JCC welcomes Birmingham Theatre Director

Joseph Chamberlain College would like to thank Daniel Tyler, Theatre Director and Head of Education at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, for taking time out of his busy schedule to host workshops with students on William Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ on Wednesday 25th January. This was his second visit to JCC to work with our A-level English Language and Literature students.

Daniel has specialised in work with young people and students for many years. He is currently completing a PhD in ‘Directing Shakespeare in Contemporary Theatre’. He is writing and directing a play to be performed on the Birmingham Rep stage in May called ‘Between the Two’, based on his family’s Anglo-Indian heritage.

On Wednesday Daniel led students through an exploration of the play using practical approaches, as an ensemble of actors would approach the play in rehearsal. They created freeze-frame ‘snapshots’ of scenes from the play and undertook other drama-based activities to bring the play to life. They then watched clips from ‘Merry War’, an adaptation of the play that Daniel directed and took to Spain in 2012 and the Shanghai Festival in China in 2016. The students took part in a Q and A session about this adaptation and had the chance to ask any other questions they had about aspects of the play they will sit an exam on in June.

The students commented that the workshops had given them ‘a different insight’ into ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, and they enjoyed the interactive aspect to approaching key scenes. Julie Sturch, Teacher of English Language and Literature, commented that both staff and students recognised what an amazing opportunity it had been for such an experienced director, producer and writer to work with them on the play. Ikra Gohir, A-level English Language and Literature student, thanked Daniel for his time ‘Thank you for the enjoyable workshop and for the support you provided us with, Daniel.’ Asad Shah said: ‘We enjoyed the fun games as well as your own production’. We hope that Daniel will return again next year to work with us.