Students learning how to fight with each other

Students Caitlin Maxwell-Sinclair and Aaron Raw (right) get a combat lesson from Rob Leonard
Students Caitlin Maxwell-Sinclair and Aaron Raw (right) get a combat lesson from Rob Leonard

Fights have been breaking out at a Lincolnshire college – but only all in the name of acting.

Performing arts students at North Lindsey College in Scunthorpe learnt the art of stage combat in a full day workshop.

The young actors had a remarkable, but unusual, class to develop their skills in stage combat and learning the art of stage safety, victim control techniques and reverse energy.

Tutor Rob Leonard came up from London to deliver the session to the students.

Rob has been a certified teacher since 2008, and was the BASSC (British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat) workshop co-ordinator for four years from 2011 to 2014.

He currently teaches at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and regularly deputises for, and co-teaches with, colleagues at RADA, Ithaca College and Drama Studio in London.

He is also an additional fight director on the RADA prize fights and has assisted on workshops for NT Connections at the National Theatre.

Phil Collingwood, College performing arts tutor, commented: “Rob is internationally renowned as one of the finest teachers of stage combat and has worked in exceptional drama schools.

“To have Rob here was a real coup for North Lindsey College and shows our ongoing commitment to providing the finest dramatic education we can.

“The students had the time of their lives and we are looking forward to Rob’s return in the new year – with swords!”

The students really engaged in the workshop which will help them in their roles in their next drama production of Macbeth.

Work throughout the day focused on holds, footing, grip, weight balance, winning, losing and vocals.

Mollie Slack, one of the students who took part, said: “The workshop was really fun and energising.

“We were told we would have combat training but I didn’t realise it would be as hands-on as it was.

“It will really help me in the future to put the actions in place that we have learnt without hurting anyone.”