Free online workshops with theatre and TV professionals

For the last few years we have held a free-to-all drama workshop in January. It has to be a bit different this year but we are thrilled to say that we have lined up online workshops with a stellar cast of five amazing theatre professionals –

Tuesday 19th January - JAMIE WILKES - Story Craft for Actors 

Jamie Wilkes is a top level professional actor whose TV credits include His Dark Materials, Mr Selfridge and Vanity Fair. His theatre roles have been many and include Two Noble Kinsmen, The Comedy of Errors and Oppenheimer for the RSC and Titus Andronicus at The Globe.  He is also a member of The Wet Mariners who play regularly at The Willow Globe in Rhaeadr. 

Tuesday 26th January - LAURA NORMAN - Character Development

Laura Norman is the Creative Learning Practitioner at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich where she works with schools and groups of young people to develop and enhance their love of theatre. Through a series of games and exercises used in the rehearsal room, this session will guide you through the process of building a character physically and emotionally. Explore the building blocks of the rehearsal process. Find unique personal forms of vocal and physical expression to unlock a role and feel the exhilaration of creating a character in which you can find yourself.    

Tuesday 9th February - MICHAEL CORBIDGE - Finding the Laughter in Shakespeare's Comedy Speeches

Patron of The LADS, Michael is known to us all as a Royal Shakespeare Company Voice and Text Associate.  What you may not know is that he is also a published poet, an established director and writer.  He runs his own studio and theatre company in Kent, teaches MA studies at the Rose Bruford drama school and until lockdown was working with a group of circus theatricals and touring internationally to teach and direct.

Tuesday 16th February - LOVEDAY INGRAM - Unlocking Shakespeare

Loveday Ingram has directed musicals and plays in the west end and extensively throughout the UK as well as Internationally. She trained at the RSC with John Barton, was Associate Director at CFT for 3 years and was Assistant Director on the original production of Mamma Mia. Her recent work includes Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville which played at the National Theatre of China, Henry V and Julius Caesar for Storyhouse in Chester, and the critically acclaimed production of Aphra Behn’s The Rover for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her productions in the West End include four-time Oliver Nominated Gershwin musical My One and OnlyThe Blue Room and When Harry Met Sally at the Haymarket Theatre Royal, and Bedroom Farce at The Albery with Richard Briers and June Whitfield as well as Rockaby at The Barbican as part of the Samuel Beckett Centenary Festival. 

Tuesday 16th March - IAN BARTHOLOMEW - Working on Stage and TV

Ian Bartholomew is an actor and singer whose career spans more than 40 years. His latest high profile part has been as Geoff Metcalfe in Coronation Street. On the stage, he has played everything from musical theatre to Shakespeare. Ian is a four times Olivier Awards nominee, has won the Manchester Evening News award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Doolittle in Pygmalion at the city’s Royal Exchange and had rave reviews for his role in Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui in Liverpool and Nottingham. On television, his back catalogue includes Heartbeat, The Darling Buds of May, Wycliffe, Crown Court, The Professionals, Minder, The Bill, Spooks, New Tricks, Foyle’s War and Maigret.

Places are limited so to take part please email us asap for further information.

All workshops will start at 7.45pm. For more information email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Alison Utting on 01691 622093. 


LADS carries on regardless

DESPITE ongoing restrictions The LADS theatre group has been keeping busy thanks to the wonder of Zoom! 

We are holding weekly play readings online and you are welcome to join us – for some it is a good way to enjoy a play without having to go on stage.  You can just listen in if you don’t want to read.  Email us for details.

In December we held a One Minute Monologue competition and a very successful online party with games and lots of fun.  

You can now watch LADS online! A new LADS YouTube channel has been set up to showcase our recent One Minute Monologue competition, WI spoof reports from Marg Kynaston and Alison Utting and a host of other drama projects. Here's the link:

Looking forward to the rest of 2021 – we are planning at least one outdoor production and are hoping to buy outdoor staging to ensure we can bring theatre to you for the rest of the year.

It's Christmas!

Firstly, and of greatest importance, is to wish all our members, friends and supporters a very happy Christmas.

We know that there is much that we wish we had - not least, live theatre - but we do hope that you have all that you need and that you will stay safe and healthy. 

Coming soon - some very special LADS Christmas videos to bring you some festive cheer. We now have our very own YouTube channel, where you can watch all of our lockdown videos. Just search for LADS theatre to find us. You can also find all the entries for our really successful Minute Monologue competition, which was judged by esteemed director Loveday Ingram and her actor husband Ian Bartholomew. 

For our members, there are also online festivities to be enjoyed. We start with a festive edition of our regular playreading - a panto, written by Shaun Higgins. Then there is our LADS Quiz - which is worth having a go at, just to look through all the wonderful old photos of our productions. (The link to the quiz has been sent out in a special Christmas email, which contains details of how to join in all our events.) Bex will be closing entries on 27th December and sharing all the answers with us at our GRAND CHRISTMAS NEW YEAR ONLINE PARTY - Monday 28th December on Zoom. Party hats are a must, and we're inviting everyone to bring their own refreshments. Fun, games, silliness...and no sweeping up the hall afterwards. What's not to love? 

Look out for some fantastic opportunities in the New Year. Instead of our usual free open-to-all drama workshop, which has become a much-loved LADS tradition, we will be offering a season of free online tutorials and workshops. There will something for everyone, and we can't wait to share these sessions with you. 

So - keep warm, keep safe, and keep dreaming of a return to the collective marvellous madness that is live theatre. 



There was much less wine, cheese and giggling than normal - but LADS held their AGM recently, thanks to the magic of Zoom. A new committee was elected (pictured) and plans made for the lead up to Christmas. As to what lies beyond ... who knows? But the fun and creativity will continue one way or another. A huge vote of thanks was given to the committee members standing down this time, and in particular to Julia Thomas for her sterling job as Chair (she is now back in the ranks of the committee) and Marg Kynaston who has served more years than her crimes have warranted as our secretary. 

LADS in lockdown

As the weeks of lockdown go by, the LADS are scattered in their homes and hugely missing each other's company. 

We can't wait to meet again once it is safe to do so. Obviously, we don’t know exactly when or how that will be - but one of our first activities will hopefully be a big social gathering combined with our AGM. A theatre family is a close-knit one, and there are many hugs to be shared and laughs to be had. 

After that, there are lots of productions in the pipeline that have been on hold. The LADS is always brimming with ideas and new projects. 

We can’t wait to get going!

If you would like to join us, drop us a line.