statement and prepping for the interviews, you were so well-informed helpful and encouraging. I really enjoyed my sessions and you were not at all scary ! Thanks again."

LisaStudent
     

 Although my two children are home educated, I wanted them to explore other educational opportunities and Chris was recommended to me. Both the kids love going for their speech and drama lessons with him. He works hard to make the lessons fun yet engaging and the kids love working on their poems and acting pieces. They've enjoyed taking the graded exams and have done exceptionally well, both getting a high Distinction which is testament to Chris's skill. The twins are now preparing for their Grade 3 Acting exam in Summer and can't wait for their weekly lessons with Chris."

SBParent
     

 Moving my lessons to Chris was honestly the best decision I made. I learnt more in one hour with him than I'd learnt in a year with my previous teacher. Chris makes the acting work come alive and is so encouraging and motivating. My confidence has improved so much, both within myself and in my acting abilities. I've learnt so much and look forward to my weekly lessons which are always focussed but fun. I can't thank Chris enough."

RachelAdult actor
     

 Without Chris, I wouldn't have got into drama school (LAMDA). He guided me every step of the way and I trusted him even though I knew the odds were ridiculously high - 3500 people chasing 30 places he told me! But he had faith in me and encouraged me to aim high. He's seen me grow over the 5 years I've had lessons with him and his knowledge is awesome. I can't recommend him highly enough."

GeorgeFormer pupil, now at drama school
     

 I have known and worked with Chris for many years. He is a very intuitive and perceptive teacher, with a caring manner. He has experience at all levels of Speech and Drama and with his structured approach he gets the best out of every student; clear levels of progress can be seen, whether the study is for professional development or pleasure. Highly recommended!"

Nick MackeyExaminer, London College of Music
     

F.A.Q


How do I find out more?

Simply give me a call on 07792 309992, drop me an email to info@chrismarlow.co.uk or use the 'Contact' form on this website.

Do you offer a free 'taster' session?

Yes, I do offer a free 'taster' session. Contact me on 07792 309992 or info@chrismarlow.co.uk to book the session, which will usually be online. Lasting approximately 20 minutes, you can ask any questions and sample something of a 'proper' lesson without any obligation. 

Do you offer classes?

No, sorry, classes are not offered. Instead, I offer 1:1, 2:1 or small group tuition to ensure personalised attention and rapid progress. 

What are your charges for lessons?

  • Lessons can be taken in person in Lancaster or online. 
  • For 1:1 private lessons fees start from £30 per hour or £15 per half hour.
  • 2 people can share a lesson, in which case the total fee is from £40 per hour or £20 per half hour.
  • For groups of 3 and above please contact me for a quotation .
  • Fees can be paid by cash, debit/credit card or via online banking. These are due at the time of the lesson, except for online tuition when fees should be paid 24 hours in advance of the lesson.

Do you charge termly?

No, there are no termly or up-front fees. Lessons are paid for on the day they are taken, except for online lessons which must be paid for 24 hours in advance.

What's the minimum age for children to start lessons?

Children can start lessons from age 5 or so. However, as each child is different, this is not set in stone, so please contact me if you are interested in tuition for your child. 

Do you teach musical theatre/singing?

No, but I know someone who does! Contact Alison Marlow 07811 239780 for full information, and see her website www.edudance.co.uk. Alison teaches musical theatre to  children and adults, either online or in person in Lancaster. These lessons are either 1:1 sessions or small private groups of your making.  And they're great fun!

Do you teach adults?

Yes! Adults are very welcome.

In fact, adults comprise about half of my work, with pupils ranging from absolute beginners to professional performers or teachers. They span an impressive age range, 18-70+ years, so age is absolutely no barrier to speech and drama work. Moreover, it's a great way to keep mentally and physically fit since it stresses the importance of correct breathing , relaxation, imagination and creativity. Plus, it's great fun; lessons are always relaxed and with plenty of laughs.

 

Can I obtain qualifications in speech and drama?

  • Yes, you can opt to take graded exams in a range of subjects such as Speech & Drama, Acting, Speaking Verse & Prose, Public Speaking, Devised Drama and Mime. While most pupils enjoy the ladder of progression and sense of achievement provided by these exams, they are, however, entirely optional.

  • These Ofqual-regulated exams, similar to those available in music and dance, can be taken with LAMDA, the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (www.lamda.ac.uk), London College of Music (www.lcme.uwl.ac.uk) and Trinity College London ( www.trintycollege.com). If you have a particular interest in performing Shakespeare, the RADA Shakespeare Awards, from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (www.rada.ac.uk), are also available. Similarly, LAMDA offer a range of dedicated Shakespeare exams.

