Living Pictures Book Clubs 2013

Living Pictures Book Clubs are workshops that mine the ideas and exercises from a theatre book in a practical environment.

Keep an eye out this year for a couple of interesting Book Clubs being set up by Living Pictures.


A group of directors and actors meet monthly and spend a weekend together, working practically to understand how the ideas in a given text can be applied to scenes from a play. These workshops are practical, peer-led and designed to test the ideas of a book rather than your own practice. Directors prepare a section of the book each and lead a session with the group which tests the ideas in that chapter. Actors learn a scene from a particular play, (these have included - The Seagull, As You Like It and Three Sisters) and come with an open mind to explore the ideas that the directors introduce.

Book Clubs are a fantastic opportunity to inform your process with the ideas of leading theatre practitioners, having gained a genuine understanding in an unpressurised rehearsal room environment. Book clubs also provide a forum for networking in a situation where focus is on gaining a shared understanding, rather than talking up your CV. They are an opportunity to work with new directors/ actors / writers and establish a common language with which we can talk about theatre.

Book Clubs have normally been run by Dan Barnard and Ben Webb, but we are now opening it out to others and would be interested in hearing from people who are keen to lead a book club. We are very grateful for the Jerwood Space's continued support of this venture. If you want to be a part in a Book Club or would like to suggest a book you'd like to lead on, then please do send an email to Nora Wardell, Directors Acting project Manager to:

Please include a paragraph or two about why looking at a particular book or being involved in a book club appeals to you and what you hope to get from the experience.

Feedback from previous book clubs has included:

Book clubs have really altered the way I direct
As an actor it is good to be constantly trying different ways of working: book club gives an opportunity to apply all the books that you read at drama school to a text and see if they work for you.
An opportunity to try ideas out in practice without the pressure of a production situation, as well as being able to watch and interact with other directors - both are invaluable and rare.

Book Club participants warm up

Exploring an exercise

Dan Barnard