These three-hour workshops combine practical acting exercises with work on Shakespeare’s language, and how to ‘unlock’ it to make it clear, motivated and easily understood. Participants work in small groups on scenes and speeches from a range of plays.
This beginner workshop is ideal for amateur drama groups who are nervous about tackling a Shakespeare play for the first time; or those who would like to ‘dip a toe’ into the water and find out what all the fuss is about! Participants take part in various, practical group exercises covering excerpts from several plays.
is for groups who wish to work on famous speeches from the plays and explore different ways of interpreting the text. A mix of practical work and discussion is offered.
offers practical help and guidance for those wishing to explore a particular play in more depth, perhaps prior to putting on a production.
The cost for a three-hour workshop is £180. Times are by arrangement, with the group supplying its own venue.
Contact Sue via the drop-down menu on this website!
My primary interest in Shakespeare has always been the effect Shakespeare’s language has on the reader’s or audience member’s mind. We know so much more, these days, about the way our brains react to words – especially the kind of rich description we find in Shakespeare’s writing. My academic book, published in 2020, explores the reasons why his words have such a strong impact on our minds and emotions.
‘[Sachon’s] book masterfully combines studies of language and rhetoric with the materiality of the stage . . . giving us a new perspective on Shakespeare’s plays’.
Mark Kaethler, ‘Scientism, theory and 4E’ in Literary Compass, March 2020.
‘Through its detailed textual analysis, and accessible style, this book helps readers understand the complex processes behind our experiences of objects in texts. It is of interest not only to scholars of Shakespeare and cognitive literary studies but also to anyone working at the intersection of philosophy and literature’.
Jung Feng, Sichuan International Studies University.
‘Reading @DrSusanSachon’s Shakespeare, Objects and Phenomenology: Daggers of the Mind for a review article and holy hell my tiny mind has been blown’ 8/10/2021.
Tweet from Dr Chloe Fairbanks, Oxford University.
‘Sachon’s Shakespeare, Objects and Phenomenology offers exciting directions for thinking through Shakespeare’s texts and the objects readers can see and imagine in the words of the plays.’ ‘What is innovative about Sachon’s work is this relationship – even union – between traditional tools of literary study and insights culled from cognitive science’.
Will Rogers, Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol 73, Issue 1-2, Spring-Summer 2022, pp 158-60.
‘I read and assessed some of Susan Sachon’s doctoral research, which I felt was engaged, subtle and illuminating. She has now considerably revised this work, bringing cognitive, practice-based and historical approaches into a unique and suggestive synthesis. Her phenomenological approach to Shakespeare is a very promising one and I would encourage any enterprising publisher to take a good look at her proposal for what could well prove to be an influential book.’
Professor Ewan Fernie, Fellow and Chair of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Birmingham, and Director of ‘Everything to Everybody’ project: a collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council.
‘I think that the integration of cognitive blending research works particularly well . . . the textual analysis, discussion of productions, and theoretical content . . . in particular make a substantial contribution to the growing body of work on cognitive and phenomenological approaches to Shakespeare and theatre’
Evelyn Tribble, University of Connecticut, USA.
Over my 40 years involved in theatre, I have directed every kind of play – though my greatest love is still for Shakespeare’s. Below are a few snippets from reviews and cast comments – plus a few photos from Shakespeare productions locally.
The productions I directed of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2012) and Henry V (2014), for TADS Theatre Group in Toddington, won several local district awards for excellence from the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (“ NODA”), including: Best Overall Production, Best Director, Best Drama and Best Technical Achievement.
Local NODA representative Nova Horley wrote: ‘audience members commented that not only was it a super production, but was well-acted and for the first time they’d actually understood the play and enjoyed it’ . . . ‘It was enthralling’ (NODA reports on A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Henry V ) ‘My students were totally absorbed. They did not even check their phones, which was amazing, considering that it was the night of the England world cup match’ (Head of Drama from a local school who brought a party of students to see Henry V at TADS Theatre in 2014) ‘You would go a long way to see better performances and a great production’ (audience member – Henry V).
Romeo and Juliet: TADS Theatre Group, Toddington, 2016
‘I hated, loathed even detested Shakespeare. Now? There is nothing more magical. What Sue the director of our production of Romeo and Juliet does is use words, emotions, scenery, music, lighting and staging to make Shakespeare truly an emotive experience for audience and actor alike. She is the lady that changed me from "I'd gladly kill the guy!" to "there is no better ambassador of the English language.”’ (Cast member).
Excerpts from Nova Horley's NODA report on TADS Theatre Group's production of Romeo and Juliet, 2016:
‘Sue Sachon always puts so much into a production and the guidance of her cast, to create an overall picture where everyone slots seamlessly into the whole.’
‘I loved the opening – it was fierce and full of action, and really drew the audience into the action from the start, very well staged and acted. The fight scenes overall were very evocative and believable, I loved the sound of rapiers clashing, and the attitude of the fighters – great!'
‘an excellent production with good performances, that really brought Romeo and Juliet to life, I studied it for GCE in the dim and distant past, and would have loved to have seen such a great production to help my understanding of the play.'