Performers in the Park

Hi all!

I am thrilled to be able to work in collaboration with Theatre Delicatessen to bring a new youth theatre project – Performers in the Park – to the Theatre Deli venue in Burgess Park.

The group will run every Sunday from the 6thNovember until the 18th December and will culminate in a showing where the young people get to share what they’ve been working on with their friends and families. It’s going to run using three different groups organised into different age categories and will be led by myself and the wonderful Katie Hayes as Drama and acting leads and we’ll be joined by the fantastic Gerrard Martin as a movement and dance teacher. We are likely to also have drop in classes in different skills from other actors and performers.

We’ve been funded by the Arts council to run this scheme, and while the program is open to anyone, its main intent is to benefit the local community in Camberwell. We’ll be having lots of fun, but imparting performance skills, raising confidence and helping to bring young people together in a positive, creative and rewarding environment.

The task will be to bring out the uniqueness and individuality in each of the company members and aloe them to shine. We can’t wait!!

There’s more on the Theatre Deli website and places can be reserved here, and there’s more info on the event page. This promises to be great. Open to ages 6-18




Speech into Song course

Hi all!

Here is our first guest blog post, from the very talented Jennifer Rhodes, who has taught many of our Intro Course students already! Her latest course with Scaffold State will start in just a few weeks, so here is a little more info on what you could expect from it.

The Speech into Song course is designed to explore the full potential of the actor’s voice, taking you on a journey from spoken to sung text, using excerpts from the Musical Theatre canon.

The course will begin with technical voice work, and actors will be guided through exercises helping them to access the many vocal colours that can be achieved for creating character and conveying emotion and intention in performance. They will be introduced to the Estill Model, a particularly useful vocal resource for actors and singers working in Musical Theatre. Work will also involve exploring and understanding the complexities of a musical score, some music theory and learning to juggle working with a score and script.

Each participant will have the opportunity to work on solo material as well as working in small ensembles. They will have plenty of individual attention and repertoire will be carefully selected to suit each voice.

This will be a fun and challenging experience, culminating in a presentation of excerpts from a range of different musicals.

To enrol on this course, participants do not need to have had prior experience in performing musical theatre, nor do they need to be able to read sheet music; recordings of musical parts will be made early on in the course to allow for maximum rehearsal time and extra help with reading scores will be given where needed. An ability to sing in tune is important, as well as a willingness to ‘give it a go’!

Jen Rhodes

& the team at Scaffold State

You can book your spot here.

Thoughts on Eddies

Hello all!

We recently performed our latest devised piece – Eddies – at the Courtyard Theatre.

This project was a bit of a punt for the company, as it was the first time we made the decision to allow a paying ticketed audience to come and see a devised piece, but the decision was, I think, a good one.  It turned out to be a real success!

What is the process of a devised piece?

The devised piece is the second project that students on the Scaffold State Training Company Program undertake. It takes some of the skills they’ve picked up from the introductory course and, while still utilising the ideas of play and discovery, develops them into working practices.

For the first session of the project, I normally bring in, as the course leader, some form of stimulus – some music; a story; an object; a picture; an idea. This initial stimulus has changed each time, but for Eddies it was a series of photographs of people in different and somewhat extraordinary images (see gallery below). Students were then asked: who were the people in these pictures? Who was taking the photograph? What was the circumstance of the photograph? What did the images make you think about beyond the realm of the photo? If there were character related to the world of these images that you felt you could embody, who would they be? Is there a piece of music that you relate to the image? Each student would pick a particular image of their choice, and their responses were extremely interesting.

I also asked them to respond personally to the phrase “what I see when I look in the mirror”. I noted all their responses and tried to boil them down into potential characters that each student might want to play. By basing it on their ideas, they had definite ownership of the people they were going to embody.  In parallel to this, they were all using physical and emotional games and exercises to build a stylistic language for the piece.


The difficulty with the devised piece to some extent is that you don’t know exactly what you’re going to be doing or saying until halfway through the process – but the magic is that you have all looked at the material more broadly before the final text lands in your lap. In this way you all have much more ownership of the story, the world and the words.

Bringing the story together

Once the ideas of the world and the characters in it began to solidify, I was able to pull them together with a sense of narrative. The story slowly started to became clear and we then started to experiment with scene improvisation and hitting on different events necessary to tell the story, most of which were filmed. Much of this improvisation work made it in to the final piece in some version or other.

