a masterclass

13th April 2021, 6pm
on Zoom

ALONE ONSTAGE WITH A MYRIAD OF VOICES

Writing and performing one-person plays

curated by Maggie Rose

Following Guy Masterson’s session on Animal Farm, Gareth Armstrong leads our April masterclass, with a specific focus on his solo play Shylock, on Tuesday 13th April at 6pm (GMT 5pm). Please join us!

After Gareth’s Masterclass, two more will follow in May and June: Rani Moorthy (Curry Tales) and Matthew Zajac (The Tailor of Inverness). The sessions, with a maximum of 20 participants, last 90 minutes, with a 20 minute Q&A.

The one-person (or solo) play is an extremely popular theatrical form that allows actors to produce a show on a shoestring. Without the constraints of a big company and often a director, an actor can easily take her or his one person show far and wide, in theatres and site-specific venues.
 
In each masterclass, the soloist will explore why and how they created their one person play\s; from the genesis of the idea, the writing of the script (from a classical text, a biography, a contemporary issue or personal story); their chosen performance style (illustrated with extracts); analysis of setting, costumes and props and sound; the relationship to the audience; the ambition and promotion of the show. At the end there will be a twenty-minute Q & A.
 
After attending the masterclass, if you feel inspired to write your own five-minute one-person play, please send it to us. We will select three and ETM actors will perform them in online streaming.

SHYLOCK

Gareth’s award-winning solo play, Shylock, toured to more than fifty countries. It has been translated and performed in half a dozen languages and played in Stratford, London and off-Broadway. Gareth now collaborates with other writers and actors in the making of solo performances that have played in the West End, on international tours and annually at the Edinburgh Festival. His book ‘So You Want To Do A Solo Show’ is published by Nick Hern Books.

GARETH ARMSTRONG has combined the roles of actor, director, playwright and author throughout his career. Theatre has taken him to over fifty countries where his roles have ranged from Romeo to Richard III, from Oberon to Macbeth. As a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company he worked in Stratford and London and played three seasons at Shakespeare’s Globe. In the West End he has appeared in plays by Noel Coward, Tom Stoppard, Agatha Christie and in 2013 was in the cast of “Yes, Prime Minister”.
 
In Wales, where he was born and educated, Gareth was a founder Director of the Made in Wales Stage Company, presenting new Anglo-Welsh plays, and was an Artistic Director of Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre where he directed classics, new plays and the modern repertoire. As a freelance he has directed dozens of productions in theatres in Britain, Europe and the United States. 
 
Currently he has several solo shows touring the UK and internationally including: “My Darling Clemmie” by Hugh Whitemore, Shakespeare’s “The Rape of Lucrece”, and his own dramatization of Oscar Wilde’s ‘De Profundis’, titled “Wilde Without the Boy’. His production of Hugh Whitemore’s play about John Betjamen (“Sand in the Sandwiches”) and starring Edward Fox toured nationally and played in the West End at the Haymarket Theatre.
 
Gareth has also directed at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and the British American drama academy.
 
His published work includes “A Case for Shylock – Around the World with Shakespeare’s Jew” with a foreword by Judi Dench, and “So You Want To do A Solo Show” with a foreword by Maureen Lipman. Both are published by Nick Hern Books.

“Creating a work for solo performance can be one of the most rewarding and empowering experiences in an actor’s life.”

Gareth Armstrong

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