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. 

I offer Speech & Drama tuition to pupils aged 5 and above, including adults. I also offer GCSE and A Level tutoring in English Language, English Literature and Drama & Theatre. From September, face to face teaching will resume alongside  the continuing option of online tuition - simply select which mode best suits you..

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

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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.
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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.

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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 ...

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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.

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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.

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04Feb

Exam entries

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

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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 .

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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.

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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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