Previous Masterclasses

Our previous Portfolio Masterclasses include:

Mark Gatiss – Discussions For Actors and Writers
with Director, Andrew Keates (Sunday 11 December 2016)

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Mark Gatiss is an actor, writer and producer. He first found success with The League of Gentlemen, with whom he won the Perrier award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1997, and went on to enjoy a radio series and three television series on the BBC, and a big screen outing in 2005. A lifelong fan of Doctor Who, he has written eight episodes since its return to TV in 2005, and has appeared in the show twice. Other notable TV performances include Nighty Night, Mapp and Lucia, London Spy, Game of Thrones, Coalition, Wolf Hall and Sense and Sensibility. Film appearances include Dad’s Army, Our Kind of Traitor, Bright Young Things, Victor Frankenstein and Starter for Ten. He is perhaps best known as the executive producer and writer of the award-winning global phenomenon Sherlock, alongside his friend and colleague Steven Moffat, in which he also plays the role of the detective’s older brother Mycroft Holmes. His theatre work includes the role of Menenius in Coriolanus (Donmar Warehouse) for which he was nominated for an Olivier award for Best Supporting Actor, Agrado in All About My Mother (Old Vic), Bernard in Season’s Greetings (National Theatre), Charles I in 55 Days (Hampstead), Captain Brazen in The Recruiting Office and Stephen Crosswell in The Vote (both Donmar Warehouse), and most recently Dr Shpigelsky in Three Days in the Country (National Theatre), which saw him awarded Best Supporting Actor at this year’s Olivier Awards.

This event is scheduled over two parts. Writers should arrive ready for a 1pm start and a 3pm finish. Actors should arrive for a 4pm start with a 6pm finish. Please prepare questions for Mark in advance of each discussion. Questions will be chaired by multi-award-winning Director, Andrew Keates.


Annette Badland – Acting For Stage and Screen Masterclass with Director, Andrew Keates (Sunday 27 November 2016)

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Annette Badland is an Olivier nominated actress for her role in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at the National Theatre. Currently to be seen in Eastenders and Outlander. In television she is also known for her roles in Dr WhoBergerac, Cutting It, Casanova, Last Day of Summer, Man Down, Skins, Holding On and Making Out.

Her theatre work includes Sir Peter Hall’s Company in Habeas CorpusMeasure for Measure and The Vortex. The RSC, National Theatre, Royal Court, Cheek by Jowl and The Almeida also Bristol Old Vic and The Royal Exchange, Manchester where she won critical acclaim as Madame Arcarti in Blithe Spirit. Films include: Terence Davies’ A Quiet PassionCharlie and the Chocolate FactoryLegacy – Black OpsSyrup (Oscar nominated short), Twenty Four SevenJabberwocky and Little Voice (nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award). On Radio 4 she plays Hazel in The Archers!

Annette attended East 15 and has worked with Stephen Daldry, Deborah Warner, Simon McBurney, Sam Mendes, Tim Burton, Declan Donnellan, Shane Meadows among others…….there are many ways! Communication, complicity and confidence. We will explore these aspects of the work and seek to enhance the skills you have. How to find the way into a character, share it and the story with your audience whether on stage or through the lens. This class will include a simple camera and screen set-up so those that participate can see the results of their work immediately after performing it.


Julie Atherton – Acting Through Song Masterclass with Musical Director, Dustin Conrad (Sunday 30 October 2016).

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Julie Atherton boasts an extraordinary career as an actress, director and recording artists. Some of her theatre highlights include: Avenue Q (Noël Coward), Just So and Out of This World (Chichester), Lift (Soho), Ordinary Days (Trafalgar Studios) Tomorrow Morning (Landor), Sister Act (UK Tour), The Hired Man (Leicester Curve), Mamma Mia! (Prince Edward Theatre), Fame (Aldwych & U.K. Tour), First Thing’s Last (Lincoln Centre, Broadway) Mrs Gucci (Arts Theatre) Tick… Tick… Boom (Duchess), The Last 5 Years (Haymarket & Duchess) and many other productions of both new and established musicals.

Television includes: Poppy in Doctors (BBC), Sister Margaretta in The Sound of music Live, Panda & Blow up Doll in Otherworld and Barbara in Brainiacs. Radio includes: Big Cook Little Cook and I’m An Alien Beam Me Off Here. Julie starred in the Portrait of a Princess viral on YouTube and has three solo albums, including – A Girl of Few WordsNo Space For Air and Rush of Life. Directing credits includes: Deeds Not Words and Girlfriends (Karamel club), Fanny Hill (Park Theatre – workshop) and Club Mexicano workshop (Perfect Pitch – workshop)


Anna Jane Casey: Acting Through Song Masterclass
with Musical Director, Dustin Conrad (Sunday 4 September 2016).

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Anna-Jane Casey has been working in all areas of entertainment for the last thirty years. She came to London at the age of 16 to appear In Cats and has since performed in over twenty-five musicals, including the original casts of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatGrease and Children Of Eden. She played Dot In Sunday In The Park With George, Charity in Sweet Charity, Mabel in Mack And Mabel, Mrs. Wilkinson in Billy Elliot and Lady Of The Lake in Spamalot. Other productions include Starlight ExpressWest Side StoryOn Your ToesPiafChicagoForbidden BroadwayBells Are Ringing and Flowers For Mrs. Harris. She will soon be playing the role of Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun at Sheffield Crucible this Christmas.

