Shakespeare with Endy McKay

We welcome the wonderful Endy McKay (Royal Shakespeare Company) back to the acting class!

Week 4 and we meet ‘Shakespeare’, a very scary subject for many actors!

Why is this work so nerve wracking? First of all, we’ve probably studied his plays at school in a very boring manner. Consequently, we never really understand the incredible juicy language and how amazing this can be for actors!

We’re working against the restricted, mannered impression many people have of Shakespeare.

‘Shakespeare’ is nitty gritty, down and dirty, grubby, elevating, inspiring and action filled. His works involve murder, betrayal, love, lust – all huge emotions which need energy and enthusiasm.

After drama school, Endy worked from a young age for RSC and still teaches acting classes there.

She has very energetic and generous approach to actors. She is super positive and full of great, playful approaches to Shakespeare! In addition, she insists on volunteers springing to life without over thinking. Similarly, this ethos goes for the whole course, jump in, be brave, take risks.

This is, after all, a safe environment to experiment and maybe even make a huge fool of ourselves. In this way, you’ll learn more, stretch yourselves and have more fun!

We worked with scripts from Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet today.

Here's Sharif Islam, John Eccles, James Anite and Nila Patel getting to grips with Shakespeare!

As well as physicality and voice, we worked with intentions and objectives and finding the truth of the scene.

What do the characters WANT?

Where are they? (home, pub, park, small flat, etc).

Who else is with them? What time of day is it? Etc etc etc

As we do in every acting class, tutor Endy packed in a lot in just three hours!

Some great thoughts from today’s acting class:

  • Actors, don’t apologise! NEVER apologise after a so called ‘mistake’ in class. There are no mistakes, only learning opportunities.
  • It’s okay to feel self-conscious, just keep trying!
  • Sometime we find ourselves using an ‘actory’ voice, ‘putting it on’, not using our own, real voice. That’s fine if it’s your choice for the character but if not then it’s a barrier to us as actors!
  • Nicola Barlow and Vlad Nicolae made a strong Lady M and Macbeth, layering the scene and getting deeper and deeper into the reality of the situation.
  • James Anite and Matt Turner played an all-male version. In this way, we could see how the essence of the relationship is universal. The sex of these characters doesn’t matter for our scene. James and Matt also had to do ten burpees to get out of breath before jumping into the scene!
  • Erin Grace and Siddharth Suraj played out ‘kitchen sink Shakespeare’ as we moved the scene to our studio’s kitchen. In this way, the effect was claustrophobic and intense, ramping up the tension and raising the stakes.


As well as the class today, Mark Davis, professional headshot photographer set up a pop-up studio with us for three hours. He takes amazing headshots and gives our actors a terrific deal. In this way, we’re able to create a professional, glossy flyer to promote our actors and our April 6th show case.

To conclude, we all learnt a lot and had fun with Shakespeare!

Ellen Publicover says:

"I feel like the course is run in a really welcoming way and you feel looked after, which provides a really hospitable environment to learn in, and fosters good camaraderie with the rest of the group.

Also, that even by week 4 you can tell how much variety is in the content and the style of teaching, and that all the teaching has been delivered in an inspiring and challenging way, but also with a great sense of fun!"