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Thanks so much for the energetic, stimulating and inspiring workshop yesterday. For many students that was their bravest experience of drama yet (performing in front of people not in their teaching group)! The ensemble pieces and scripts extracts were super – I absolutely loved the way you set the workshop up so that it had breadth and depth, energy and focus and great balance between fun and serious engagement. The students had a really fantastic time and have had a superb introduction to the world of music theatre, from a professional viewpoint and with your years of experience backing up every nugget of info you gave them. The visit from the cast members was really inspiring too, and gave so much food for thought beyond the day. Please pass on my thanks once more to Maureen and Danielle, and for their great connection with children they had never met – up for answering a huge range of questions with great ease! I will totally be recommending you to every drama teacher I meet.

Jo Stone – The Stockport School

A really good day with some great positive feedback from our pupils and staff. Larner and Tom (cast members from An Inspector Calls) were fab and really brought things to life for classes. A really enjoyable day. Thank you.

Nicholas Phillips – RGS Worcester

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

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

Kerry Headley, Enrichment officer – Isle of Man College

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)

Amanda from the Lion King was energetic, enthusiastic, professional, and hugely engaging. What she did with these students in a day was amazing. This has really helped and inspired them in preperation for their Lion King performance. Other staff noted there was a buzz around the hall. We look forward to working with you again”. David Killick, Broughton Fields Primary School.

Broughton Fields Primary School

It was fabulous last time and you should know that a group of year 11 students used the work they did with you for one of the scenes in their final moderation. I had 9 students- 7 gained a maximum 45/45 for their performance, one got 44 and another got 42! Not bad, eh? Must have been one of the highest scoring moderations in the country. They were an exceptional bunch and I won’t get another cohort like them but thank you for your contribution as I’m sure it gave them the edge.

Erica Squires – Scarisbrick Hall School

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

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

Y11 working with Stage-Ed on live literature in the hall. Total mastery of content and creative quality delivery in action. Students hooked and making great progress from their start point this morning.

James Haseldine (principal) – Waterhead Academy

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

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)

I cannot even begin to say how much the pupils enjoyed today. A couple found me after you had gone and asked did I know exactly when you were coming back! Bless them! I also think that you have inspired Joe even more to become a professional actor!
It was lovely to see students like Oli, Henry and especially Ralph focus (mostly) for the workshop. Just brilliant.
I love your energy!

Heather Blackmore – Head of Performing Arts, Rockwood School.

Thank you Stage-ed / Mike Southern for a highly engaging and professional workshop with our Year 10 GCSE students. The skills and techniques you taught them have given both groups a much greater confidence with Blood Brothers in terms of staging, direction and characterisation, particularly in vocalisation of roles. A good pace and quick establishment of rapport with the students and your infectious enthusiasm for Willy Russell’s script and songs made it an unforgettable experience for our students. Nick Perry, Head of Drama, St Ivo School.

St Ivo School

I thought the workshop was brilliant and the students where eagerly taking part. It was obvious that they were enjoying themselves and they were proud of what they had achieved by the end (a scene from blood brothers).
Mike, who led, cast the scene very expertly and accurately (I thought) It seemed like he had chosen the perfect people in the roles even though he had only just met the group. There was time at the end for the students to ask him about the industry.

Louise Stirling – Glenthorne School

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

The workshops were some of the best I’ve ever had in. Both Mike & Lou were passionate about ‘Blood Brothers’.The sessions were well structured, packed full and the girls were engaged, involved and learning all the time in fun ways that are different from their learning anywhere else in their school day. How do I follow that next week in my lessons?!

Tracy Sprig – St Swithuns School

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.

“Stage-ed” came to Folkestone School for Girls to work with my Year 13 cohort on an auditions unit for BTEC Level 3. As a teacher it is sometimes difficult to inspire your pupils, you can find yourself stuck for ideas and inspiration. ‘Stage-ed’ worked with my pupils for one day and within that time re energised and motivated my pupils to succeed. It was great for my girls to work with a professional actor, someone who knows and has experienced the job and who has first-hand knowledge of the industry. The whole day was filled with useful workshop activities which were exciting, inspiring and innovative and really pushed my pupils to their limits. ‘Stage-ed’ tailor made the day to suite my exam board and specification so everything the pupils were experiencing directly linked back to the assessment criteria in which they were being judged. I also learnt some new practical activities which I have used again in my teaching. I would recommend ‘Stage-ed’ to any school or college who are looking for a professional company to create interesting and practical workshops to inspire and motivate their pupils.”

Charlotte Dahroug – Folkestone School for Girls

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

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

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

All I can say is, thank you!!!!! Craig was bloody fantastic in the We Will Rock You workshop and brilliant with teaching the students and also giving staff techniques for us to use in the future. Craig was amazing to work with. Thank you for organising this for us

Joe Wyatt – St James Exeter

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

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

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

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