Workshops: Teachers’ Feedback

“George Dillon’s workshop on Berkoff was a masterclass! Our students were enthused, stimulated and thoroughly prepared for their work both in GCSE Devised Work and in A level practitioner work. His discipline and focus were fascinating to observe. If you want your students to be inspired I would warmly recommend George Dillon’s school workshops. My students were lit up for days afterwards!

Diana Dodd, Head of Drama, Rendcomb College, Cirencester
February 2014

“George Dillon’s workshop was a captivating and challenging afternoon for both the students and myself. I feel they learned or even re-visited skills which they are using in their current practical work in preparation for their performance exams. My students loved the practicality of it and learned a lot from the observation of the skills being executed. Well received and highly recommended!

Mrs N. Richardson, Lead Practitioner for Drama, All Saints Catholic High School, Sheffield
February 2014

“George started as he meant to go on, full of energy, working our students to their potential. He provided our students with a strong basis for exploring physical theatre, using a range of techniques. As an introduction to the work of Steven Berkoff, it has clearly been inspirational and has also left a lasting impression on the way that we teach drama at Kennet School.

Ali Watson, Drama Teacher, Kennet School, Berkshire
February 2014

“This year I decided to explore Berkoff with my students. In the past I’ve looked at George Dillon’s workshops and always thought they looked fantastic so I decided to book one of George’s sessions. My hope was that the workshop would support my students understanding and maybe even give me some approaches to teaching Berkoff’s style. How I underestimated the impact George would have on us all!

My students were taken in a disciplined, inspirational journey through a series of exercises which were not only fun but perfectly exemplified Berkoff’s style at an accessible level for the students. My students were like sponges absorbing every word and were particularly impressed that George had worked with Berkoff directly. But it was the short performance that George delivered which really captivated my students. As for myself I felt like I had a greater understanding of how to teach Berkoff and could definitely use some of the practical exercises as part of my teaching in the future.

The students left the studio buzzing and excited to begin work on their play, but as a teacher you always wonder how much an external workshop will impact on the students long term. However, booking the workshop proved to be a very wise decision as I walked into the first lesson, after George had been to our school, to find my students independently going through some of the exercises George had taught them!

If you are contemplating booking a workshop my advice would be just do it! George is passionate, knowledgable, and inspirational. You will see the impact in your students immediately but also in their work long term. As for your teachers try to get as many in to watch as possible, it’ll be the best department CPD you’ve done in years!

Dawn Maymand, Head of Performing Arts, Chase Terrace Technology College
February 2014

“This year with my GCSE drama students I decided to try something challenging and physical so following on from a piece of class work I gave them extracts from Berkoff’s Agamemnon. Not being very knowledgeable about Berkoff’s style I needed a workshop to help the students understand his style and give them a firm base to work from. Seeing George Dillon’s advertising I booked in one of his workshops. This proved to be an excellent decision. George’s session proved to be totally inspirational for my students. The 3 hr workshop was superb and expertly delivered, cutting the balance between disciplined, rigorous work and fun perfectly. Along with some highly useful practical exercises, George delivered a short, captivating performance which allowed the students to see Berkoff’s style in practice. His knowledge and passion, and the fact that he’d worked with Berkoff, gave George’s session real credibility, leaving my students totally inspired and spurred them on to produce some of the best GCSE practical work I’ve seen in 13 years of teaching.

I would recommend these sessions to anyone.

James Anderson, Head of Drama, Bristol Cathedral School, Bristol
November 2013

“George Dillon’s workshops are an important experience for both our GCSE and KS5 Drama students to explore physical theatre from a talented and knowledgeable performer. They always enjoy the sessions and leave buzzing with energy and ideas. As teachers, our skills are updated and we can begin coursework confident that every student has detailed and well-researched examples to include.

