Drama Schools

For many years Steve was a Visiting Lecturer at the highly respected Drama Department of the University of Birmingham. The Birmingham drama course was noted especially for its belief in understanding the acting craft through practical work with professional performers and during his time there Steve ran numerous workshops and sessions as part of the undergraduate programme as well as offering a wide variety of lectures and seminars. Steve’s specialist areas of interest are Voice, Storytelling, Stand-up Comedy, Musical Theatre, Greek Drama and Comedy-of-Manners. Steve now offers each of his courses and talks in person and online to drama schools and colleges all round the country.

"Steve Nallon has given two workshops for Cygnet Theatre (on Voice and Storytelling) both of which have been invaluable."

"Delivered via zoom in 'lock-down' conditions, Steve's content, style and preparation are an ideal way for our young actors in training to benefit from his knowledge and experience."

"Steve Nallon’s workshops are inspiring, entertaining and hugely informative. Drawing on all the experience of an extensive career as performer and writer, and with a thorough and careful attention to detail, Steve imparts a huge amount of top-class information with economy, style and humour. An invaluable experience."

Rosalind Williams, Principal, Cygnet Theatre
February 2021

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DISCUSSING DOUBLE ACTS

Analysing various double acts in comedy.

CREATING A VOICE

The placing of the voice in impersonation.

CREATING A VOICE

Vocal analysis and impersonation.

 
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Steve has always had a strong interest in theatre production ever since his early days directing and putting on plays and shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Steve has worked as a theatre director on various stage productions of new writing as part of the M.A. in Playwriting course at the University of Birmingham created by David Edgar. During his many years in Drama Department, Steve also directed plays as part of the undergraduate programme and former students who went on to have successful film and television careers include the actors Tom Riley and Matthew Goode.

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With his considerable experience as voice actor, Steve is often asked to assist with vocal coaching on plays and productions that require a specialist skill, such as the musical LITTLE VOICE and political comedy HANDBAGGED. In addition, Steve now works on vocal training for student actors in association with drama schools and also offers online private tuition. Steve’s vocal skills are well known in broadcasting and he is often asked to contribute to programmes examining the idiosyncrasies of the human voice and its vocal dexterity.

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Steve runs numerous workshops and practical sessions specifically designed for writers, actors and students in the creative sector. Steve’s vocal master class Finding Your Voices and his legendary comedy workshop Thinking Funny have both been presented at The Guild House through London branches of Actors’ Equity. Steve’s one-day writing course Exposition: A Secret Guide for Writers was run in conjunction with T.A.P.S. (Training and Performance Showcase), supported by Skillset, ITV and the BBC. Steve has also offered teaching programmes in association with The Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Screen West Midland Summer School.

Finding Your Voices – an immensely popular and very practical workshop ideal for both professional actors and drama students demonstrating how to discover and then develop the full dynamic range of your voice. Using simple and highly effective exercises, Steve shows how your ‘hidden voices’ can be found by physicalizing, for example, a 'glide', or a 'push', or a 'thrust' or a 'float', and further how, by combing and blending these energies and rhythms, the actor can pretty much create the blueprint for any kind of voice. Finding Your Voices can be run as a one-day workshop or presented over two sessions.

Finding Your Voices – an immensely popular and very practical workshop ideal for both professional actors and drama students demonstrating how to discover and then develop the full dynamic range of your voice. Using simple and highly effective exercises, Steve shows how your ‘hidden voices’ can be found by physicalizing, for example, a ‘glide’, or a ‘push’, or a ‘thrust’ or a ‘float’, and further how, by combing and blending these energies and rhythms, the actor can pretty much create the blueprint for any kind of voice. Finding Your Voices can be run as a one-day workshop or presented over two sessions.

Thinking Funny – a brilliantly inventive workshop that explores not only how comedy works but also how to think and create the funny. The session begins by asking why we laugh and then movers on to the basic machinery of comedy itself, such as Exaggeration, Surprise, Reversals and Targets. Games and exercises are then brought into play to show how the comic mind can be developed and built on. Thinking Funny can be run as a one-day workshop or presented over two sessions

Exposition: A Secret Guide for Writers – an invaluable hands-on workshop for writers and creatives that explores that often tricky area of Story Exposition. It is often said that the true art is the concealment of art and this is certainly the case when it come to the subtle craft of establishing setting, situation and character. Ten practical techniques and tools are presented and discussed, including Revelation Through Conflict, Physical Action, and Properties. An exercise is then set up that immediately puts these newly acquired skills to use and the session concludes with analysis of the methods used and how they could be improved still further. This is a one-day workshop only.

Storytelling – this creative workshop explores what you may call ‘The Building Blocks of Story’ and aims to give writers, actors and theatre practitioners a way of generating and presenting narratives and tales as well as clearer understanding as to how stories work. The session sets out the basic components of story: ‘The Ghost’ or back story; ‘The Problem Need’ or what is lacking; ‘The Day of Change’ or catalyst event creating imbalance; ‘The Trigger for Action’ or the incident that incites the plan or project; ‘The Unexpected Turn’ or the event which goes opposite to expectation; ‘The Impossible Choice’ or the unbearable dilemma; ‘The Time of Despair’ or the lowest story point; ‘The Confrontation’ or battle with the primary opposing forces; ‘The Reverse Identity’ or sudden realization that someone or something is not what was thought; ‘The Climax’ or the top of the story when the goal is reached, even if not achieved; ‘The Rebirth’ or becoming the new self having completed the task and finally ‘The Resolution’ or sense of what might follow now the tale is ending. Once these essential story principles are established, participants look at how they work within the story that they themselves wish to tell. These narratives are then workshopped with input from the whole group with the ultimate aim of encouraging creatives to self-generate dramatic work that can be performed either by themselves or others.

Comedy-of-Manners – a practical course for actors and students examining the comedy-of-manner theatrical style, with particular reference to the plays of Oscar Wilde, Noël Coward, Harold Pinter, Alan Ayckbourn and Terrence Rattigan. Comedy of Manners plays are often seen as social comedies where it’s primarily the rules and mores of society that govern the manner in which characters interact. The sessions begin by looking at the wide variety of techniques that are required of the comedy-of-manners actor. Following this the actor is shown how, by using simple games and practical exercises, it is possible to develop these techniques and how they can eventually mastered. The course is ideally presented over several sessions but can also be restructured to offer single sessions that concentrate on specific techniques such as Acting Subtext, Epigramatic Intonation, and Social Masking. A detailed summary of exercises undertaken by student actors with specific reference to the comedy-of-manners playwright Noël Coward can be found in Feature Articles and Columns under the title "Fun and Games with Noël Coward: A Practical Way into the Coward Style for Young Actors".

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Talks and Lectures

Steve created numerous lectures for undergraduate programmes in both drama and film at the University of Birmingham, and these include Greek Theatre, The Restoration Actor, Stand-up Comedy, Comic Theory, Myth and Story, as well as lectures on movies genres such as THE GODFATHER (The Gangster Movie), WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT (Film Noir) and HERCULES (Animation). These and other can be found at Talks and Lectures.