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Arion Productions launches Portfolio Masterclasses

Annette Badland, Jenny Galloway and Abigail Matthews to help theatre-makers.

Arion Productions

Arion Productions Ltd has launched a new series of masterclasses to provide expert ‘one day only’ training in much-sought-after specialist fields with some of the country’s finest theatre, film, television and radio professionals at the Diorama Arts Studios. Masterclasses include, two time Oliver Award winner, Jenny Galloway (Acting Through Song Masterclass), long standing War Horse, Citizen Squid and Goodnight Mr Tom puppeteer, Abigail Matthews (West End Puppetry Masterclass) and Olivier and Actor’s Screen Guild Award nominated actress Annette Badland (Acting for Stage and Screen Masterclass) who is currently appearing in EastEnders.

Each of these masterclasses can hold up to fifty participants and will be held on various Sundays throughout 2016 from 1pm – 5.30pm at Diorama Arts Studios. These masterclasses are aimed towards those considering or currently training at a drama school or theatre professionals that are looking to learn new skills. The classes are accessible by all regardless of any access needs; however all attendees must be 16+.

The profits will be invested in future opportunities by Arion Productions to help other theatre-makers by giving practical, paid experience on their future shows and events.

Artistic Director of Arion Productions Andrew Keates comments, “Many students and professional actors have expressed that they want practical masterclasses to learn the skills required for new or specialist demands in our industry. Also, not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to afford to go to drama school. Arion is fortunate to have links with some extraordinarily professionals who have extremely successful careers thanks to perfecting their craft. We want to help anyone that likes to learn by doing and takes his or her careers seriously. Arion’s ethos is to provide opportunities for the next generation of theatre-maker and not only are these masterclasses a testament to that, but also all of the profits from these masterclasses will be invested in further paid experience based placements in our upcoming shows and events for other exciting theatre-makers.”

The masterclasses comprise:

Jenny Galloway
Acting Through Song Masterclass
with Musical Director, Dustin Conrad.
Sunday 29th May 2016 1pm – 5.30pm
Jenny Galloway is a two-time Olivier Award winner for her work in Musical Theatre. Many will recognise her from the 10th and 25th Anniversary concerts, West End and Broadway productions of Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Misérables as Madame Thernadier. Career highlights include Mr Foote’s Other Leg (Haymarket Theatre), Hay Fever (Noel Coward), Cause Celebre (Old Vic), My Fair Lady (Theatre du Chatelet, Paris & Royal Albert Hall/BBC Proms), Anna Christie (Donmar), After The Dance (National Theatre), Mary Poppins (Prince Edward, London/ New Amsterdam New York), Henry V (Manchester Royal Exchange), Sweeney Todd (Derby), My One and Only (Piccadilly – Olivier Nomination), Mamma Mia! (Prince Edward – Olivier Award), The Boys from Syracuse (Regent’s Park – Olivier Award). Pirate Jenny – one woman show (National Theatre/Regent’s Park/Jermyn Street/ Hoxton Hall and Triad Theatre, NYC). Films include London Road, Jonny English, In Tranzit, About a Boy. Television includes The Coroner, Cuffs, Hank Zipzer, Breathless, Ambassadors, Trollied, Father Brown, A Young Doctor’s Notebook.

Jenny Galloway will be exploring how to act through song alongside Musical Director, Dustin Conrad. Do you find yourself being told to stop presenting? What actually goes through your mind in an audition when the pianist starts to play? What happens in your body? Are you learning from cast recordings and impersonating? Do you just open your mouth, sing and hope for the best? What do you need to do to inhabit a song? Are you choosing the right song for you? This is a must attend workshop for anyone who wants to learn from an exceptional actress with a career that spans all forms of theatre, film, television and radio.

Jenny has requested that all those that attend this masterclass should arrive in comfortable clothing that they can move in as well as prepare and bring sheet music for two contrasting songs appropriate for musical theatre.

Abigail Matthews
West End Puppetry Masterclass
Sunday 7th August 2016 1pm – 5.30pm.
Abigail has worked on a variety of productions in the early stages of her career including musical theatre, physical theatre and puppetry, plays, cabarets, pantomime, fringe theatre and street theatre. Her exploration into the world of puppetry began in 2012 when she became an alternate Aslan puppeteer in ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ working with Max Humphries, Steve Tiplady and Jane Leany to learn the ethos and craft of team puppetry. Since then, she has continued to work with a myriad of puppets in subsequent performances, most notably in the acclaimed West End National Theatre production of War Horse, where she worked directly with Handspring Puppet Company and associate directors of puppetry, Tommy Luther and Jimmy Grimes. She then went on to join a team of ten puppeteers working with director Ivan Thorley and designer Caroline Bowman at ‘Puppets With Guts’ to devise and perform their street theatre piece ‘Citizen Squid’ at the Lyric Hammersmith: Theatre In The Square and Watford Imagine Festival. She is currently working on the West End and National Tour production of Goodnight Mister Tom with puppet director and designer Toby Olie.

Puppetry is a thought provoking, moving and disciplined theatrical language that is finding its way into many areas of the industry from physical theatre and street theatre, to plays and musicals. It is becoming an essential skill for the actor today, especially for devising theatre and children’s theatre. The ethos of team and solo puppetry requires great focus, clear communication of thought, stamina and joy. Much the same as the ethos of acting- this is a must do workshop for not only learning new and relevant skills, but enhancing your storytelling abilities as a performer.

Abigail has requested that all those that attend her masterclass should wear comfortable clothing that they are free to move in and all puppets that may be owned by attendees get in for free.

Annette Badland
Acting for Stage and Screen Masterclass
Sunday 27th November 2016 1pm – 5.30pm
Annette Badland is an Olivier nominated actress for her role in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at the National Theatre. Currently to be seen in Eastenders and Outlander. In television she is also known for her roles in Dr Who, Bergerac and Cutting It. Casanova, Last Day of Summer and Man Down. Skins, Holding On and Making Out. Her theatre work includes Sir Peter Hall’s Company in Habeas Corpus, Measure for Measure and The Vortex. The RSC, National Theatre, Royal Court, Cheek by Jowl and The Almeida also Bristol Old Vic and The Royal Exchange, Manchester where she won critical acclaim as Madame Arcarti in Blithe Spirit. Films include: Terence Davies’ A Quiet Passion, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Legacy – Black Ops, Syrup (Oscar nominated short), Twenty Four Seven, Jabberwocky and Little Voice (nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award). On Radio 4 she plays Hazel in The Archers!

Annette attended East 15 and has worked with Stephen Daldry, Deborah Warner, Simon McBurney, Sam Mendes, Tim Burton, Declan Donnellan, Shane Meadows among others…….there are many ways! Communication, complicity and confidence. We will explore these aspects of the work and seek to enhance the skills you have. How to find the way into a character, share it and the story with your audience whether on stage or through the lens. This class will include a simple camera and screen set-up so those that participate can see the results of their work immediately after performing it.

Annette has requested that those that attend the masterclass should wear comfortable clothing that they can move in as well as two contrasting speeches that last approximately 1 – 2 minutes that they would feel comfortable to perform in front of others as well as on camera.

All masterclasses can be booked at www.arion-productions.com/portfolio-masterclasses.

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