Concert appearances include working with the John Wilson Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic and the BBC Concert Orchestra and she regularly performs cabaret all over the world. Television appearances include, EastEnders, Family Guy and she is working on a new comedy pilot written By Miles Jupp this Summer.


Abigail Matthews: West End Puppetry Masterclass (Sunday 7 August 2016).

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Abigail has worked on a variety of productions in the early stages of her career including musical theatre, physical theatre and puppetry, plays, cabarets, pantomime, fringe theatre and street theatre. Her exploration into the world of puppetry began in 2012 when she became an alternate Aslan puppeteer in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe working with Max Humphries, Steve Tiplady and Jane Leany to learn the ethos and craft of team puppetry. Since then, she has continued to work with a myriad of puppets in subsequent performances, most notably in the acclaimed West End National Theatre production of War Horse, where she worked directly with Handspring Puppet Company and associate directors of puppetry, Tommy Luther and Jimmy Grimes. She then went on to join a team of ten puppeteers working with director Ivan Thorley and designer Caroline Bowman at Puppets With Guts to devise and perform their street theatre piece Citizen Squid at the Lyric Hammersmith: Theatre In The Square and Watford Imagine Festival. She is currently working on the West End and National Tour production of Goodnight Mister Tom with puppet director and designer Toby Olie.

Puppetry is a thought provoking, moving and disciplined theatrical language that is finding its way into many areas of the industry from physical theatre and street theatre, to plays and musicals. It is becoming an essential skill for the actor today, especially for devising theatre and children’s theatre. The ethos of team and solo puppetry requires great focus, clear communication of thought, stamina and joy. Much the same as the ethos of acting- this is a must do workshop for not only learning new and relevant skills, but enhancing your storytelling abilities as a performer.


Danielle Tarento – Auditioning For Musical Theatre Masterclass
with Musical Director, Dustin Conrad (Sunday 20 June 2016).

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Danielle is a freelance Producer and Casting Director. She won Best Producer at the 2012 Off West End Awards and was nominated for Producer of the Year at the Stage Awards 2015.

Recently she has been most recognised for her work at Southwark Playhouse including Grey Gardens, Grand Hotel (winner: Off West End Award for Best Musical Production, nominated: WhatsOnStage Award for Best Off West End Production and 17 Broadway World UK Awards), Gods And Monsters, Dogfight (shortlisted: Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical 2014, nominated: WhatsOnStage Award for Best Off West End Production, 9 Broadway World UK Awards and 3 Off West End Awards), Three Sisters, Titanic (longlisted: Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical 2013, winner: WhatsOnStage Award for Best Off West End Production, Broadway World UK Award for Best Fringe/Regional Musical 2013 and 4 Off West End Awards including Best Musical Production), Victor/Victoria, Mack & Mabel (longlisted: Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical 2012, nominated: 13 Broadway World UK Awards and 6 Off West End Awards), Parade (Southwark Playhouse – longlisted: Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical 2011, nominated: WhatsOnStage Award for Best Musical Revival 2012, Off West End Award for Best Musical Production 2012), Company.

In this masterclass we will be looking at all of those niggles that get in the way of you being your very best in an audition. Amongst many other things we’ll be talking about counteracting nerves, preparation, acting through song, presentation, dealing with the pianist.

Jenny Galloway – Acting Through Song Masterclass
with Musical Director, Dustin Conrad 
(Sunday 29 May 2016).

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Jenny Galloway is a two-time Olivier Award winner for her work in Musical Theatre. Many will recognise her from the 10th and 25th Anniversary concerts, West End and Broadway productions of Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Misérables as Madame Thernadier. Career highlights include Mr Foote’s Other Leg (Haymarket Theatre), Hay Fever (Noel Coward), Cause Celebre (Old Vic), My Fair Lady (Theatre du Chatelet, Paris & Royal Albert Hall/BBC Proms), Anna Christie (Donmar), After The Dance (National Theatre), Mary Poppins (Prince Edward, London/ New Amsterdam New York), Henry V (Manchester Royal Exchange), Sweeney Todd (Derby), My One and Only (Piccadilly – Olivier Nomination), Mamma Mia! (Prince Edward – Olivier Award), The Boys from Syracuse (Regent’s Park – Olivier Award). Pirate Jenny – one woman show (National Theatre/Regent’s Park/Jermyn Street/ Hoxton Hall and Triad Theatre, NYC). Films include London Road, Jonny English, In Tranzit, About a Boy. Television includes The Coroner, Cuffs, Hank Zipzer, Breathless, Ambassadors, Trollied, Father Brown, A Young Doctor’s Notebook.

Jenny Galloway will be exploring how to act through song alongside Musical Director, Dustin Conrad. Do you find yourself being told to stop presenting? What actually goes through your mind in an audition when the pianist starts to play? What happens in your body? Are you learning from cast recordings and impersonating? Do you just open your mouth, sing and hope for the best? What do you need to do to inhabit a song? Are you choosing the right song for you? This is a must attend workshop for anyone who wants to learn from an exceptional actress with a career that spans all forms of theatre, film, television and radio.

All of the profits from our Portfolio Masterclasses are invested back into Arion Productions Ltd to provide future opportunities for theatre-makers.