Acting Shakespeare

First of all acting Shakespeare is easy! A good Shakespearean actor is firstly a person who can act, someone who can create a character and can convince the audience that the character is real. You need to be able to show emotion and appear to the audience that this is the first time you have had these thoughts and feelings and the first time you have said these words and heard the responses. 

On top of that you need to understand a bit about Shakespeare and his plays. They were written for anyone to see and understand and were written in the language of the day. The audience at the Globe theatre often joined in by shouting and throwing things and if a certain scene was popular they would often repeat it for the audience.

Watch free lectures from my online course here 

A lot of adults immediately think they won’t understand Shakespeare but it wasn’t written to be complicated. In Hamlet (act 3 scene 1) Shakespeare explains what he wants an actor to do and the first thing he mentions is to ‘Speake the Speech I pray you, as I pronounc’d it to you trippingly on the Tongue.’ Trippingly on the tongue means at the speed you woud converse at — not too slow. I have used the First Folio spelling and punctuation so we get Shakespeare’s own punctuation and you will see that some of the words start with a capital letter (upper case) so he wanted these words to stand out. In publications where first folio is not used, the editors have added punctuation that they think is correct by todays standards and it can alter the meaning. 

Don't be frightened to stand still when you are speaking, Shakespeare's words are very strong and emotive and work well on their own. You only need to understand what you are saying and his words will do all the work. There is no need for a 'drama' voice or over dramatic arms. These were everyday words spoken in an everyday way.

Some of his plays are in prose and some are poetry, if the first letter of every line is a capital it is written as poetry and this means it has a rhythm. 

Shakespeare was written to be said out loud so have fun with the words, articulate well and don’t over act it. The stories are wonderful, some are funny, some are sad but they all involve emotions that we can all relate to.

Acting Shakespeare - have a look at my online course

Acting for all ages

If you have ever wanted to act then this video course is for you. I have taught speech and drama  since 1994 and I've entered pupils for various drama  exams with LAMDA, New Era Academy and Victoria College and also helped pupils who have entered Trinity College exams. Pupils have appeared in TV series and performed Shakespeare with the Brownsea Open Air Theatre. One of my pupils was awarded the Sir Roger Moore Award for the highest Honours in Grade 8 (Gold Medal) Acting exam with the New Era Academy in 2010.

This video course is full of practical advice - how to stay in character, how to use your face, how to be heard etc. The exercises give you a chance to act using all of your senses and your body. 

There are lectures towards the end about different exams, preparing for auditions, learning words and Shakespeare.

Watch free lessons here - click preview the course

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What people say about my courses

'Recommend to all speakers of the English Language who wish to improve or correct their pronunciation. The Teacher has a great way of explaining concepts and the reasons why a pronunciation should be correctly pronounced in a certain way. I like the tutor's way of teaching,which is a traditional style,that has substance and clarity. Video and Audio quality is very good.' - Shaun, Aug 2018

'I had a mumbling issue which led me to go to a speech therapist and pay £100 per session, after losing £200 and still not having a solution, I came across this course and I had quickly found the solution to my problem. Over and above that, I got a lot more out of this course, more than anything a real enlightenment as to how I speak, how that comes across and how I can improve my speech to get better outcomes out of conversations and speeches. Thank you Serena.' Reuben, Aug 2018

What people say about me .....

You are a "Guru" (teacher) in the true sense of the word, as you impart and share your knowledge in totality, and I'm lucky to have you as a teacher. Kavita.

'....explained everything professionally well and honest she gave very good useful tips and has this unique charm and engaging voice that soothes my fears of always being afraid to speak to others because they might judge me and she was thoroughly precise and to the point and she gave quite a lot of useful longevity tips for everyday use. IMPRESSIVE 5 STARS!!'  Laurie , Aug 2018

I’m lucky enough to have had some elocution classes with Serena face-to-face some years ago in Bournemouth. Having English as a second language I used Serena’s knowledge and professionalism to help me, at first, to understand that an accent can be a part of your character and this gives your speech some flavour. The important bit is to understand and learn how to speak every single word clearly, with a good pace, with high and lows which make your speech interesting. It was enlightening, and now I have found online all those wonderful classes with a genuine English lady. This is priceless. Thank you Serena! - Newton, Feb 2018