  • Success at Grades 6,7 & 8 attract UCAS points which are a useful supplement to those gained from A level/ BTEC etc. qualifications. For example, Distinctions at Grade 6, 7 & 8 are worth 12, 16 & 30 UCAS points respectively.

  • Beyond Grade 8, you can progress to diploma examinations in Performance and/or Teaching pathways, such as the level 4 ATCL (Associate, Trinity College London) or the level 6 LTCL (Licentiate, Trinity College London) diplomas. These qualifications sit on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF); level 4 is equivalent in demand to a first year undergraduate degree, while level 6 equates to a third year undergraduate degree. 

Are there any performance opportunities?

Yes, there are plenty of performing opportunities including:

  • auditioning for amateur dramatic groups

  • auditioning for the National Youth Theatre 

  • joining local speakers clubs

  • entering speech and drama festivals

  • competing in debating and public speaking events

  • taking speech and drama examinations with LAMDA, the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art

  • joining an agency for actors. We have close links with leading agencies in the North West and in London and can advise accordingly. 

  • Adults, if you also enjoy dancing or fancy learning to dance, why not get in touch with Lancaster Dance Centre, run by Alison Marlow. She offers a full range of classes and lessons in Ballroom, Latin-American, Sequence, Ballet and Tap, for beginners, improvers and advanced dancers. Visit www.edudance.co.uk for full details. 


When can I start lessons?

You can start lessons at any time of the year. We simply agree a mutually convenient time and off we go. There is no need to book a course or minimum number of lessons.

Prior to starting tuition please read, complete and return the Registration Form and the Terms and Conditions documents below. These can be completed and returned online. Thanks.

 Registration_Form, Pupil copy.pdf

T & C, Pupil copy.pdf

If any details subsequently change, such as emergency contact information, please inform me

What if I need to cancel a lesson?

Please cancel a lesson by text or phone call (07792 309992) giving at least 24 hours notice, in which case no fee is payable. However, lessons cancelled without such notice will be chargeable in full, unless exceptional circumstance prevail.

What are your charges for business coaching and workshops?

As these services are usually bespoke, please contact me (07792 309992 or info@chrismarlow.co.uk ) to discuss your specific requirements and for a quotation.

News & Blog


26Aug

As I bid farewell to my lovely sixth form students who are preparing to go off to university or drama school, it does mean I have some vacancies for new pupils starting in September. 


Please get in touch if any of this is of interest. Thanks

Read More  
06Aug

Best actors? Who are your favourites?

It was the BAFTA TV awards recently and in lessons  many students voiced their opinions on their favourite  screen actors. Some won and others weren't even nominated ! A few names mentioned were Naomi Ackie, Sian Clifford, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Paul Mescal, Will Sharpe, Adrian Lester, Daniel Day Lewis, Sarah Lancashire, Idris Elba, Ruth Wilson, Damien Lewis, Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cush Jumbo, Helen McRory, Andrew Scott,Tom Hardy, Stephen Graham, Adrian Dunbar, Fiona Shaw, Jodie Comer, Suranne Jones, Cynthia Erivo, Daniel Kaluuya, Julie Walters, Martin Clunes, Josh O'Connor, Jennifer Kirby, Mark Rylance, David Harewood and plenty of others I've forgotten to write down!
So, the question is...who are your favourite screen actors and why? What impresses you about them and in what roles have they excelled? 
We're excited to know your views, so put on your thinking caps and let us know. Please share the post so that others can have their say too. Thanks.
Read More  
06Jul

Alan Bennett's Talking Heads is back on television, with new actors tackling the familiar monologues, plus a couple of new ones. What are your thoughts? Who was a hit and who a miss, and why?

Alan Bennett's Talking Heads is back on television, with new actors tackling the familiar monologues, plus a couple of new ones. In preparation, I asked all senior acting pupils to watch and critique them since the monologue form is very exposing for an actor. There's nowhere to hide since everything is magnified; every nuance, pause, gesture etc is 'read' by the audience and so it demands a highly skilled actor to pull off convincingly. So how did they do? Who totally inhabited their role, and who missed the mark? As always, opinions varied, as evaluating acting can be subjective but the consensus was clear - outstanding ones were Martin Freeman, Harriet Walter and Lesley Manville. I've still to see some of the monologues but agree on the trio above , especially Walter and Manville. Some disappointment expressed at Jodie Comer, Lucian Msamati and Sarah Lancashire - a few struggles with sub-text , speech rhythms and authenticity in places. However, I'm looking forward to seeing the 'full set'. Overall though, it was a great treat to see these monologues back on telly , despite the inevitable comparisons with the original. Who can top Patricia Routledge in 'Lady of Letters'? Probably no one, despite Imelda Staunton's best efforts. No wonder we discourage the use of these monologues for auditions and exams !

