Layering in the work of Frantic Assembly

by Simon Bell | 1 April 2014

Perfect to use with students because it is so accessible to any ability level, age, gender etc.

The master class will focus on one specific convention from the work of Theatre practitioners Frantic Assembly. Frantic Assembly are a company who use movement as an integral part of their practice. They can be seen as sitting under the wide and varied umbrella of Physical Theatre, though it is certainly not a term they themselves use to define their work.

Frantic Assembly are known for working from a starting place of text and through a collaborative devising process develop the ways in which they will present this text. The artistic director of the company does not come into the rehearsal process with a clear vision of the production, rather a few images, a list of song titles, descriptions of various physical images, quotations and text extracts. Certainly there is little to no linking factor between them. From this starting place the company works together to create moments within the production where movement can be used to express more than the words alone can communicate.

The convention we will explore in this master class will be the technique of layering. This is fundamental to Frantic Assembly’s process. It enables performers in their style to be non-­‐dancers and even non-­‐actors. As a technique it is perfect to use with students because it is so accessible to any ability level, age, gender etc.

Starting Place
ALWAYS begin with a warm up. We are time pressured as teachers and this often seems like a step that can be minimized or even omitted in order to progress to the task itself.

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