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R O U G H   C L A S S I C S 

This ten session workshop investigates a single classic text in depth. We explore the world of the play including character and context, and discover playful approaches to bring the text to life. There will be an informal sharing to an invited audience in the final session. 

The result will be a very exciting and personal response to the text made by the group: 

T H E   R O U G H   C L A S S I C S   G A M E


Jon was initially introduced to task-based performance with instructions laid out on a pack of cards, during a workshop led by DV8's Wendy Houston. In fact, we still use some of the task cards from her original ‘deck’. Over the years though, we have adapted the exercise to fit our practice of pulling apart, creating out of and rebuilding extant texts. Our Rough Classics workshops now culminate in a public task-card game, but we also use this game as a tool for exploring and combining material when devising.


We break the text down into small parts, and then the group create tiny performances out of each part, transforming the original through the filter of their imagination and life experience. These become components in the game which in turn, will piece them together in random, surprising ways. 

We start to discover as a group, the elements that feel important - what is to be foregrounded...


Rami Nasr, a regular workshopper, told us recently that the process of extracting themes from the source text, distilling them into actions to be played again and again in random ways, gives the performer a direct and embodied experience of more abstract ideas and helps build a firmer understanding. 

Pulling the ideas out and then 'shuffling the deck' breaks the narrative stranglehold of the piece and offers new ways to connect with the ideas / themes / actions. 



Other workshops we have created include:

P E R F O R M A N C E   C O M P O S I T I O N S

 1. LIFE STORIES - working with the actor's life experience as tool and inspiration for performance (exploring personal experiences, discovering and following impulses, identifying and releasing blocks, connecting to and receiving from others, expressing and playing with emotions).

2. CRAFT WORK - giving the performer the knowledge required to shape and focus their performance material. We explored the languages of contemporary performance helping the actor to develop their own voice (analyse and experience 20th / 21st century performance practices, play with the architecture of space in performance, discovering their contemporary voice as a performer, expand their expectations of the audience/performer relationship).

“…culture is not something the state offers to us: quite the opposite, culture is inherently ‘ours’, emerging as it does through a creative process of interaction and collaboration between citizens, in reaction to their environment.” - Barnaby Drabble

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