Shakespeare's Villains on Stage

No current schedule for this year

Course Notes

'Shakespeare's Villains on Stage' is for teenagers who enjoy drama and want to focus on developing a compelling "evil” character. Below are the answers to some questions you may have.


Do I need to have prior experience of being in a play?

No. Being keen and willing is the criteria, experience is not!


I'm not a native English speaker - can I still participate?

Yes, absolutely! Honestly, Shakespeare can feel like a bit of a foreign language even to native English speakers so you won't be alone asking questions about what words mean. That said, a basic level of English language is recommended - eg: being able to watch a film mostly without subtitles.


Will I have to memorise long speeches and learn lots of lines?

Well, we WILL be working towards a final performance for which you will have to learn some lines off by heart but the extracts will be of very manageable length and we can discuss trimming them further if necessary. I'll also teach you some memorisation tips and tricks!


Will there be auditions?

No. You choose which extracts you want to work on, and you decide which one of those extracts you want to perform on the final day. I can steer you towards a character if you are hesitating, though.


Are villains really that different from other characters?

Yes. If the themes of murder, abuse, coercion and violence are triggering to you, this might not be the best fit.


Can I only play a role that matches my gender or ethnicity?

Back in Shakespeare's days, all parts were played by white men. Nowadays, the trend in most theatre companies is to cast roles independently of gender or race. So no, you are not going to be forced to play Othello if you're black, or Lady Macbeth if you're female.


What will we actually be doing?

Here's a rough outline, which may be tweaked depending on the number of students. Note: Each day begins with a physical & vocal warm up as well as team-building exercises. Each day ends with a mini-performance & feedback. You need to bring loose, comfortable clothing and a highlighter.



·Key concept: status

·Looking at our villains through the lens of status: is there a correlation between a person's status and their level of villainy?

·Working on extracts through the lens of status


·Key concept: character evolution. What is each character's back story? How is your character treated by others, and regarded by others, at the start and end of the play?

·Working on extracts through the lens of character evolution


·Key concept: power dynamics (this is linked to, but different from, status!)

·Working on extracts (dialogues) through the lens of a power struggle

·Learning lines: tips and tricks


·Key concept: motivation.

·Working on monologues through the lens of motivation

·Choose your favourite extracts so far and plan our performance


·Refine, polish and prepare your chosen extracts!

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All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 8 Jul - 12 Jul

WK 2 15 Jul - 19 Jul

WK 3 22 Jul - 26 Jul

WK 4 29 Jul - 2 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM