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Ilford’s Kenneth More Theatre holds ‘combat workshop’ for actors

People taking part in the combat sessions. [Picture: Kenneth More Theatre] People taking part in the combat sessions. [Picture: Kenneth More Theatre]

Sunday, August 10, 2014
3:00 PM

Budding actors can learn how to perform realistic and exciting fights by taking part in an intensive course.

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The Kenneth More Theatre is holding a five-day Junior Stage Combat Workshop run by the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat (BASSC), which will help young people, aged 14 to 18, study the technique, safety and the performance skills required.

At the end of the course they will have the chance to gain the BASSC Junior Grade Award by being judged by an examiner.

Rob Leonard, who co-ordinates the theatre’s BASSC courses, said: “It is one of the most difficult things as an actor that you can do, because doing a fight in a dramatic context is the one place where you use your entire toolkit.

“You need your partnering skills and spatial awareness.

“You need awareness of the audience. It is very challenging for actors, but a brilliant thing to have in an application for drama school.”

The course will consist of unarmed combat, including punches, and swordplay with the single rapier – a long, slim sword dating from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Other skills participants will need to master include good movement, co-ordination, focus and memory.

The theatre held a successful adult BASSC combat course in May.

Rob said: “It is great for anyone who is of this [junior] age. We wouldn’t spend our working lives doing it if it wasn’t fun.

“It is tough but it is supposed to be fun – it is what we all wanted to do when we were eight-year-olds.”

No prior experience is needed to take part in the course, which will run from Monday to Friday.

For more details visit bassc.org.

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