Susannah Otley, Head of Drama, St Dunstan’s College, Catford
November 2013

“My A-level students learnt a great deal about the performance techniques influenced by Berkoff and Artaud. They have since encorporated many of these physical techniques into their performance work and have become better performers with a more varied repertoire. George’s workshop was fast-paced and combined anecdotes of famous practitioners with practical exploration. Highly recommended to build knowledge and performance experience for A-level students.

Ann-Marie Purcell, William Hulme’s Grammar School, Manchester
November 2013

“The pupils were mesmerised by Dillon’s performance and a combination of that and the workshop has resulted in very exciting practical work in class as they engage with the notion of making what is felt keenly, but usually suppressed, visible. The disciplines explored in the workshop have been embraced by the students and ‘commit to it’ is their current battle cry.

Sian Evans, Head of Drama, Ryde School, Ryde
November 2013

“The workshop you delivered was engaging, coherent and utterly relevant to what the pupils were doing. It provided them with the necessary spring broad for their subsequent work on Berkoff and their devised work has been far more creative and meaningful. So far, this year has been a bit of a Berkoff year in the department as a result of your visit, so thank you!

Juliet Fehr, Director of Drama, Highgate School, London
November 2013

“Thank you for an excellent workshop, which was pitched at just the right level to introduce students to physical theatre work and, in particular, the Berkoff style. All of my students discovered an appreciation for discipline in acting, and many of the initial exercises were excellent in encouraging them to just have a go and avoid being self-conscious. The improvisation work using a variety of pieces of music was also effective in demonstrating that powerful and engaging theatre can be created from just physicality. They were particularly impressed with the performance of your monologue at the end of the session, making reference to your focus, versatility and vocal range when evaluating the session after the event.

Justine Stephens, Head of Drama, Tudor Hall School, Banbury
November 2013

“Our students gained a lot of inspiration and ideas from your workshop and they certainly felt more able to engage with their Metamorphosis script in a Berkovian way in subsequent rehearsals. Your highly focused physical exercises also supported the work we are doing in drama and that has been a real benefit to us. You delivered your workshop to our Year 11 students and I would say it was suitable for this age group or sixth form.

Karen Lewis, Director of Drama, St Bede’s School, Hailsham
November 2013

“George Dillon workshops have become a regular and popular event at St Christopher School. An authority on Steven Berkoff and physical theatre, he is also an outstanding teacher who always tailors the workshops to suit the needs of staff and students.
This year, he worked with AS Level students studying Berkoff. As someone who has directed him, George can give privileged insights into Berkoff’s work. His “Introduction to Berkoff” workshop gave students a firm and highly enjoyable grounding in the key concepts of Berkovian performance style. He then returned later in the term to do a masterclass on the students’ production of Metamorphosis. His ideas and encouragement were invaluable and I’m pleased to say the whole cohort of students went on to get A grades with two gaining 100% on their performance.
He has also worked with students on their devised pieces. Again his professional insight is invaluable. He offers sound advice and practical suggestions which help students create excellent theatre and achieve outstanding results. George is an inspiration and students and staff alike at St Christopher School have benefited enormously from his work.

Hamish Wilson, Head of Drama, St Christopher School, Letchworth
June 2009

“Just a line to thank you again for yesterday’s workshop.  The feedback from the students has been extremely positive: they felt challenged, ennervated, enriched by the three hours they had with you, and it has already set the Sixth formers thinking about how they can incorporate that style of theatre into their forthcoming scripted pieces.  I enjoyed your easy rapport with them all, the discipline of the session, and the manner in which you challenged orthodoxies as required by curriculum exams.  A thoroughly excellent afternoon, which more than met my expectations and blew the kids’ Christmas cobwebs away. Many thanks.

Matt Smith, Head of Drama, Lancing College
January 2006

“George Dillon’s workshop was exciting and inspirational. Attuned to the needs of the students, he combined theory and practice in a stimulating and accessible way which provided the basis for outstanding A Level devised and scripted performances. The workshop was one of the highlights of the A level course and hopefully a key feature in the years to come.

Hamish Wilson, Head of Drama, St Christopher’s School, Letchworth
May 2006