Devised to meet curriculum needs for your particular age and ability groups. Neale Birch has been the Director of Education for a large scale touring Theatre Company since 1996, devising and leading curriculum centered workshops for students in key stage 3, 4 and 5. These workshops are practical, interactive and can focus on a range of topics. These include classical and modern texts set for GCSE, AS and A level English and Drama examination, theatre practitioners and acting methods and practice.

Neale is an experienced workshop leader, having been an Associate of the Learning department of the RSC and led INSET days for the National Theatre and other companies. He has been a consultant for numerous regional and touring theatre companies. His workshops are adaptable to suit the particular needs of each group he works with, while giving valuable insight into texts, acting techniques and practitioners.

Please contact Wendy Allen the General Manager for more information or to book a workshop.


If you are interested in attending the Workshops, please send me your details and I'll add you to the list.

Practitioner: Neale Birch Neale has been a professional actor and director since graduating in 1985, working in regional repertory, small and large scale touring, West End, TV and radio. He has performed and directed in children’s theatre, comedy, drama, musicals and experimental and site-specific theatre. Neale has directed a wide variety of work in regional repertory and national touring, and has taught in performing arts colleges in London. He is the Director of Education and Associate Producer for The Touring Consortium Theatre Company, devising and leading their extensive education programmes since 1996. Neale was an Associate of the Learning Department of the Royal Shakespeare Company and has led inset days for The National Theatre.

Certificates of attendance awarded at the end of each workshop

Workshops are held at: 27 Charnwood Street, Derby.

Time: 10am until 3pm.

Price: £50 per workshop.

Contact Wendy Allen, by clicking here to fill out our Audition / Workshop form to book your place. Advance bookings only.

Naturalism & Actioning

The work of Konstantin Stanislavski still forms the basis of actor training in the 21st century. Having introduced Naturalism to acting, he brought a system of training that revolutionised the craft. This workshop will focus on the essentials of his teaching; the principles of concentration and relaxation, the use of one’s own experiences, the study of character and preparing for performance. Using different texts, we explore ‘beats’ and ‘units’, and the importance of objectives. As the basis and inspiration for modern ‘method’ acting, an understanding of Naturalism gives an actor all the fundamentals of acting in a modern age.

An effective technique for achieving naturalistic acting is the process of 'Actioning'. Choosing objectives for each individual thought gives spontaneity, focus and stimulation to everything a character does and says. It gives the actor confidence in knowing that they are actively using the text. What you want will determine what you do! Understanding 'Actions' is increasingly important to the professional actor, and developing ones vocabulary and practising making 'Action' choices is fundamental to a student actor's training. In this workshop, the process is explained fully. Texts are analysed in detail and the choice of 'Action' is then explored and played and the impact is measured. The possibilities that emerge will excite you and the clarity and directness of your acting will be seen by all.

Audition Techniques and Sight Reading

Audition technique is one of the most important things an actor can learn. This workshop is designed to build confidence, develop your skills and improve your chances of success when auditioning for an acting college, or for Theatre, TV, and film work. You will learn how to choose your pieces, prepare well and quickly, and how to present yourself at the audition. Success in an audition can hang on that first, crucial few minutes, and this workshop gives you the chance to watch and learn from all the others who are reading for a part. Actors are challenged to produce results fast and ‘sight-reading’ has become the most used form of auditioning actors for professional work. This workshop will teach you how to make intelligent and potent decisions about character and get quickly up to speed with a text, and will tackle the following concerns; how to get the most out of sight-reading, how to make an impact with a text without missing vital details, and how to take direction in an audition. The actor should be as at home in the audition space as in the rehearsal room, the studio, on the set or the stage. This workshop will encourage you to approach auditioning as a craft in its own right, including help with cold readings. Please advise us in advance of an audition piece that you have prepared and would like to work on and bring a copy of this piece with you.

Stage Combat

Classical and modern texts are littered with combat of many different sorts. In this workshop you will learn the essentials that enable you to convince an audience that you are in a real fight. From learning the basic moves, the workshop will take you into more complicated structures and into a choreographed piece. Basic sword work is also included. Previous combat experience is a bonus, but not required; it is not necessary to be a great fighter in order to be able to look like one, but physical movement is essential and anyone attending should be dressed accordingly and prepared to liberate themselves from their physical inhibitions and any combat fears they might have. (Suitable for age 16 and over)


This is an opportunity to learn an approach to speaking and playing Shakespeare. It is devised for those with little or no experience of his texts, and also for those baffled or intimidated by his plays. This workshop will explore all aspects of his verse, the language, the syntax, the characters and the world of Shakespeare in a supportive and enjoyable environment. This intensive one-day workshop is for anyone who wants to improve their understanding and performance of Shakespeare. Working on a variety of extracts, we will explore how the rhythms and structures of the language inform meaning and enable the character to shine through. A range of scene extracts and speeches will be provided on the day.

Tel: 01332 875947 or 07779 467124