Once we’d covered most of this ground, I took away all the videos, transcribed them, and editing them into the final script of Eddies – only adding a couple of scenes from scratch.

The students received their final script about 8 weeks before the show, and the process then became about rehearsing it all as best we could.

Rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals…

Rehearsals were busy, but went well and we reached our performance dates feeling pretty well prepared to share the process with the audience. It was all a bit nerve wracking, as we had a number of technical issues to overcome, but the group did a great job, coming together as a company to support each other, and with great clarity concerning the story they were telling.

Show time!

Eddies resulted in being a moving family melodrama, moving backwards and forwards in time, and dealing with issues of identity and personal choice. The audience really enjoyed it, which is great testament to the work the whole group put into the project! Well done!

What next?

Most of the company will now be going on to rehearse their first scripted piece. The process will differ here as they will have their roles from the start of the process, and so the job will be much more around assuming ownership of a product that is not yours to begin with, and still doing the piece justice in terms of storytelling.

They will begin to rehearse this piece in September and will hopefully be able to perform it before Christmas. Details  will follow so watch this space!

The next devised piece to be undertaken will be the work of our most recent company to have finished their introductory course – who knows what this will yet be? Not knowing is part of the excitement! We are also intending to make this a ticketed performance so please keep your eyes peeled for more information!


New Intro Course starting in September!

Have you missed our last intro course? Have you always had an interest in acting but never dared? Do you want to meet a great new bunch of like-minded people and join the ever growing Scaff family? Look no further!!

Our latest iteration of our Introduction to Acting course is starting on Thursday 15th of September. The course has been growing in popularity since it first started back in early 2014! Hear what our past students say on our testimonials page.

The course will run every Thursday for 10 weeks, and will bring the group together through various skills classes from visiting teachers and a through-line of individual work on contemporary monologues. Classes typically have 12-15 students.

This course is the first step in our Training programme (more information here). It is not compulsory to continue after 10 weeks, but we have found that most of our students stay on!


By joining our Training Company, you will also benefit from a student discount on other courses of up to 30%!

Still not sure? Why not come and see us at one of our shows, meet current students and get a feel for the company. Check out our events calendar for more information.

For any queries, please get in touch at

Spread the word and see you there 🙂

The Scaff Team


The waiting is over! The next Scaffold Theatre Training Company performance is on next week!

Come and check out what the latest Scaffold State Training Company group have been devising for their first public performance.

…Brian has a good job… Brian loves his wife and kids…Brian knows something’s got to give… It’s time to take the plunge…

Eddies is a moving portrait of pivotal moments in the story of an extended family over 3 generations. How do the choices we make swirl back and forth through time to affect us in any given present? Does the ‘when’ even matter in our quest to know ourselves?

Rehearsed in approx 60 hrs this devised piece is the second project for this group of non-professional actors working as part of the Scaffold State Training Company.

Where: The Courtyard Theatre (directions)

When: 26th July 2016 & 27th July 2016 – 7:30 PM

Book your tickets HERE.

See you there!

Directed by: Gareth Kennerley

Dario Bernardo
Alex Burr
Stephen Dalton
Marjolaine Druart
Terry John
Juris Magone
Paul Mendez
Louise Meylan
Joanna Prusiewicz
Catalina Sapiains
Johannes Schulze
John Shute

Some gems from the rehearsal process (thanks Terry for the photos!)

Ripen our Darkness

Well done to our wonderful cast for a brilliant show full of dark feminist humour!

Our production of Ripen our Darkness was on at the Drayton Arms in early February.

Ripen Our Darkness is a heightened, ascerbic and comedic exploration of women’s roles – domestically, in their relationships with men and with the patriachal intitutions of the wider world. Set in the late 70s and told largely through the story of Mary, we see how the banality and claustrophobia of her life results in a final decision that is that is strangely understandable.

Very much of its period, and using characters with a bold hand to make its point, it is interesting to think, as we laugh, what truths within the story are still relevant today.

Rehearsed in Only 60 hrs, this production was the second public performance for this group of the training company.

Thank you to all those who came to support the continuing development of these great training performers.

The show was on for 3 nights:
Sunday 7th of February
Monday 8th of February
Tuesday 9th of February


Sam Barnes
Andrew Bowman
Anna Cura Rodes
Calin Drimbau
Caitlin Gray
Louise Kennan
Hayley Oakes
Sonya Nikolosina
Raena Sangsit
Rob Scott
Dia Tuncer
Helia Zarbafi

Directed by Gareth Kennerley and Tom Daplyn