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On Thursday 7th July The Sele School Year 10 Drama GCSE students received a professional workshop based on the Willy Russell play Blood Brothers, as part of their course. Mike Southern, from the company STAGE-ED, delivered a two hour intensive session, which required students to develop their physical and vocal acting skills, delve deeper into the issues laid out by Russell in the play and bring out their inner child to play seven year olds. The workshop was a resounding success and the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves, whilst gaining a greater understanding and appreciation for the acting industry. Many thanks to Mike and STAGE-ED for providing such a fulfilling session.
Genuinely, it was a fantastic session and the students were quite overwhelmed with – in their words – ‘meeting a REAL one!’ Not sure if they meant a real professional actor, or a real Scouser, but either way they were impressed!!

Suzzanne Correya – SELE School

Stage Ed have delivered 2 outstanding workshops for our pupils. Both creative, engaging and packed with the transferable Drama skills we aim to provide for our pupils. The workshop gives the pupils a special professional experience and an insight into the industry. Our pupils absolutely loved it. We highly recommend this company.

St Marys

Since Stage-Ed have delivered their workshop, our students have taken themselves to a new a level of focus and engagement I never thought possible. They thoroughly enjoyed the day and have left feeling confident in their ability to perform and understand Blood Brothers. The day was ran with energy and enthusiasm which clearly showed their passion for theatre and this certainly rubbed off on our students. The workshop consisted of whole group, small group and individual activities which in particular we felt helped inspire our students who were previously struggling with the text. We would highly recommend Stage-Ed for any school workshops and we will certainly be using them again in the future.

Pool Hayes Academy

What a fantastic day we had! Our west-end star from Matilda, Jono, was absolutely brilliant and a very good teacher. The girls were inspired by the routines they learnt and left on such a high! We will definitely be working with stage-ed again.

Katy Johnson – Carshalton High School for Girls

Fantastic ‘bespoke’ workshop delivered by Michael Southern It engaged my students, challenged them and they thoroughly enjoyed it and loved working with him. This is just the start of our work with this company! Get involved and your students will be thrilled!

Kimberley Carden – Orminston Bollingbroke Academy

Your Blood Brother’s workshop was seriously amazing, enriching the students’ understanding of text, ensemble work, and stagecraft. Thank you! Have you back again soon

Sarah Garrat Varnam – Bushloe High School, Leicester

Gareth was amazing with the students and we had a wonderful session with him. I particularly thought the way he put them at ease and made them feel it was ok to be themselves thoroughly helped. I would recommend him to anyone. We are booking you again next year for The Crucible.

Jennie Miles – Winchcombe School

Stage-ed spent only 5 hours with my GCSE students and engaged them in a role play of 45 members living the spirited lives of 7 year old Liverpudlian characters. The imagination and enthusiasm was infectious and brought out creative work from students I have never seen. The knowledge of the play combined with a love of theatre art and enthusiasm for commitment has resulted in a solid learning process from all students involved. This is the second year stage-ed have worked with my students and I thoroughly look forward to the next

Lacey Shaw – The Langley Academy

As a Drama teacher, I would thoroughly recommend a workshop led by Mike. We have been lucky enough to have Mike in twice, once to lead a workshop with our Year 9s (who had opted for GCSE Drama) and more recently, to work specifically with our More Able GCSE pupils. Both times, pupils have filled out a questionnaire, with 100% agreeing that it was ‘Excellent’, ‘Thoroughly Enjoyable’ and that they would be able to apply the skills learnt to their practical assessments. Mike has an ability to get the best out of the pupils with his high energy approach whilst also maintaining an inclusive atmosphere, so pupils feel confident working together. It’s also a great way to learn new improvisation techniques which can be built into units of work. A great way to enthuse pupils about the possibilities of Drama.

Head of Drama, Great Baddow, High School, Chelmsford, Essex

A fantastic workshop today at Kenilworth School and Sixth Form. Thank you Mike. The students were inspired by you and the workshop! You brought Blood Brothers to life in a new way for them….

Kenilworth School

Gareth was amazing with the students and we had a wonderful session with him. I particularly thought the way he put them at ease and made them feel it was ok to be themselves thoroughly helped. I would recommend him to anyone. We are coming back next year for The Crucible.

Jennie Miles, Winchcombe School

What a fantastic day we had! Our west-end star, Jono from Matilda was absolutely brilliant and a very good teacher. The girls were inspired by the routines they learnt and left on such a high! We will definitely be working with stage-ed again. – Katy Johnston, Carshalton school for girls.

Carshalton School for Girls

We found Mike to be very energetic and entertaining. He had a good rapport with the students early on and offered a range of fun and challenging activities. The students were inspired by his enthusiasm and direction to produce some excellent work. They all really enjoyed it and were buzzing about it afterward.

M. Buckland King Edward VII School

Wow. I just wanted to say thank you to all involved today, unfortunately I didn’t get chance to say goodbye. It was fantastic and the students, and staff, loved every minute. It really was a ‘wow’ moment seeing some of our most challenging students working in that way. Wonderful. I can’t wait for Macbeth now!
Thanks again.

Jo Hesketh – West Grantham Academy

We had a Les Mis workshop which was brilliant. The kids haven’t stopped talking about it and loved every minute. Highly recommended, thank you.

Yvette Snow – Homewood School Kent

The workshops were great. Peter and Ffion were very engaging, they included a lovely mix of acting/teaching/activities. They were also brilliant at adapting their materials on the spot depending on time constraints (on the school’s part)/reading the room (with regards to some of our more challenging students). They also stretched our top ability with logos, ethos and pathos, which was wonderful. I’ve heard both staff and students speaking positively about it.

Julius Caesar Performance Workshop – St Leonards Academy, Hastings.

