Jamie Brown facilitates a movement workshop with NYT members (c) 1623

We tailor inspirational training sessions to your needs, using text, characters and themes from Shakespeare to develop skills for a variety of people, in particular, emerging artists and business leaders.

1623 and Michael Pinchbeck present

Performance and live-art course for actors, artists and writers

6 workshops and a scratch performance
Derby, Leicester and Lincoln at 6-9pm on selected Friday nights throughout July, August and September 2018
Free-of-charge to artists


"The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together"
: All's Well That Ends Well 

The main aim of this course is to explore the relationship between your autiobiography, or the biography of someone else, and a counterpart character from a Shakespeare play.

This might be a role you've played, or would like to play, or a role that has fascinated you on the page or in performance.

Each session, you will focus on a different aspect of performance while developing skills and ideas, before sharing your discoveries in front of an audience at a scratch performance.

Workshop facilitators are Michael Pinchbeck (award-winning writer and artist) and Ben Spiller (1623 artistic director).

COURSE SCHEDULE (subject to change)

All workshop sessions are 6-9pm.
Scratch session will start approx. 5pm, performance at 7.30pm, ends around 9.30pm.

  • Week 3 : Friday 20 July 2018 - QUAD Arts Centre, Green Room, Derby
    • Object - externalising, first to third person narracting (narrating and acting)
  • Week 5 : Friday 31 August 2018 - Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester
    • Duration - repetition, pushing, developing movement and/or voice

(Auto)biog/Shakespeare course dates

The course is free-of-charge to artists.
If travel costs to Derby, Leicester and Lincoln (where the course will take place) are a barrier to your participation, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with Chris, our producer. We have a small pot of money available to assist artists with travel costs.


Please apply by sending us your CV, a few sentences about what you would like to gain from the course, and any links you have to your work online to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 5pm on Wednesday 27 June 2018.

Even if you haven't got a fully polished CV ready to go, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it anyway with some information about you. We can't wait to hear from you, so don't let anything get in the way.

10 places are available on the course.

While we welcome applications from all artists, we are particularly interested in working with artists who identify as one or more of the following:

  • D/deaf
  • Disabled
  • Emerging
  • Female
  • People of colour
  • Working-class

This represents one of 1623's core aims: to champion diversity, equality and inclusion.

All workshops and the scratch performance will be BSL-interpreted.


For the nearest transport links or parking information, please visit the venue's website.

* Note: for Derby Theatre Rehearsal Rooms there is on street parking directly outside the building, and a large car park on Abbey Street nearby.


(Auto)biog/Shakespeare course is supported by:

ACE lottery png white1      Attenborough Arts logo TBH 01Derby Theatre Logo transparent            ERDF-logo       LPAC Logo-2013-Black-on-White   QUAD transparent           


Our first masterclass is on acting Shakespeare for theatre, film, TV and online audiences


Starting Shakespeare Acting Course 2015-16This course is for anyone who has not received formal training, aspires to become a professional actor and shows potential to be a great performer.

You might be in a youth or community theatre, an amateur dramatics society or an after-school drama club and want to focus on developing your performance skills with professionals.

The course takes place once a month at QUAD in Derby from September to June for a series of workshops to develop skills such as text, voice, movement, combat, singing, puppetry and acting to camera.

1623 trainee actors 2014-15While the focus in each workshop is on Shakespeare, the skills that you develop are transferable to all aspects of theatre and performance.

Each month, you will have the opportunity to perform a short scene at Shakespeare Night, 1623's monthly public workshop at Derby Theatre.

The course culminates in June, when a public showcase takes place at QUAD.

To read the blog of someone who was on a past course, click here.

The 2015-16 Starting Shakespeare acting course will begin in September 2015 and take place monthly until June 2016.

Starting Shakespeare Acting Course 2015-16Auditions for a place on the course will happen on Saturday 4 July 2015 at QUAD.

We ask that you prepare a speech from a Shakespeare play of your choice to perform at your audition. The speech must be no longer than 3 minutes long. We will also ask you a few questions about your plans to become a professional actor.

If you have any questions, please contact our training coordinator This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

To apply, please go to and fill in the online form.


Shakespeare for Leaders © 16231623 theatre company and QUAD are working in partnership to offer a range of unique leadership, management and staff development training that is delivered to meet the specific needs of your organisation.

"The way you used Shakespeare’s plays to develop our skills was inspirational. Thank you!"


Shakespeare for Leaders with Associated Northcliffe Digital © 1623As Shakespeare's plays cover a wide range of themes and issues, they can inspire us to look at new ways of thinking and behaving. We tailor company away days to address any topic whether it's communication, leadership or team-building.

"An enjoyable day, which gave the whole team the chance to sharpen verbal and non-verbal communication skills"

Janet Pryme, Open University


Members of Derby Youth Theatre in Macbeth © 1623Passing on the physical and vocal skills needed to perform Shakespeare and other classical playwrights is important to us. We believe that we must share our skills with talented young people to ensure that high-quality classical theatre takes place in the future.  We also offer advice on drama school and university auditions.

"Thank you for an amazing workshop ... it was really fun and informative "

Tom, Derby LIVE Youth Theatre


Exploring a scene from Macbeth © 1623We are passionate about sharing our performance skills with other theatre professionals, particularly those new to the industry. We also want to continue developing our skills, as well as learning new ones, with other fellow professionals. From time to time, we hold Shakespeare workshops facilitated by associate artists and guests.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop last weekend. Learnt a lot, too!"

Sarah Marie Cole, West Midlands


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