Literature and Drama in Dore - 17/04/2015

Focus On ........ Literature and Drama in Dore

In this issue “Focus On .........” looks at Literature and Drama in Dore.

The Workers Education Association Literature class

The WEA has been running a literature class in Dore for over 20 years now, with topics ranging from ‘Literature of the American South’ to ‘Children’s Literature’. The most recent subject, ‘Conceptualising the Home in English Literature’, has been popular amongst members of the group and current tutor Carly Stevenson is already planning for the next course, which is due to start in September. Typically, these courses run for 12 weeks and the group meet every Wednesday from 10am – 12pm (with a coffee break in the middle) at Dore Parish Church. Course prices can be found on the WEA website. This sociable, friendly group is perfect for anyone interested in gaining a deeper appreciation of prose, poetry and drama. For further information, contact Carly via email:

Drama for the Terrified

If you have wondered whether acting is for you, but have been wondering how to begin, then a new course “Drama for the Terrified” may be just what you are looking for. “Drama for the Terrified” is a seven week introductory course for beginners. No prior experience is necessary. Under the guidance of Tutor Barry Nicholls, you could join a relaxed, friendly and confidence building course for people interested in exploring and practising drama skills. There will be exercises and improvisational games designed to release the thespian inside you. All you need to bring is an open mind and wear loose, comfortable clothing. Classes commence on Monday 1st June 2014 at St. John's Church Hall, Abbeydale Road South, Sheffield, S17 3LE from 1 – 3 pm. The cost is £45.50 for the seven week course but free for people on benefits.

Abbeydale Writers

If you have ever felt that you wanted to write your memoirs, poems, short stories, plays or even a novel then Abbeydale Writers might just be the place to start. Barry Nicholls has been the tutor of this group of ambitious writers for the last 30 years. They meet once a week in a convivial and encouraging atmosphere to discuss each other's work in a critical but highly constructive way. Over the years, many of the writers have written merely for their own pleasure but some have seen their work published. The writing group has also been a stepping stone for some writers to join the MA Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. The group (which is under the auspices of the Workers' Educational Association) meets for three 11 week terms a year on Tuesday evenings from 7 – 9 pm at Totley United Reformed Church, Totley Brook Road, Sheffield S17 3QS. The cost is £71.50 per term or free for people on benefits. Newcomers are always very welcome. For more information see the Abbeydale Writers website at or contact Barry Nicholls on 01909 560887.

Helen O’Grady Drama Academy

Nick Chadwin has been running drama classes in the Church Hall on Townhead Road since 2007. Nick comments “I have been an actor since completing my postgraduate course at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts. I have appeared on television and in films but the theatre is where my heart is. For many years I ran Sheffield’s Compass Theatre Company with Neil Sissons. We toured throughout the UK, Europe and Asia. Touring theatre is a fine tradition but I wasn’t seeing much of Sheffield or my family! So, in 2003 I joined the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy.

The Helen O’Grady Drama Academy was established over 35 years ago in Western Australia. Classes were started in village halls and community centres to offer children of all ages a unique programme of drama designed to encourage their confidence, communication skills and self esteem. The original philosophy of drama being a wonderful vehicle to enhance children’s understanding of themselves and others still stands firm: our classes are fun, energetic and structured – we provide a non-competitive environment where children can develop at their own pace while discovering their own personality. Drama helps towards their social and emotional development and assists their language acquisition.

For two of the three terms each year we run classes every Saturday from 2-3pm for primary aged students and from 3-4pm for teenagers. We hope to be starting a new class for adults soon. The summer term is especially exciting! Each class rehearses a short play which we will perform at the beautiful Lantern Theatre in the first weekend of July.

Although it is certainly the case that several of our students have gone on to successful careers in the theatre, we are not just a stage school.

We can be contacted on 01142 559100 or emailed at . Alternatively we have a local website for Sheffield:, the national website is and we even have a Facebook page which can be found at

Footnote - If you have suggestions for articles in this series please let me know.

Keith Shaw, Assistant Editor