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. Dates tbc soon.

  • 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.

    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.


    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.

    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)

    Actioning the Text

    'Actioning' is a second language in the professional rehearsal room. It brings the text to life by ensuring that the drama is active and defined. The process of choosing specific 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! The 'Action' becomes the tactic by which the character can achieve his/her objective. 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 broken down into units, the first step to enabling the actor to define his/her objectives specifically. The choice of 'Action' is then explored and played and the impact is measured. Through the workshop, students learn the different methods of 'Actioning', the vocabulary and the enormous benefits of the process. If you are new to 'Actioning', this will make a huge difference to your acting. The possibilities that emerge will excite you and the clarity and directness of your acting will be seen by all. The most important and useful development in your acting that you could make is to 'Action the text'.


    The father of modern acting, Konstantin Stanislavski unequivocally challenged traditional notions of the dramatic process, establishing himself as one of the most pioneering thinkers in modern theatre. His work still forms the basis of actor training in the 21st century. This workshop will focus on the essentials of his teaching; the principles of concentration and relaxation, the study of character and preparing for performance, the use of sense memory and one’s own experiences, and making the unconscious conscious. 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 Stanislavski’s work gives an actor all the fundamentals of acting in a modern age.

    Dialects: R.P & Northern

    This workshop is designed to give you the techniques for working by yourself on any accent, breaking down the various components of an accent, the vowel and consonant use and the rhythm and tune, so that you have a better understanding of what makes an accent or dialect different to any other. Even in the professional world, an actor is often given very little time with a dialect coach and will have to do a great deal of work on his/her own. This workshop will teach you how to approach that work. Received Pronunciation or ‘standard English’ is the dialect that we hear most often among more educated speakers. It is the accent that is considered ‘neutral’ and is used in more plays than any other accent. Rather than focussing on a specific period of standard English, this workshop will teach you how to achieve an authentic, modern RP accent, not only as part of the development of character and into performance, but as a means of presenting a different side of yourself. As an exercise in learning an accent, this workshop will also teach a Northern accent. Using a number of texts, you will learn the specifics of the Northern accent, the rhythms, vowel and consonant peculiarities and the phrasing and articulation found in a particular geographical area of England. These lessons are transferable to any accent to be studied subsequently, and offer a valuable tool in developing characters.

    Tel: 01332 875947 or 07779 467124