Monthly Archives

December 2017

Panto ‘Keeping British Theatres Alive’

By | News

The money made by theatres putting on pantomimes around Christmas is often enough to support the establishment through the rest of the year, allowing them to run less-lucrative productions.

Speaking to iNews, pantomime historian Professor Jeffrey Richards, of Lancaster University, said that these fun productions are “unequalled in keeping British theatre alive”.

When asked about their enduring appeal, he explained that the reason pantomimes have survived so long is because they are constantly evolving. “Pantomime producers never hold onto anything which doesn’t appeal,” he asserted.

Some may consider pantomimes to be a lesser form of stage production, however, one of the country’s leading panto producers Michael Harrison told the news provider that he thinks this is nonsense.

“I would say playing Widow Twankey didn’t hurt Ian McKellen,” Mr Harrison stated. In fact, many big names have starred in pantos in the UK at Christmas time, including those from the US and Australia who can make good money in a relatively short space of time.

As an actor, it’s hard not to love walking on stage to see so many children’s faces in the audience, and to watch as they’re captivated by the colourful costumes, classic tales and comedy moments as the action plays out.

This year there will be pantomimes running up and down the country, but the Guardian recently singled out a couple that look to be particularly memorable this festive season in its list of the top theatre shows this Christmas.

Jack and the Beanstalk at York’s Theatre Royal got a mention, with the newspaper noting that it’s the 39th year that Berwick Kaler has trodden the boards as a panto dame; while Dick Whittington at the London Palladium boasts an all-star cast, including Julian Clary, Nigel Havers, Elaine Paige and Gary Wilmot.

If you’re inspired by what you see on stage this Christmas, consider booking drama classes in Liverpool in the new year and see where acting could take you.

‘Authenticity’ Acting Tips From Michelle Danner

By | News

If you’re looking to pursue a career in acting, then you might be interested in finding the best drama classes Manchester has to offer to hone your craft. Just putting yourself in the thick of it with passionate peers and teachers can help you pick up a few new acting tricks.

When it comes to acting classes, Michelle Danner knows her stuff. Her acting classes are considered some of the best in Los Angeles, and UK website The Stage spoke to her to get her best advice for presenting yourself with ‘authenticity’ in an audition.

Her first tip is to try as best you can to remove any pressure you feel surrounding the audition.  Of course, the ultimate goal is to get the job at the end, but if you don’t, it’s not a complete waste of time. You might just not be right for it, but it can be chalked up to experience and you may be remembered for other roles and jobs. Try to make a connection with each and every person you come into contact with throughout the audition process.

To help yourself feel as relaxed and engaged as possible, concentrate on your breathing by taking calm regular breaths. Don’t try too hard or feel like you have to give off a really energetic vibe in your audition. Just be yourself and feel confident to completely embrace whatever energy and feeling you have at that time. If you can find something that really does excite and motivate you about the reading and channel that, this will seem most authentic.

Let your emotions come out by using your own life experiences and memories, putting these into the performance. You might have to dig up feeling you a difficult time, but that is what genuine acting is all about. Allow your emotion to surface and trust in yourself to put across an authentic performance.

Jake Gyllenhaal Takes On Challenging Role As Bomb Survivor

By | News

Hollywood actor Jake Gyllenhaal has opened up about why the character he plays in upcoming film Stronger was one his most challenging roles yet.

Known for his performances in Donnie Darko and Brokeback Mountain, the actor will be gracing the silver screen again over the coming weeks in true life story Stronger, based on the memoir of Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman.

Mr Bauman had been cheering in the crowds when the bomb exploded in 2013, causing him to lose both of his legs. The movie adaptation of Mr Bauman’s memoir follows his journey to recovery – both physically and mentally.

The actor, who is five years older than Mr Bauman, told the Metro that he found the role particularly challenging.

“I am playing a guy who survived and thrived, and some part of acting is wish fulfilment, in that you believe you are like the characters you are playing. But I realised I didn’t think I’d have been able to do what Jeff did,” he said.

The breakthrough moment came when the actor understood that his self-doubt was just the way in which he could identify with the bombing victim.

“It was exactly how Jeff felt. He doubted himself and his own masculinity,” he added.

The actor worked to coax Mr Bauman’s feelings out and understand how he has come to terms with the experience of losing limbs and dealing with what happened in 2013. Mr Gyllenhaal’s acting skills have paid off, as his depiction has been well received by critics.

The film is released in the UK on Friday December 8th. For acting classes in Manchester, contact us today.

Daniel Day-Lewis Talks About Retirement From Acting

By | News

Daniel Day-Lewis is arguably one of the most influential and inspiring actors of his time. He’s well known for the incredible lengths he goes to in order to get into character for each of his roles, and the memorable performances that ensue.

Given that he’s won three of the five Oscars he’s been nominated for in his time, you can’t deny his talent. He may even have inspired people to sign up to drama classes in Liverpool. So it was a great surprise to many when he announced his retirement from the profession in June this year, stating that Phantom Thread would be his final movie.

In an exclusive interview with W Magazine, he said that he didn’t know he was going to give up acting when he started working on the movie with Paul Thomas Anderson, the writer and director.

He said that the two of them “laughed a lot” before they made the movie. “But then we stopped laughing because we were both overwhelmed by a sense of sadness. That took us by surprise,” Day-Lewis revealed.

He also said that he has a “great sadness” about leaving acting behind, but added that this is “the right way to feel” given that he’s been interested in acting since he was 12. “Back then, everything other than the theatre – that box of light – was cast in shadow,” he explained.

Now though, he feels differently and wants to discover the world in a new way.

There’s no doubt that he’ll be missed on the big screen. Earlier this month, a poll conducted by Gold Derby named Day-Lewis as the top Best Actor Oscar Winner of the 2010s, for Lincoln.