The workshop was absolutely brilliant, Alex was engaging and energetic throughout and the pupils went right along with him- even those who can be not so self confident joined in and went for it.

The activities were exciting and got the pupils to think about the text in a different way, so much so that I have actually stolen something they made with Alex to start of a scene they are doing in class! His knowledge of both texts was thorough and he added a personal touch due to his own involvement in the productions. He also answered any questions well and articulated his own path to acting very clearly, giving pupils an idea of how they too could get into a career like his.

The resources were used brilliantly, and every task was laid out clearly and Alex made sure everyone knew what to do before they started and then moved amongst them, helping give ideas or keep them on track.

Overall 2 hours was not enough for all of Alex’s great ideas but he condensed the tasks to fit our tight timescale.

Jo Conway Portlethean

The 39 Steps workshop was really great. Stage-ed covered everything that I asked for and the students had a fab time.

Megan Hitchings – The Nailsea School

Gareth was absolutely amazing in the National Theatre Connections workshop. His whole persona was incredible. He was extremely inspiration, approachable, professional and very friendly. He was such a lovely man. He gave the students time at the end to answer any questions, which went down really well. He was superb and I’m so grateful you sent him!

BEMAT (Bedfors East Multi Academy Trust)

The Workshop was fantastic. It was very well structured. The workshop leaders were great with the students. Overall the students had an inspiring, educational and challenging day. Thank You

King Williams College

The workshop on the 29th was above and beyond what I had expected or hoped for. From the outset Mike you were accommodating about the numbers of students fluctuating and what years they were from. Then heading into the main body of the workshop, the group were utterly mesmerized by your delivery of everything expected. You took them on a journey which just wouldn´t have been the same if anyone else had tried. As the workshop progressed it was obvious to see how much more of an understanding of the play they were developing. You treated them as young adults, spoke to them with respect which was very quickly reciprocated. They were focused throughout the 4-5 hours you worked with them and that´s not an easy feat for anyone. The 6 hour practical assessment lessons which have followed, would not have been as successful without the workshop. I could not have asked for anything more and would give 6 stars if I could. There is no doubt in my mind that I will contacting you again you to do more workshops.Simply amazing. Thank you so much. Fran Gower – El Limonar Internation School (Alicante, Spain).

El Limonar International School (Alicante, Spain)

We had Stage-ed in to work with our GCSE English students on An Inspector Calls and they really brought the texts to life. Mike sharing his experience as a performer really helped to give the pupils a clear perspective on the impact of stagecraft. Stage Ed were really accommodating and the pupils learned a lot from the sessions, it was a great experience.

Richard Worsely – Carnforth High School

The workshop was perfect for the students and they all felt like they benefited from it.

Kerry Headley, Enrichment officer – Isle of Man College

Stage-Ed delivered a fantastic Blood Brothers workshop on stage at the New Wimbledon Theatre for Kids Week. Their in depth knowledge of the show and professional experience of it in production provided an invaluable insight for the young people. The workshop delivery was fast paced, fun and engaging and also provided varied performance skills development appropriate to all levels of experience. Some feedback from participants: “The leaders knew a lot of techniques & exactly how to be each character. I learnt a lot of new ways to perform the pieces and I enjoyed the ensemble scenes the most.” “I learnt so much but also had fun.” “The leaders knew what they were talking about – great advice. I learnt tips for auditions and life!” “I have learnt to be more confident! I enjoyed when we go to direct the different pieces then perform them.”

Ambassador Theatre Group- ATG- KIDS WEEK 2015

Thank you so much for coming to school today and for being so wonderful with all the girls and our staff. It was such a privilege to have you with us and I have had so many people telling me how much they enjoyed the assembly and the workshop with a cast member from 42nd street.
Michael thank you to you as well for all your help in booking Clare and putting us in touch. I am sure you are not surprised to hear what a star she was!

Lorraine Razzell – Head of Dance / Head of Upper School

My son thoroughly enjoyed the week long workshop, came home every night excited to tell us what he had learned, performed a very slick looking show on the Saturday followed by a pizza party. Already waiting to sign up for next time along with his little sister and cousin who were very impressed with the show and really wanted to be a part of it. Fully inclusive and made our son feel very confident, learned a massive amount in a week. Highly recommended.

Ballakermeen High School Studio Theatre

Working with Mike was a pleasure from start to finish. He succeeded in engaging our pupils in a high-energy, professionally delivered workshop. The warm-ups were innovative and ensured that all pupils were with him from the outset; the accent coaching was fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable; his knowledge of Blood Brothers and its stagecraft was superb. Mike brought an extra-dimension to the play for our pupils who had all seen the show. A truly valuable experience. We can’t wait to work with him again.

Louise Thompson – The Farnley Academy, Leeds

Working with Mike was a pleasure from start to finish. He succeeded in engaging our pupils in a high-energy, professionally delivered workshop. The warm-ups were innovative and ensured that all pupils were with him from the outset; the accent coaching was fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable; his knowledge of Blood Brothers and its stagecraft was superb. Mike brought an extra-dimension to the play for our pupils who had all seen the show. A truly valuable experience. We can’t wait to work with him again.

Lyndsey Wells – Westbourne School, Sheffield

The workshop was very interesting for all of the students. The warm up put all the students at ease and the manner of the leaders was excellent. The Q&A; was very useful especially to students wishing to take drama further

QE11 High School, Isle Of Man

What a fabulous day. Mike infused energy and enthusiasm into the students that brought the script to life and enhanced performance. Year 11 have managed to incorporate some of the skills they picked up into the extract they will be performing for their GCSE moderation in a couple of weeks. I would love to make this a regular feature on our calendar

Erica Squires – Scarisbrick Hall School, Southport