Following the huge success of last year’s first ever STARS – Stage Technique, Acting and Rehearsal Skills – Summer School, Next Stage is delighted that STARS is returning this month with another series of workshops delivered by our team of top-class actors, musicians, dancers, fight choreographers and theatre practitioners.


This year’s five-day course which runs Monday 20 – Friday 24 August, 10am-4pm daily, is aimed at 11-16 year olds who are passionate about the performing arts. The workshops all focus on a different discipline, with youngsters learning new techniques through games, exercises, devised work and rehearsed pieces, and each day culminates in a showcase in front of family and friends for the youngsters to display their new skills.

Mon 20 August: Improvisation and Mime with Yvonne Paulley – Break the ice with an action-packed day of drama games and exercises designed to build self-confidence and create a theatrical framework for the week ahead.

Working independently and in groups, you will explore:

    body language
    vocal exercises
    working with masks
    building characters
    improvised scenes

Tue 21 August: Musical Theatre with Carl Speck – The musical theatre day promises fun-filled and lively sessions with lots of scope for solo and duet singing to compliment an ensemble Showcase at the end of the day. With popular songs from award-winning musicals, you will explore:

    the warm-up routine
    breathing technique
    solo voices
    duets and harmonies
    singing in a variety of styles
    performances skills

Wed 22 August: Stage Combat with Nicky Wilkins – “Splice the main brace” and prepare to set sail for a day of swashbuckling stage combat. From Errol Flynn to Johnny Depp, pirates have always dominated stage and screen with thrilling sword fights and tavern brawls. In this workshop you will explore:

    how to fight safely
    preparing for action
    basics of sword fighting
    paired and group work
    acting the fight
    improvising your own routine

Thu 23 August: Dance with Holly and Jess from Novato Dance – Dance is integral to many performing arts and the aim of this fast-paced day is for you to try out a variety of styles and then showcase them. From jazz to Bollywood, and from lyrical to street dance, you will explore:

    moving to the beat
    classic choroegraphy
    improvisation of steps
    developing stage presence
    group work
    choreographing to music

Fri 24 August: Plays and Players with Ann Garner – Performing is part of an actor’s day to day life, but sometimes putting your work in front of an audience is a daunting prospect. This workshop will help you to prepare to face your public including what to do with your arms! You will explore:

    a personal warm-up routine
    breathing and projection
    working on a text
    1st rehearsal to 1st night
    stage technique
    scripted performance

Cost £150 for the week’s course. For more information please visit, call 01225 428600 or email .

Comments from parents and participants after last year’s STARS workshops include:

“Thank you and your team for the inspiration you have provided during the summer school week” (PS)

“the staff were very enthusiastic with a genuine interest and desire to pass on skills and knowledge.” (LK)

“great value and a true professional approach” (AS)