Welcome to Curve Classroom, our new resource to support home-schooling and lifelong learning!

Available here and on our YouTube channel every weekday from 4pm, these free educational sessions will be delivered by a range of leading artists including performers Molly Lynch, Garry Robson, Cathy Tyson and Hareet Deol, Designers Grace Smart and Kate Unwin, Directors Tinuke Craig and Julia Thomas, Choreographers Kesha Raithatha, Lee Proud and Mel Knott, Writer Jess Green and Composer and Curve Associate Tasha Taylor Johnson, as well as a number of Midlands-based artists local to our Leicester home.

Lessons will include English language and literature, analytical thinking, music, character work and choreography workshops, as well as puppetry, disability awareness and LGBTQ+ history.

Whatever your interests, age or ability, we hope you’ll enjoy and be inspired by these sessions delivered by our fantastic tutors!

Are you a parent, carer or teacher? Do you have any suggestions or feedback on Curve Classroom to share with us? Please let us know by emailing [email protected] 

Week Three

Spiritual development and the creative process with Hareet Deol

In this session, Hareet talks about his spiritual process as an actor and explains how you can use this mindset to focus on achieving your dreams and enhance your creativity. Hareet shares his own experiences of becoming an actor and explains the importance of embracing fear, finding the courage to step outside of your comfort zone and keeping a sense of gratitude at all times.

Recommended age: 14+

See Hareet’s professional debut in our Made at Curve drama, Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual in this archive recoding.

Hareet is an actor who trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. He is an Associate Artist at Curve, Leicester and made his professional stage debut in Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual at Curve. His other theatre credits include My Beautiful Laundrette, for which he was nominated for the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Supporting Actor in a play. On television, Hareet has appeared in Casualty (BBC) and as series regular Hassan Hussein in Ackley Bridge (Channel 4).

Bunraku puppetry with Jack Holden

In this workshop, Jack demonstrates puppetry techniques, drawing on the Japanese art of Bunraku Puppetry, the basis of the puppetry in the hit stage show War Horse. Jack starts with a warm-up to gently exercise the hands and body ready for puppeteering. Jack then shows you how to create your very own person-puppet with only an old newspaper, some sellotape and a pair of scissors. Then, Jack and his housemate Jess explain how to make the puppet breathe, move and show different emotions, and how to interact with the puppet as an actor. Finally, Jack and Jess animate objects they find around the house, making the most unlikely items come to life!

Recommended age: 10+ including puppetry beginners. This workshop is for two people so please bring a parent, sibling or someone in your bubble along.

Watch Jack perform in the archive recording of our Made at Curve production of Joe Orton’s What The Butler Saw.

Jack trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and then went straight on to play the lead role of Albert in the National Theatre’s internationally award-winning production of War Horse. Since then, Jack has worked at theatres across the country including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Curve Leicester, Theatre Royal Bath, Bristol Old Vic, Nottingham Playhouse, The Yard and the Almeida. He was most recently seen in the West End in James Graham’s Ink, directed by Rupert Goold. Jack has also appeared in British independent films The Levelling and Journey’s End, and short films Stray and Hiya Janice. He has featured in television dramas for BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Amazon.

Week Two

Singing Lesson with Molly Lynch

Molly Lynch leads a 45-minute singing lesson including breathing, range and technique exercises and broken-down teaching of the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Molly teaches each line and section in detail before putting the whole song together.

Recommended age: 10+, and for any level of singer – whether you are a beginner or more experienced.

Backing Tracks for practice:

Eb (key signature Molly sings in the video)
Db (slightly lower)

Molly is an actress and singer from Cork, Ireland and is a graduate of The CIT Cork School of Music (BMus) and The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (MA). Theatre credits include: Betty in Sunset Boulevard – At Home at Curve, Cathy Hiatt in The Last Five Years at Southwark Playhouse, ensemble/cover Clara in The Light in the Piazza at The Royal Festival Hall & International Tour, Kolokolo Bird in Just So at The Barn Theatre, Anne Brontë Wasted at Southwark Playhouse, Betty in Sunset Boulevard UK Tour, Stand-by Julie Jordan in Carousel at ENO’s Coliseum, Chava in Fiddler on The Roof at Grange Park Opera/BBC Proms, ensemble/cover Johanna in Sweeney Todd at ENO’s Coliseum and Serifina in Sacred Heartsat Latitude Festival.