So, what are your thoughts? Who was a hit and who was a miss, and why ? Looking forward to reading your views.

Read More  
12May

Life in lockdown

May 2020 - And so the lockdown continues! Like many of us, I'm grateful for technology that enables us to contact family, friends and pupils. For the latter, I'm delighted with how well online tuition works. As I type, my wife is teaching an online dance class to her 'ballet belles', a group of senior ladies. Mingling with the lovely ballet music, I can hear lots of laughter and whoops of delight, so nothing changes there !

For me, May has been busy, so far, and contained a first - helping a family prepare and deliver a funeral oration to be broadcast remotely to mourners. It was a privilege to help in these sad circumstances and I was pleased to donate my fee to the Alzheimer's Society. What extraordinary times we are living in.

More cheerfully, it's pleasing to note how well-prepared pupils are for their forthcoming Speech & Drama exams next month. As Ben told me during this week's lesson, with his school closed, "I'm sometimes bored at home but I'm not having to get up early and I can do my work when I like. So it's not bad, but I miss my mates. But Chris, I know all my drama pieces and I've also done the theory work you set. I've never been as well-rehearsed. I'm ready to do the exam now!" (Quoted with permission). So, it seems that every cloud can have a silver lining ...

Read More  
01Apr

Online exams. National Theatre Live productions.

April 2020 - Exams . Good news ! Most exam boards are now offering online assessments for graded exams in speech and drama. If you are due to take an exam with TCL this summer, every effort is being made to deliver these remotely. I will be able to update you individually in your lessons. So, in the meantime, keep working on your material as the chances are you will be able to take your exam as planned. Please note that exam dates/times might be subject to change; again, I will advise individually on that.

Bored of lockdown ? Have you checked out the National Theatre Live productions? They're now available free so you can catch a host of productions such as One Man,Two Guvnors , Treasure Island, Twelfth Night, Frankenstein and Jane Eyre. Head over to www.nationaltheatre.org.uk for full details.

Read More  
02Mar

Online teaching

March 2020 - In light of coronavirus, all teaching will now take place online via Skype, FaceTime or Zoom. As a result, some appointment times will change but I will be in touch individually to discuss this. If you are new to online tuition, please be assured that it is highly effective and even enjoyable ; in fact, some pupils/clients prefer it and always have done! Please stay safe, well and in contact during this turbulent time.

Read More  
04Feb

Exam entries

February 2020 - Reminder that exam entry deadline is Saturday 15 Feb. Please ensure fees are paid by then . Thanks.

Read More  
02Jan

Happy new year. NYT auditions.

January 2020 - Welcome back and happy new year. Lessons resume on Tuesday 7th January . I look forward to seeing you soon. National Youth Theatre auditions are coming up so please ask for help with audition pieces .

Read More  
07Dec

Christmas

December 2019 - Reminder that teaching finishes on Saturday 21 December until Tuesday 7 th January. Have a great Christmas and a happy new year. Thanks for all your support in 2019.

Read More  
01Nov

Panto time and lesson availability in Nov/Dec

November 2019 - Are you going to a Pantomime this year? Hope so. Check out Cinderella at the Dukes (dukeslancaster.org) and Aladdin at the Grand  (lancastergrand.co.uk ). Or in Manchester why not pop along to see my old mate Eric Potts along with Craig Revel-Horwood in Snow White at the Opera House? It's hilarious !

My trip to adjudicate at the Hong Kong Festival has now been cancelled (owing to the riots there !), so if you wish to re-book lessons for late November - early December please get in touch . Thanks.

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01Sep

Welcome back from summer

September 2019 - Welcome back if you've been away over Summer. I hope you've returned refreshed and raring to go. As many of you know, tuition fees are reviewed annually in September. This year I'm pleased to report there will be no changes to fees!  

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30Aug

Hello and welcome to the first blog. Please read, share, comment and enjoy .

Welcome to the blog

Hello and welcome to the first blog post. Previously, I would post a monthly update on the News section of the website but thought it was about time to introduce a more interesting, interactive  blog format that will allow videos updates and lots of lovely pics. Plus, most importantly,  you can comment on what's been posted and we can have great conversations, especially important at this time , when keeping channels of communication open is so valuable .

So, please read, share, comment and enjoy .Thanks 

Chris 

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Contact


  • 'Tanglewood', Haverbreaks Road, Lancaster. LA1 5BJ
  • In-person tuition available in Lancaster, UK. Online tuition also available for pupils/clients in Lancaster, the rest of the UK and overseas