Level 3 Diploma Performing Arts students attended an all-day conference at Camden Arts Centre on the professional industry and the work of Steven Berkoff. Berkoff is a key practitioner for the Performing Arts course and is studied and explored as part of the Physical Theatre unit. Course team leader Wendy Frost reports:
“The day started with a workshop run by RADA postgraduate actors, who presented the dagger scene from Macbeth in a variety of ways. Firstly they presented a traditional approach, which focused on the language of Shakespeare, and then an alternative approach which explored the emotional intentions of the characters through Expressionism. Finally the course director worked through the scene analysing and discussing the text. This was followed by a whole conference vocal warm-up which was very useful and filled the whole room with hundreds of voices.
“Then there was a presentation on stage design, where the opportunities available for young people were discussed in detail and examples given through a very visual and informative presentation and film.
“Finally the actress Linda Marlowe gave a talk on working with Steven Berkoff and his style of work. She has worked with him extensively since the 1970’s, and many of his female roles were written for her. She performed the famous fox hunting speech from Decadence which she has actually performed with Berkoff on stage. This role was later taken over by Joan Collins in the film. This monologue was received to thunderous applause and was a perfect example of the physical and expressive style of work for which Berkoff is so famous.
“Linda was excellent, and exciting to listen to and watch. In the Q & A session, the final question from Bar Groisman (Year 2 student) was, “How did it feel to not be able to follow your dream of being a prima ballerina and have to become an actress”’. Linda Marlowe responded by saying she was heartbroken at first and would have loved to have followed her dream of being a ballet dancer. She also explained that she always enjoyed acting and that this became her career after which she really enjoyed it. She also explained that everything she had learned about physical theatre had come from working with Berkoff and mimicking his style.
“This was a very useful and professional day out for the students, made even better when Linda Marlowe agreed to have a photograph taken with us.”