British National Stage Combat Workshop 2023
30 Years of Excellence!
Booking Now Open!
Join the British Academy of Stage & Screen Combat as we celebrate 30 years of excellence in action training at the British National Stage Combat Workshop 2023!
The BNSCW is a 2-week intensive training course, led by experienced stage combat teachers, and concluding with the opportunity to gain internationally recognised equity certification.
But the BNSCW is so much more! Network with industry professionals, attend our lunchtime lecture series, have a picnic in the beautiful local grounds, and get involved in a range of evening and weekend social activities with your fellow students. With discounted accommodation available for workshop attendees, this isn’t just professional development – it’s your summer adventure holiday for 2023!
Monday 21st – Friday 25th August 2023
Monday 28th August - Saturday 2nd September 2023
Time: 9.00am – 5.30 pm
No classes on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August
Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance
Lamorbey Park, Burnt Oak Lane, Sidcup, Kent, DA15 9DF
Weapons: Unarmed, Rapier & Dagger
Entry Requirements: None! This course is suitable for complete beginners, for experienced stage fighters who have never studied these weapons before, or for returning students looking to review and improve their skills.
Unarmed combat is the most commonly requested stage combat skill. Even roles with no “fights” frequently call upon actors to slap, punch, push and struggle with each other. Learning to do so safely and convincingly is a fundamental skill in any performer’s arsenal.
Rapier & Dagger training is a tour-de-force in the art of sword-based stage combat. Use both right and left hands for attack and defence, with a weapon whose edge is as deadly as its point! A staple of European martial history, this versatile weapon system will give you a strong foundation for any sword-work in your career.
Weapons: Knife, Smallsword
Entry Requirements: Students must have certified in Unarmed Combat and Rapier & Dagger with the BASSC or done equivalent recognised training with another organisation. Further details here.
The humble knife is ubiquitous throughout history, and is one of the most common weapons an action performer will find themselves called upon to use. Get up close and personal with this fast and vicious weapon!
Elegant, graceful, and deadly, the smallsword is the weapon of aristocrats and gentlefolk. Learn to duel with style as you explore the complex techniques of this precursor to modern fencing.
Fees & Booking
All prices are in total and cover both weeks of training on either the Basic workshop or the Intermediate/Advanced workshop. We are offering a range of discounts this year:
Early Bird – book before Monday 26th June to get 10% off.
Returning Student/Membership Discount – BASSC members/returning students from previous BNSCWs get 10% off
Refer a Friend Discount – returning students who refer a friend will get an additional 5% off.
These discounts stack!
Full ticket price – £899
Early Bird Discount or Returning Student/Membership Discount – £809
Early Bird Discount and Returning Student/Membership Discount – £719
Refer a friend to get an additional £45 off your ticket price (Given as a refund once both students have signed up and paid in full.) Contact Workshops@bassc.org to claim your refund.
Can’t afford it now? Pay a deposit of £150 now and pay the balance nearer the time. To receive Early Bird Discount you must pay the balance before Monday 26th June.
All bookings come with a free BASSC T-shirt! Don't forget to list your size when you book.
Travel & Amenities
Our venue is Rose Bruford College, set in the beautiful surroundings of Lamorbey Park, Sidcup. For our workshop we’ll be using some of their premier quality rehearsal rooms which open out on to the gardens where, if the weather is good, we can rehearse and train.
The area is only 30 minutes on public transport from central London stations and is served by a regular train service, as well as local buses. The college itself is a 10-minute walk from the station, with free on-site parking for students who wish to drive to the workshop.
There is a cafeteria on-site, and shops, restaurants, takeaway food and pubs close to campus. There is even a leisure centre next door if you’ve still got the energy after class!
We have arranged discounted local accommodation for BNSCW students at Rose Bruford's student hall of residence, Christopher Court. Right opposite Sidcup station, and only a 10-minute walk from the venue, the residence is perfectly-placed for workshop attendance and exploration further afield!
You will have a private single room with en suite shower and a communal kitchen within a flat of six rooms; great for getting to know your fellow students. There are laundry facilities and free wifi. All bedding and towels are provided.
