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Nearly 50 Y11 students from St. Joseph’s College, Reading travelled up to see one of the final performances of Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre in London’s West End before it closed. The students were thrilled and amazed at the quality of acting; also reduced to tears before the final curtain came down. The following Monday we were very excited to welcome Lou and Mike, members of the cast we had seen to our College to conduct a workshop. The pupils were treated to a professional insight into what it is like to be a performer at the very highest level. The students were very active and completed a range of exercises ranging from theatre games to scripted scenes. To say the students were inspired is an understatement and we would definitely recommend this experience to any Drama Department in the country. The workshop leaders were happy to tailor the experience on the day as a Y11 GCSE Group benefitted from help in developing a devised piece they were working on. The students were buzzing from the visit and it was refreshing for them to ask questions about the profession that were answered fully by working professionals. More than a workshop, more like a real experience of ‘Theatre’ in every sense of the word.

Rich Robson, Deputy Head – SJC

Just wanted to say a huge thank you to Mike @Stage-ed for spending the day with us on Saturday and the super Blood Brothers workshop. The young people were simultaneously hanging on every word and yet given scope to be really creative. They played loads of group games and energisers, got some spot of careers and audition advice, chance to really get to grips with sections of the play as whole groups and pairs. Crucially they were taught so much useful vocab and theatrical terms. Mike delivered this with fantastic energy and maintained the mixed age and gender kids focus throughout. Absolute magic….and looking already at when we can do it again! Eva Pearson, Head of drama, Tavistock College.

Tavistock College

“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

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

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)

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

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

Having worked twice with the STAGE-ED’ team in just one year, I can highly recommend them to other secondary schools and education providers. The workshops have really engaged our key stage 4 students and have been tailored to meet the needs of our GCSE course. Also, the access they have provided our students to the professional world of theatre has been second-to-none. Getting to meet and work with West End stars has been a real ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience! We will definately be working with STAGE-ED again in the future!

Craig J Robinson – Birmingham school

We had two of the team in to do two workshops with our KS3 pupils on MacBeth and Romeo and Juliet. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the sessions! We will definitely ask them to return next year. Thanks boys!

Linslade School

We would like to say a huge thank you Stage-Ed and Mike for a fantastic day working on An Inspector Calls! Mike delivered an engaging and entertaining revision workshop for almost a whole year group throughout the course of just one day. Mike’s enthusiasm and knowledge of the play really encouraged the students to come out of their shells and dig deeper into the plot, characters and context of the play. Some of our most unlikely students were jumping around the hall and creating thoughtful freeze frames (a hand full of students even attempted to partake in the workshop twice). I know that the students thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and it was invaluable to their revision for their WJEC GCSE English exam. We look forward to working with Mike and the team again soon. – Laura Cope, Cardiff high School

Cardiff High School

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

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

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

Mike from stage-ed tailored an incredible workshop for our Year 5s. All of the children, no matter what past experiences, were made to feel confident and enthusiastic by Mike’s incredible delivery and engagement with the children. In each 60 minute session, they took part in a variety of activities which allowed them to express themselves both individually and as part of a group. The day was thoroughly enjoyed by children and staff alike. Thank you to all at Stage-ed, we will be recommending to other schools in our area!

Anne Raine – Primary School teacher

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

After researching the new spec for Edexcel our school felt a workshop by STAGED would be a great foundation for the pupils and give myself new ideas for exploring the text. Mike was an enthusiastic practitioner and helped put students at ease straight away. He enabled pupils of all abilities to examine many of the key themes and characters of the text and it was a great and exciting morning.

St James Catholic High School – Stockport

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 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.

Just wanted to say thank you again for Friday’s workshop – it was absolutely brilliant and the students are still raving about it.

I must also let you know that Jake, who I said was not doing drama next year, went home and spoke to his mum and has since enquired about enrolling on a drama course at Strodes! I am over the moon! Thank you!

Look forward to booking you again soon

Debbie Lockhart – Mathew Arnold School

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

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)

Stage-ed are brilliant. No hesitation in recommending them at all. We have booked them more than once because of the highly energetic pace and superb levels of engagement that they create with students. They are always professional and really give students a deeper insight into a play. As a teacher, they leave me feeling inspired (and with plenty of ideas that I can pinch for warm ups etc) plus, our students genuinely like them and always ask if we can book them again. So if anyone’s thinking about booking, I’d say their workshops are some of the best I’ve seen and you won’t regret it!

Helena Anderson – Sirius Academy, Hull

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

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

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

Mike from Stage-ed recently visited Hillpark Secondary school and worked with a range of pupils from S1-S6. He led pupils through an inter-active and physical workshop, introducing them to the rehearsal process experienced by professional actors. The Blood-Brothers work-shop was well structured and fun! Pupils enjoyed experimenting with accents and bringing the characters to life. They were invigorated by the unique experience and requested more work-shop days in the future. Mike’s enthusiasm and energy kept everyone engaged throughout. He covered a lot of ground in the workshop including career pathways, his personal experiences of acting in major productions was informative and inspiring. Mike took time to answer questions at the end of the workshop and offered much appreciated support to the cast members of our school show. We highly recommend this specialist, high-energy work-shop! Pupil Comments “Wish we could have more workshop days like that!” “It was an amazing workshop and I learned so much.” “I enjoyed working with the senior pupils. Some of them were very good actors.” “Mike was great actor! He helped me learn how to do a Liverpool accent.”

Hillpark Secondary School Glasgow

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