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Grow Your Own Solo Show.

Hi, and welcome to Grow Your Own Solo Show.
A course for you to develop your show,
grow your performance and get your ideas out there.
                       In no time at all, with our help, you’ll be on stage, in front of your audience, sharing your work.                                                                              
It (the showcase) was a night for me to remember for sure. I’m pinching myself. 
Thank you so much for the course. I  couldn’t imagine on that first night that I’d have written a short play (rather than just a scene or two) and pull it off on stage without set, props or anything bar the music. Sarah Hickingbottom (The Woman Who Conceived the Pill, 2017)

We’ve worked with over 50 students since 2012, and turned out many, many successful shows, including award winners, new commissions and multi-star reviews.

“Jonathan, I cannot thank you enough for unlocking something 
in

me that has been laying stagnant for so long. 
Your course has enabled me to write my story with confidence.  Your attention to detail allowed me to focus on the characters and what they wanted to say. I was encouraged to write from the heart, no matter how it would come out and that’s just what I did. Thanks to you, I have now been commissioned not only as an actor but also as a writer. I would recommend this course to anyone who has a story to tell.”  Lorna Gayle 2017 (“Nine Night”)

About the course:

5-week course (Brighton / Lewes)
Next Set: 5 Afternoons, Fortnightly, Sats, starting Early Jan (9th?) 2021 – (£220) (Book Now)

5-week course (London, Cockpit) – Next  set: TBC
  (usually £310)

SPECIAL RESIDENTIAL (The Balkan Retreat, Serbia) – 

June (exact dates tbc) 2021 £695 (tbc)  (€815) (accommodation and meals included)   INFO of postponed course HERE

Whether it be a monologue / theatre piece, one-person show, stand up, performance poetry, solo improvised theatre, devised or visual theatre, forum theatre, theatrical  memoir or storytelling, this course will help you move from page to stage and beyond. 

“Found this course so helpful, so much fabulous support and input not only from Jonathan but also all the other talented participants. Turned what can be a lonely business into one where I learned much, laughed lots and achieved far more than I hoped. Can’t recommend it enough. If ya thinking about it DO IT!!!” Lianne Campbell, 2016 (“Lessons From Leela”)

 

 

We help you with:

Writing & re-drafting material (or sourcing a writer / script).
Finding editors & sounding boards ( or adapting a script).
Performance skills & techniques.
Test your material with supportive peers
Working with a Director.
Technical & Backstage considerations.
Booking venues, (inc. Register with “The Fringe”)
Publicity, including….
Designing, Printing, distributing,
Dealing with Press, Media & Social Media, & the Web.
Arranging ticketing, & front of house.
The Premiere
Collecting & Using feedback.

“I did Jonathan’s course in 2015…it was exactly what I needed to spring an idea I’d had for a long time into action.
I needed deadlines to meet and a safe encouraging environment.
I created a show called ‘Delphine’,
I took the show to Brighton and Edinburgh fringes and will soon be performing
it in New York. Jonathan gives well balanced guidance influenced from his own experiences.
He offers handy tips and direction but the creation of the show itself is your job
which was perfect for what I needed. Just the right amount of assistance in a small group environment which was very supportive.” Clare Rebekah Pointing 2015 (“Delphine”)

The course culminates in a scratch* performance of your work in front of an invited audience, and a debrief afterwards.
(*A 15-20 minute snippet of your work) (NB: The Serbian course has different showcase arrangements. Check the link for details)

Many participants have also gone on to participate in our Lewes Festival of Solo Theatre.     You could too.

“Jb’s course was the springboard I needed to take my seed of an idea from a dream to an award-winning solo show. 
Without his forceful nudges, positive support and playful but practical approach, it would not have happened. I’m very grateful.”  Kate Darach, Moontales. 2014/2015 (and performer 2019 Festival of Solo Theatre)

“The Best £300 I have ever spent.” Olivia Nicholson, Hens/Hyenas Summer 2019 (and performer 2019 Festival of Solo Theatre)

The usual shape of the course, broadly, looks like this:

      1. Writing / Devising / editing / getting it on its feet
      2. Performance / directors / tech & backstage
      3. Publicity / Admin / Promotion
      4. Gathering the threads. Putting it together.
      5. Showcase!

“It was on your Create Your Own One Person Show course in 2012 that
I first had the courage to stand in front of an audience as Bernard Shaw. (Winner Argus Angel Award 2013, and toured internationally since). I’ll always be grateful that you and your workshop gave me the courage to start and the confidence to go on with (my) show.” Paddy O’Keeffe.

