3 Week Short Course

Course Details

Monday 29 November, 6, 13 December

19:00 – 22:00 each night

Course Description

Viewpoints as we use them at Fourth Monkey can take many forms, many directions… depending on the particular class and the particular practitioner.


The system is used by theatre companies all over the world – often functioning as a way to enhance team-work and ensemble devising work – and/or as a rehearsal tool for an existing play.


Coined by Anne Bogart and Tina Landau in the US, from work pioneered by Mary Overlie, Viewpoints gives the artist a clear method of working with small or larger groups of performers.


The way Jan Knightley uses Viewpoints is as a starting point for physical and vocal explorations and open improvisations during which performers unlock their abilities to create instant improvised choreography and soundscapes which exercise the whole human instrument (body and voice together).


Often, participants discover aspects of their creative selves that had not previously been realised or unlocked.

Viewpoints is sometimes social, choral and revelatory.   It can enhance creativity and self confidence.

Mostly, Viewpoints (in this incarnation) is fun, energetic and cathartic.

Come and play in an inclusive, non-judgemental, sensitive and slightly unhinged setting!

Bring your body, breath, voice and open heart!

Jan came across The Viewpoints while working as a performer (both in Shakespeare and in devised shows) in the United States. All aspects of this system might feel familiar to every performer. The Viewpoints way gives us names for the familiar things. The narrowing down and focussing of aspects of the human being in time and space. They form a very useful, practical, physical and simple system of studio techniques for regular practice, devising and performing.

Jan began his general training with Yat Malmgren at Drama Centre London in the early 1980s. Yat was a colleague of Rudolph Laban – Jan still uses Laban’s 8 Effort Actions (as well The Viewpoints) every day in his work. Jan developed an interest in physical theatre – as well as in Shakespeare. Jan has had a 40-year career as a performer – all over the world – always searching for the simple, demystified and accessible beauty to be found in simple human truths.

Jan since trained to be a voice practitioner (MA Voice Studies at RCSSD), and now specialises in the voice and the body. Jan is a Performer, Acting Coach, Voice Coach and Personal Trainer.

Jan has worked at most of the well-known theatres in the UK: (RSC, RNT, Globe etc…) and in the US: (Shakespeare Theater, D.C., Folger Theater, American Shakespeare Center etc…), but the most interesting work, for Jan, has been in the truly egalitarian ensemble companies – the ones who devise original pieces from nothing except a starting place of passion and courage.

Viewpoints work is all about humans in space and time – whoever they are.

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