East Enders star takes drama workshop at Burnt Mill Academy

Burnt Mill Academy / Tue 14th Oct 2014 at 11:13am

Gillian from East EndersBy Siobhan Wood

ACTRESS Gillian Wright, best known for her award winning performance as Jean Slater in EastEnders, today ran three different drama workshops for students at Burnt Mill Academy.

Gillian, 54, worked with Steven Berkoff in his play Religion and Anarchy in 2013 and used one of the workshops to share her experience with the students. “It is a physical hour and a half session; putting them through their paces and helping them understand what is required from Berkoff if you work with him in terms of style and voice.”

Pupils had the opportunity to perform the pieces they will be examined on in a month’s time to Gillian, who gave them a professional actress’ opinion, and learn how to be believable and act truthfully when working under pressure.

Gillian has done a lot of teaching at different levels. “It’s been a long time since I’ve taught or run a workshop so it’s enormously rewarding to be able to give something back.”

There are many differences between what it was like for Gillian when she started out as an actress and the experience of the students in her workshops today. “They’re learning stuff that I learnt at degree level for a start! They’ve got far more facilities. When I was their age it was a little subject taught in the sports hall by a passionate teacher. Now it’s earned its right to be here and be examined and put under the microscope, and it’s worthy.”

George Joyce, 13, of Church Langley, is a Burnt Mill Academy student who took part in one of the workshops. “My favourite part of the session was getting to perform in front of Gill and hear her feedback so I can improve and get better at what I want to do when I’m older. She told me to be confident, and that I was good.”

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