‘Movement psychology’ – that’s the term given to the acclaimed acting technique originated by Rudolf Laban, then refined by Yat Malmgren and Christopher Fettes. The acting technique that produced luminaries such as Colin Firth, Penelope Wilton, Tom Hardy and Emilia Clarke. The acting technique that the Giles Foreman Centre for Acting puts at the heart of everything it does.
Founded in 2012 to continue the work instigated at the famous Drama Centre London, the Giles Foreman Centre for Acting is the entertainment industry’s best kept secret – a professional acting academy in the heart of the capital, offering a range of classes and courses for all abilities, overseen by one of the world’s leading exponents of movement psychology, Foreman himself.
“Of course, we teach the basics – how to open up as an actor, how to use your own resources, how to analyse scenes, how to technically improve your voice and your body – but none of that gives you a means to analyse who someone really is, and how to transform yourself into that person,” says Foreman. “Our unique, extraordinary approach gives you real tools with which to do that as well.”
“It’s originally based on the work of the psychologist Carl Jung,” he explains. “He was fascinated by how people process information differently – through body, intellect, intuition and emotion – and how that affects the way they move, walk and talk. Our acting method provides actors with instruments to reproduce those processes and to create entirely different beings as a result.”
The centre offers two full-time, intensive courses – a nine-month foundation acting diploma and a 16-month advanced diploma – as well as a range of part-time programmes, one-to-one coaching options, workshops and masterclasses. Whatever your level of expertise as an actor – whether you’re a complete beginner thinking about further study, or a seasoned and successful professional – Giles Foreman will be able to help you hone your craft and kickstart your career.
“The full-time advanced diploma is probably the most intensive and rigorous course of its kind anywhere,” says Foreman. “We also run intense four-week workshops in April and August that attract professionals from all over the world and we have a whole array of part-time and short courses for all levels. There’s something for everyone.”
Courses are taught by Foreman himself, and by his crack team of experienced acting coaches. There’s Janet Amsden, who became Malmgren’s assistant at Drama Centre London and has taught his method internationally ever since, as well as maintaining her successful acting-directing career. There’s legendary movement coach Liana Nyquist, who also assisted Malmgren and has trained scores of successful actors, including Tom Hardy.
There’s veteran screen actor Grant Masters, whose screen credits include the Mike Leigh film Secrets and Lies, roles in many popular TV series, and current cinema release Dark Encounter. And, at the heart of the centre, from the beginning, there’s Lindsay Richardson, opera singer and actor, who teaches, coaches and directs, all while coordinating the work of GFCA London and its sister branch in Paris.
And then there’s Foreman himself, one of Europe’s leading acting coaches, whose career began at the Drama Centre alongside Helen McCrory and John Simm, then blossomed to encompass acting in the West End, producing Oscar-nominated short films, and advising on movies all over the world. Along the way, he’s taught Gwendoline Christie, Ryan Gage, Santiago Cabrera and hundreds more.
“I’ve been around a long time,” he laughs. “And we have wonderful staff teaching alongside me, and then we have all sorts of directors and industry professionals coming in for showcases, Q&As and more. A lot of the alumni are doing amazingly well in the industry and they come back to talk and to set up projects too. We’re like a family.”
GFCA is so conveniently located, it’s no wonder alumni are eager to return. Its bright, modern facilities are situated in central Soho, alongside London’s top acting agencies, casting directors and production companies and surrounded by dozens of West End venues with all the world-class theatre they have to offer.
“It’s a friendly place, but it’s intense as well,” says Foreman. “We’re a small community and we have lots of fun, particularly at the end-of-term parties, but we’re always professional, with a strong work ethic. GFCA is a place for people who want to achieve.”
For more information on courses offered by the Giles Foreman Centre For Acting, visit gilesforeman.com.