The Acting Gymnasium, founded by Gavin McAlinden, runs weekly creative performance workshops that help individuals develop their acting skills, build confidence, exercise their imagination, improve vocal techniques and… perform in a professional show.
You can see the product of their work in a season of French comedies running now at London’s Theatro Technis. On Friday, I chaired a Q&A with Gavin McAlinden and members of the cast of his new Acting Gymnasium production of Feydeau’s 1907 classic A Flea in Her Ear.
Having not previously experienced Acting Gymnasium, what struck me from the moment I arrived at the theatre was how welcoming everyone was. And the atmosphere in the room was contagious right through the evening – welcoming, inclusive, supportive and so enthusiastic.
Most of the near-capacity audience – including lots of other Acting Gymnasium alumni – stayed on for the post-show Q&A, for which I was joined by McAlinden as well as designer Sonoko Obuchi, and cast members Tracy Coogan, James Bruce, Michael Claff, Thibault Lecat and Hannah Luna.
Other members of the 16-strong cast joined us for a mass onstage selfie at the end. This, by the way, is a fantastically international outfit with actors from Angola, Australia, Bulgaria, Colombia, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Jamaica, Lithuania, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Spain, Portugal and the US as well as the UK. And, after the Q&A, I think we recruited a few new members too.
Watch the full Q&A for more on the production and the company.
Event photography by Peter Jones.