Disability in the arts with Garry Robson

In this session, Garry gives us A Short History of Disability Art; From Freakshows to Fashionable. The talk covers his career as an actor who uses a wheelchair, how disability arts have developed over the years, and what he believes needs to happen to continue to improve accessibility in the arts.

Recommended age: 15+

Garry Robson is a Writer, Actor, Director and occasional musician.

He’s directed over 40 professional productions in the UK, Italy, Russia and Hong Kong, receiving several awards including a Manchester Evening News Theatre Award and a Herald Angel. He has been a Drama advisor for both the Arts Council of England and the Scottish Arts Council and was an Unlimited Awards panel member for the Cultural Olympiad. He was Artistic Director of DaDaFest International 2008 and 2010, establishing DaDaFest as one of the key International Festival for Deaf and Disability Arts and performance worldwide. He is Artistic Director of Fittings Multimedia Arts and was Co- Artistic Director of Birds of Paradise Theatre (BoP) from 2012 – 2018. Recent acting work includes lead characters in BBC Wales Pitching In and BBC’s Silent Witness. In theatre: Ramps on the Moon’s Our Country’s Good, Pericles at The National Theatre, White Christmas at Curve, Kiss Me Quickstep for Queens Hornchurch/Theatre Clwyd and Our Town at Regents Park Open Air Theatre. Just prior to lockdown 1 he played Arvide Abernethy in Sheffield Crucible’s Guys and Dolls and since has completed roles in a new feature film Valentines Day, a Radio 4 Drama Bartholomew Abominations and filmed theatre Christmas Tales at the Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh.

Alana Dancing Star: LA Moves book reading with Arlene Phillips

In the first of Arlene Phillips’ Curve Classroom sessions, Arlene begins to read from her book Alana Dancing Star: LA Moves, all about a little girl called Alana who dreams of becoming a dancing star. In this book, Alana learns all about one of her favourite dance styles, hip-hop.

Recommended age: 7+

Arlene Phillips is a showbiz legend, honoured as a CBE for her services to dance and charity. From creating the provocative and revolutionary dance group Hot Gossip in the 1970’s to working with stars from film, TV and theatre, Arlene has become a household name. Her work includes choreographing hit West End and Broadway musicals, Hollywood films, and iconic music videos, through to her television work as a dance show judge, presenter and writer.

The acting process with Jay Varsani

In this Curve Classroom session, actor and Curve Associate Jay Varsani talks about the acting process, from finding the right mindset to preparing for an audition and his advice for getting into the industry. Jay also works through a practical exercise on how to break down a script.

Recommended age: 14+

See Jay’s professional debut in our Made at Curve drama, Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual in this archive recoding.

Jay is an actor and stunt performer. He trained at East 15 Acting School. 

Recent theatre credits include: Saeed in Homing Birds (Kali Theatre); Dyer in Ralegh: The Treason Trial (Shakespeare’s Globe); Riaz in Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual (Curve). 

Theatre whilst training: Ariel in The Pillow Man; Laertes in Hamlet; Ginger in Jerusalem; Joe Keller in All My Sons and Riz in The Invisible.  

Jay has also appeared as a stunt performer in Ripper Street for Tiger Aspect Productions and BBC and as Sid in World on Fire for Mammoth Screen. 

Jay was a Spotlight Prize Nominee in 2018. 

Latin American dance with Dale White

In this session, Dale White teaches Latin American dance. Dale starts with a warm up to get the energy flowing, and then breaks down steps for the Cha Cha and Samba before putting sequences together for you to dance along. If you have always wanted to try Latin dancing, this workshop is for you. No partner is required as Dale teaches the steps for one person.

