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News & Blogs

Welcome to our News & Blogs page. If you have any questions regarding the articles included on this site, please email laurapeatman@rada.ac.uk.

Presenting without Props

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Charlie Walker-Wise, Business Development Manager, RADA in Business

empty chair on stage

I’ve been reflecting on the experience for non-theatre professionals when they come to work with us at RADA. Over the last couple of months we’ve had major events here with large numbers of people from media agencies, banks, consultancies, government and retail brands.

At the beginning of these experiences I pose them a question: What do they see when they look around their office? What are the tools they use to do their job? Invariably the answer is “phone”, “computer”, “desk”. Then I ask them what they see here at RADA as I stand in front of them. The answer is “nothing”, just an empty space. This space is the actor’s “office” and the tools used are the body and the voice. Actors at RADA spend three years learning how to use these tools incredibly effectively but these skills are not the preserve of the actor. They are not rarefied, or sacred; they are universal human skills and, with a little guidance, can be honed to improve credibility and confidence.

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The Power of Play

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Charlie Walker-Wise, Business Development Manager, RADA in Business

Lego: The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, Damianen Hirst

I have a theory. It goes something like this: first we celebrate play in children, then we indulge it, then we tolerate it, and then we squash it.

When a baby becomes a toddler and begins to interact with their environment we are thrilled and encourage its experimentation through play. As toddlers become children we accept the games they play, the make-believe worlds they create, understanding that these are important for them to make sense of the world around them.

But at about the age of 7 or 8 we change the language we use with children. We start to say things like 'grow up' and 'stop behaving like a child' and 'act your age'. The absurdity of making these statements to a child looks stark out of context, doesn’t it? But when flung out in frustration, how much thought is given to the damaging language and its effect? Suddenly investigation through experience becomes a bad thing. We risk shaming children for their curiosity and experimentation.

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Puppet on a Shoe String

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Staff with puppet

This month some of the RADA in Business team, along with RADA staff were treated to a workshop in puppetry – led by the remarkable Finn Caldwell, whose credits include War Horse and recently the unique children’s show Elephantom – in which the central character is a mystical floating elephant spirit. Whilst we weren’t afforded the luxuries of such sophisticated ‘ripstop’ materials and elaborately molded heads, we proved that all you need is a roll of brown paper, masking tape and flexible knees to instantly create a believable puppet.

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Women.... Know your place

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It is gratifying to witness the promotion of more women to the cabinet following the reshuffle this summer. And even more reason to cheer is the recent news that Glencore, a bastion of male industry became the final FTSE company to appoint a female director. All signs that we are ever moving nearer to the government target of 25% female board representation by 2015. Whilst we still fall short of the target, the fact remains that there are significant cracks appearing in the ceiling. And every reason, as a woman, to push through to grab those top jobs.

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As the geographical reach of our work continues to expand, I seem to have been working in Europe a great deal recently. This means I am working with delegates for whom English is not their first language. As ever it makes me feel embarrassed about my meagre attempts to speak anything other than my mother tongue and the issues it can throw up are interesting.

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You can catch us at the CIPD Learning & Development Show at Olympia in London on Wednesday 30 April & Thursday 01 May 2014.

The Learning & Development Show is one of the leading showcases of workplace learning and development. If you are planning to attend come along and see us on stand 440.

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