Conspiracy Season workshops for secondary schools at Nottingham Playhouse Theatre

Date Posted: 13/05/2015

From 10th September 2015 to 10th February 2016, Nottingham Playhouse will be running educational workshops for Key Stage 5 pupils as part of the theatre’s Conspiracy Season.

In the autumn and winter terms 2015/16, Key Stage 5 students local to Nottingham will be able to attend a series of workshops as part of the theatre’s Conspiracy Season.

Conspiracy Season revolves around the production of two plays that explore the relationship between the freedom of the individual and the security of the state.

The workshops that complement the season have been designed to enhance student’s understanding of two texts in the National Curriculum: 1984 and The Duchess of Malfi. 

Each ‘Conspiracy’ production will have its own ‘Masterclass’ session and ‘Practical Workshop’ attached to it, with a curriculum focus on the subjects of English and Theatre Studies.

The ‘Masterclass’ will be a one-off two hour lecture for multiple schools, which should provide pupils with an insight into the thought processes and the different decisions made by the creative team.

As part of the ‘Masterclass’ package, schools can also arrange a backstage tour of the theatre on a separate day and teachers will be given an education pack containing practical exercises to develop post learning opportunities once the students return to the classroom.

The masterclass associated with 1984 will take place on Wednesday 16th September and is designed to encourage children to develop a greater understanding of the play’s context and motifs. It will then compare and contrast the differences between the novel and the Playhouse’s production. Members of the 1984 production team will be on hand to answer any questions about any element of the play.

The Duchess of Malfi ‘Masterclass’, meanwhile, will take place on Tuesday 10th November and will provide a comparison between the Playhouse’s contemporary adaptation of The Duchess of Malfi and the original performance at the Blackfriars Theatre and the Globe in 1614.

The play’s director Fiona Buffini will also contextualise the original production, provide an insight into original practices and explain the decisions behind her vision. Topics will include explanations of the staging, costume, lighting and sound.

The session will include clips from previous productions and live scenes with the current cast, too.

The half day or full day ‘Practical Workshops’, meanwhile, accommodate between ten and 30 pupils. Led by a member of the theatre’s creative team, these sessions can be tailored to teacher requirements and booked on a time that suits the school.

The 1984 practical workshop will be led by a Playhouse practitioner and engage with the 1984 script by analysing the staging and characters. They will also get the chance to act out scenes from the play.

The Duchess of Malfi ‘Practical Workshop’ can be booked between the 10th and 13th November and will be hosted by Fiona Buffini. She will discuss the process of bringing the text to life, before getting the students to perform scenes from the play which explore the themes of betrayal, obsession and corruption.

There will also be an opportunity for schools to attend post-show discussions every second Tuesday of a production.

To book a workshop call 0115 941 9419 or visit

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