Accommodation is available at the discounted rate of £300 per week for BNSCW students. Please email Workshops@bassc.org if you are interested in booking accommodation and we'll provide you with further information and a link to the Christopher Court online store where you can book your room.
Please note that accommodation places are strictly limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please book early to secure a room.
Day One – We’ll start with a day of getting to know the venue, each other and the weapon systems. Beginners will learn the basics of safety in stage combat, whilst returning students will review their skills in the context of the new weapon systems they are studying. After class, there will be an evening social to kick off the workshop properly!
Week One – You will learn a range of stage combat techniques, focusing on how to do them safely, as well as how to make the illusions convincing for an audience. In addition to technical work, you will undertake exercises to start bringing character and spectacle into your performances, taking the step from “waving swords around” to really wowing your audience! This will culminate in an afternoon of cross-workshop activity on the first Friday to round-off the first week together.
Middle Weekend - No regular classes so a chance to explore London and the surrounding area with your new friends!
Week Two – We will take the lessons learned in the first week and apply them to creating a complete performance. You will pair up to choose a short dramatic scene and learn a fight choreography for each weapon system, which you will perform as your characters, moving conceptually from being students in a classroom to actors in a rehearsal space.
The Final Saturday – It’s exam day! You will dazzle on stage in front of an audience of your peers and a BASSC examiner, who will be an experienced professional fight director active in the industry. We will hold a certification ceremony, and then go out and celebrate together.
Throughout – Alongside the main classes we will be running a variety of structured and unstructured lunchtime and evening activities. The exact programme is still being decided, but expect lunchtime lectures, picnics in the park, quiz night, and more! We'll keep you updated here on the website and on our social media pages so click on our social media icons and follow us so you don't miss out on what's happening.
Why Stage Combat?
The art of safely simulating violence is fundamental to an actor. Even plays and films with no “fights” are littered with violent action – slapping, pushing, falling, restraining, and even a lot of slapstick comedy – and being able to take these in their stride in a safe and convincing way is a core skill for performers. The ability to perform stage combat opens up not merely many roles, but entire industries of work (e.g. SPACT, motion capture) for a professional actor.
Furthermore, an actor in a fight must portray the ultimate duality: They must be externally seen to be 100% committed to causing harm, usually through surrendering to powerful emotions of anger or fear, and yet internally they must be 100% in control and monitoring themselves in order to keep everyone involved safe. Stage combat therefore pushes actors to develop self-control under pressure in a way that no other exercise can.
This is a view shared by the most prestigious drama schools in the UK and abroad, as evidenced by their ubiquitous offer of stage combat classes as part of their curriculum.
Why The BASSC?
Still undecided on why you should come to the BNSCW? Considering other workshops, other organisations? Check out our credentials.
Some BASSC Fun Facts:
We were founded in 1993 so we've been improving the standards of safety, quality and training in stage combat for 30 years.
We are respected, both nationally and internationally, as the leading provider of professional level stage combat training in the UK.
Since 1993, we've trained over 9,000 students for certification in the BASSC syllabus weapons systems. The majority of these were at UK drama schools, colleges and universities but we've also trained students in the USA, Canada, Germany, Spain, Finland, Switzerland, Russia and Ukraine.
We have teachers based in: the UK, the USA, Spain, Finland, Italy, Latvia and Russia.
British Equity recognises the BASSC’s Advanced Certificate as a valid qualification for entry onto the Equity Fight Directors’ Training scheme for candidates applying to join the Equity Fight Directors’ Register, which is the highest qualification a fight director can achieve in the UK.
Spotlight, the UK film, TV and theatre industry's leading casting platform, recognises BASSC weapon certifications and the BASSC classifications of actor/combatant, intermediate, and advanced actor/combatant, as specific listings for proof of actors’ stage combat skills.
Our Fight Directors have worked regularly for major international and UK companies including: the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre, The Royal Opera House and TV, film companies and streaming services like Amazon and Netflix.
We don't like to name drop but we've trained or worked with in productions some seriously BIG names.