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Playing with Prose Theatre Workshop

October 9, 2019 - October 10, 2019

Adapting Novels for the Stage

A two-day workshop for university students

Led by Jack Tarlton (8 Days: To the Moon and Back)

Join us for this creative workshop for university students, exploring adaptations of novels for the stage. Reading a novel and watching an adaptation of that novel in the theatre are two very distinct experiences. The first is private, the reader using their own imagination fuelled by the writer’s words to create the characters and landscapes, locating and exploring the themes and ideas and following the narrative thrust. The second is communal and collaborative. We sit with others and collectively engage with a story that is being told to us by other people using language, movement, music, lighting and sound, people who have in turn been inspired by the original writer’s work.

But both are imaginative acts that move us and make us think in a myriad of ways.

Why adapt a book for the stage and how do we adapt a book for the stage?

Working with interviews conducted by Tarlton with some of the UK’s leading theatre practitioners, participants will explore the following works:

Coram Boy
by Jamila Gavin, adapted by Helen Edmunsen & directed by Melly Still
for the National Theatre, Broadway & Bristol Old Vic

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
By Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens & directed by Marianne Elliot
for the National Theatre, West End, Broadway, UK & US Tours & International Productions

City of Glass
by Paul Auster, adapted by Duncan McMillan & directed by Leo Warner
for 59 Productions, HOME Manchester and the Lyric Hammersmith

The Death of Ivan Ilyich
by Leo Tolstoy, adapted by Stephen Sharkey & directed by Jonathan Humphreys
for Attic Theatre Company

The workshop will feature videos of rehearsals and early productions, and students will look at the challenges of taking books written in first person and bringing that to the stage, examining stage directions, the importance of collaboration, performing short parts of the plays and novels, and looking at design work that accompanies the production. Students will also have the opportunity to create and perform their own short plays based on a story or an except of a novel.

Booking to open shortly.


October 9, 2019
October 10, 2019
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Senate House, University of London
Malet Street
London, WC1E 7HU United Kingdom
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