Recommended age: 10+, including dancing beginners

Most recently, Dale appeared as Big Deal and cover Riff in West Side Story (Curve, Leicester). Other theatre credits include: Eugene/Dance Captain in Grease The Musical (UK Tour) Merry Widow at the ENO, Dance Captain/Ensemble/ Cover Scott in Strictly Ballroom at the Piccadilly Theatre, Mirvish Theatre (Toronto) and West Yorkshire Playhouse directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie and also in Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park; Ensemble/Resident Choreographer in Bugsy Malone (Lyric Hammersmith); Starlight Express (Bochum Germany); Jack and the Beanstalk (Hackney Empire). Workshop credits include: ‘What’s New Pussycat’ The Tom Jones Musical and Company (Elliot and Harper Productions). Dale has also performed at the Olivier Awards 2016 (Royal Opera House), Sunday Night at the Palladium and on The One Show and is a former British Ballroom and Latin Champion.

Week One

Music and Wellbeing with Jude Taylor

Jude Taylor is a composer, lyricist and writer from Leicestershire.

In this session Jude focuses on music and wellbeing. It begins with some breathing exercises and thinking about how music can help us explore and express different kinds of emotions. Jude discusses what makes a happy song sound happy (or sad song sound sad) and invites students to help him finish writing a song about happiness.

Recommended age: 10+

Jude’s first full length musical Steep Themselves in Night premiered at The Other Palace in 2018, and his most recent work Make Me Infamous was released by MP Theatricals as a radio production in 2020.

Following years of work in mental health services alongside work in the arts, Jude is particularly passionate about promoting singing for wellbeing, and gave a TEDX talk on the subject at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2019.

www.heyjudetaylor.com
@heyjudetaylor

Script Work and Creating Characters with Djalenga Scott and Jonny Fines

Djalenga and Jonny are actors with many theatre, film and TV credits.

Djalenga and Jonny’s lesson explores how we can learn about characters through close reading of scripts and research inspired by clues in the writing. Focusing on scenes from the musical Annie, Djalenga and Jonny discuss the characters of Lily and Rooster and how they created these characters for the stage.

Recommended age: 13+

Djalenga trained at Italia Conti. Her theatre credits include Lily St. Regis in Annie (Piccadilly); Mona and Liz in Chicago (Garrick, Cambridge & Adelphi); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (New London); Beautiful and Damned (Lyric); Bombalurina in Cats (Kilworth House Theatre); Rizzo in Grease (Curve Leicester and Dubai); Anita in West Side Story (UK Tour).

Screen credits include: Beast (Agile Films); Alexandra in I Give It A Year (Studio Canal); series regular Scarlett/Esme on Trapped! (BBC).

Jonny graduated from the Guildford School of Acting 2010. Before finishing his third year Jonny was cast as Rolf in the UK Tour of The Sound of Music. He has also played Zack Mayo in Curve’s production of An Officer and a Gentleman (UK Tour), Rooster in Annie (UK Tour/Piccadilly Theatre, London) and Johnny in the first major stage adaptation of Hanif Kureshi’s Oscar nominated screenplay My Beautiful Laundrette (a Curve, Everyman Theatre Cheltenham, Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Leeds Playhouse co-production). Over the Summer Jonny has been workshopping the role of Prince Charming for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new Musical, ‘Cinderella’, which opens in the West End in 2021. Jonny played Officer Jake Turley in Hollyoaks for Channel 4.

Q&A with the team behind Sunset Boulevard

In this session, find out more about musical masterpiece Sunset Boulevard from the team behind the show!

This live online pre-show talk was recorded on Wed 6 Jan as part of the streamed run of Sunset Boulevard – at Home. During the Q&A, hear insights and anecdotes from composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, writers and lyricists Don Black and Christopher Hampton, Curve’s chief executive Chris Stafford and artistic director Nikolai Foster, as well as performers Ria Jones (Norma Desmond), Danny Mac (Joe Gillis), Molly Lynch (Betty Schaefer) and Adam Pearce (Max Von Mayerling).

From its original creation to our latest Made at Curve production, hear the history of the show and how our 2020 performances were filmed for audiences to watch at home.

Recommended age: 14+

More fun this way!

Since our doors were closed in March 2020, we’ve remained committed to creating and sharing a variety of online activities to keep communities entertained and inspired throughout this time.

Scroll down to find out more.

Bedtime Stories

Settle in and enjoy children’s stories read by performers Cathy Tyson and Mark Peachey.

The Show Must Go Online

From archive recordings of Made at Curve productions, to in-depth interviews with theatre-makers and activity packs for little ones, find all of our online content available here.