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Outside Edge are thrilled to announce a series of monthly, day-long, Masterclasses exploring a variety of production and performance skills, and taught by industry professionals.

The choice of topics will respond directly to interest expressed by Outside Edge participants in our recent co-production meeting.

These sessions would be a wonderful way to try your hand at something new, delve deeper into the possibilities of theatre and work with experts in their field.

This month we are bringing you the first Masterclass, all about the art of learning lines- 

About the workshops: 

Meat on the Bones: a ‘line learning’ workshop with Lesley Ewen

When: Saturday 30th October, 11am – 5pm 

Where: The Study Society (Top Studio), 151 Talgarth Rd, London W14 9DA

‘Learning lines’ isn’t really about words or sentences…it’s really about learning the score of feelings and images that eventually result in us saying the exact things that are printed on the page.

If we learn just the words and sentences in order, our performance might tell the story but it can be a bit thin, can have a shallowness, be by rote; which perhaps gives the idea but won’t move our audience…because we’re not moved, our own bodies and hearts are not engaged.

The words on the page are just the map; they are not the Grand Canyon come to life, with the wind and the sun and the sound of wild animals. Our job as actors is to ‘reverse engineer’ from the words on the page; generate from these black and white scratchings, fully rounded human beings, with a unique way of moving, thinking and acting in the world. We bring the Grand Canyon to life!

This workshop will be an opportunity for you to learn ways to ‘learn the scene’. First we’ll begin where we’re at; with the nervousness or anxiety we can feel about approaching the task. We’ll learn breathing practices that will help to calm your nervous system so your mind and imagination is better able to take in and generate new ideas.

Rather than trying to memorise sentences, we’ll play with savouring the words and images, the ideas and feelings that the words are pointing to. Ice cream…and all the memories and feelings and tastes associated with ice cream. The blue sea…  first love… hot rage… etc.

Using different exercises, from Stanislavski’s later work, yoga and neuroscience, we’ll gradually learn to put the meat on the skeleton of a written text. So that bit by bit the text comes to life through you and the Grand Canyon appears; through your body, your feelings, your imagination…not through your rote memory.

No need to prepare anything

We’ll begin from scratch

Texts will be provided

In our work, we’ll keep Play and Calm as our prime qualities

And hopefully fun and a sense of accomplishment will be enjoyed by all!

About the facilitator: 

Lesley has been creating public performances since 1977. She’s spent most of her professional life working in theatres, warehouses and trees across Canada. Whilst in Canada she also co-founded Leaky Heaven, an award-winning art/theatre performance company, and maintained a thriving film/tv career, appearing in numerous US features and series. Since moving to London in 2012 she’s completed an MA in Performance Making at Goldsmiths and has continued her career here and in Europe, on stage and on screen. As well as performing, Lesley is an award-winning playwright and director. In 2019 she was awarded the Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award as well as receiving an Offie nomination. Lesley has played an integral part in developing the role of Creative Enabler: a performance artist specialising in working with professional actors with learning difficulties, in film, tv, and on stage. Lesley teaches on the BA Acting and MA Lab at RADA.

How to join:

Masterclasses are open to all of OETC participants who have attended at least 3 months of any of our activities including Drop-in Drama, Write Now, Women’s Drama Group and Moving Recovery. You do not need to be an Edge Two member.

For more information email:

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