"The course is intense and demanding, pushing, pulling and playfully engaging the artist in becoming more present"
Sophie Tyrrell - Graduate
What we do
The Performers’ Playground is an independent acting and theatre school based in Manchester.
We train and inspire actors, theatre makers and artists.
Our promise is to set you on your path towards artistic excellence, inspired acting and creative freedom.
Our training is playful, physical, intensive and exacting and you will leave us fitter, funnier and more free.
The course is based on our study with Philippe Gaulier, his contemporaries in the world of physical theatre and our explorations into the work of Michael Chekhov.
On the Performers’ Playground you will play, laugh, take risks, meet your limits and grow beyond them whilst releasing your pleasure, joy and imagination in ways that are waiting to be discovered.
For 8 intensive weeks you will train in a range of approaches to acting and theatre making including le jeu, (the game of theatre), neutral mask, playing with text, the ensemble, mask play, devising, clown, bouffon and more.
Ultimately the course asks you to go beyond the actor you think you are and grow towards the artist you aspire to be.
Our Alumni speak
The time I spent at the Performer’s Playground really allowed me to grow as an artist and truly believe in myself and my work. Mark and Alice’s unique passion, drive and sheer commitment to the game is what sets the playground apart from the rest.
It is a space where you can play, fuck up with confidence, get things wrong (and be ok with getting it wrong), laugh, cry, laugh some more, laugh a bit harder...laugh until your ribs are sore...
It has allowed me to find within myself the courage to make big choices, to find pleasure, be it on-stage or in my life and to find the light in the darkest of places.
It really is perspective shifting and I would recommend to everybody - actor or not.
Painter & Printmaker
A very accomplished painter visited my studio recently, and said in a wistful way that it looked like I had fun making my paintings. I replied 'I have found my pleasure'. Always grateful to Alice and Mark.
Student Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
This course gives you the ability to be fluent in pleasure and to find it in the most challenging circumstances. Alice and Mark are talented tutors that stretch your imagination. They create a family that has growth and ambition at its core, a playground like no other where anything is possible and infectious laughter is background noise. Ultimately they gift you with the tools to discover freedom, fun and play - attributes that will benefit any actor, comic, idiot, pet or human bean.
Performers Playground pushed protracted and prodded my previously pitiful portrayal of priceless peculiarity into stardom.....that is all"
P.S they are geniuses and now so am I"
Since leaving the Performers Playground I was able to study BA Physical Theatre at East 15 Acting School. Mark & Alice taught me a real sense of pleasure, playfulness and joy when performing onstage. I will always go onstage with ‘light in my eyes’ and for that alone, I am eternally grateful.
National Youth Theatre Rep Company
I have been gifted a lifelong understanding of the importance of having fun. Fun to try. Fun to play, and crucially, fun to fail. An understating that finding genuine pleasure in the choices I make on the stage will engage and enthral an audience has helped me develop a new approach to all aspects of theatre. I feel extremely lucky to be apart of the performers playground family, what I’ve been taught and what I discovered will stay with me in my work for the rest of my career. Merci.