LEWES / BRIGHTON

Next Set: Jan 9th x 5 Sat Afternoons (£220) 

Venue: Lewes.
Limited spaces. 6 people maximum.
You need to book in advance to be assured a place.
There is some scope for spreading payments for this set.
Contact JB for more info.

COCKPIT . LONDON

Next  set: TBC
Venue: The Cockpit, Gateforth St, Marylebone, London. £310
Limited spaces. 6 people maximum.
You need to book in advance to be assured a place.

SPECIAL RESIDENTIAL (The Balkan Retreat, Serbia) 

(exact 2021 dates tbc) June 2021 £695 (tbc)  (€815) (accommodation and meals included)  INFO HERE


“I really enjoyed the course,  it gave me the confidence to test a piece of work in progress, something I definitely wouldn’t have done by myself.  The most useful elements of the course were the writing prompt exercises, which I still have and use, and also being able to test extracts of work in a safe and supportive environment which provided critical feedback.” Lucy Bailey. 2012.

If you’d said ‘one woman show’ to me a year ago I would have told you to go do one.
Two very wonderful women in my witchy circle whispered the name ‘Jonathan Brown’ to me.
You need to go work with him they cackled.
Jonathan helps you realise a show is built up out of managable sections.
On the final performance day we all flew. As if by magic.
The word Grow is in his courses title. He won’t let you stay small.
Anna Atkinson, “The Arrow of Tarot” 2020

More info / Ask questions

“Jonathan is a master of blocking – an extremely tricky issue with solo shows where the actor is interacting with people onstage without their being there physically!” Terianne Falcone, “Good Grief” 2015

About Jonathan Brown:
Jonathan has been performing since 2000, writing and performing one-person shows since 2006, and writing, performing & directing plays for casts since 2011, receiving 5 & 4 Star reviews, and awards…

“Initially, when I took part in the course in 2014, I worked on presenting some of the children’s stories I had written and was already using as a storyteller.
Jonathan encouraged me to stretch myself to write and perform something entirely new. He was, of course, right.
I brought along a monologue I had written but had not been confident about performing and with Jonathan’s guidance and the incredibly supportive environment of the group, I was able to develop and perform it. The constructive feedback from Jonathan, the others on my course and from experienced practitioners at our showcase gave me the confidence to complete the piece and it became – ‘Pulling Up The Drawbridge’ my first one man show.
With further support from Jonathan, I was able to perform my show at The Brighton Fringe the following year and have since performed the piece at other venues in Sussex. I’m now writing my next one!” David Stephens, 2014, “Pulling Up The Drawbridge”

Contact Jonathan Brown

 

“It was a night for me to remember for sure. I’m pinching myself. Thank you so much for the course. I couldn’t imagine on that first night that I’d have written a short play (rather than just a scene or two) and pull it off on stage without set, props or anything bar the music. Thanks again for such a scary-but-wow month” Sarah H. “The Woman Who Conceived the Pill” 2017

“The course was exactly what I was looking for. It pushed me to devise my own piece while teaching me the ins and outs of making a one person show. I had amazing support and really useful feedback and everybody came out with a good base to work from. I thoroughly enjoyed the course. Only wish I could have another go!”
Peggy Denimal Nightingale 2014

“The feedback from Jonathan and the participants helped me brush up my audience interaction skills so that I completely rewrote the first scene in a way that was much more friendly and engaging for the audience. His experience in putting on one person shows is extensive and his acting varied and skillfull, which make him an engaging tutor. It was well worth taking part. Jonathan’s course brought together a fascinating range of writers and performers and it was a pleasure to see them develop their ideas and put them on as professional shows.” John Hoggett. 2014. (“Homophobe in the Head”)

“I went on the “Create Your Own One Person Show” course in 2014. Jonathan’s course provided me with a believing audience, willing me to succeed in embodying my vision live on stage. I found it scary, exciting and supportive. Jonathan is a unique performer himself with a wide experience & creative vision. If you have an inkling towards making solo performance, even if your ideas seem a bit elusive and your self belief’s a bit shaky, I’d definitely recommend diving in and having a go. I’m currently working with the material I devised in the course.” Catherine Higgins 2014. “Nance”

“I really got a lot out of the course. Writing and creating your own show where you play all the characters, something I’ve never done before, was a big ask, but the process was facilitated really well and I felt supported and challenged which is necessary – sometimes gently challenged and sometimes not so gently but if we are performers in our own one person show then we are potentially going to receive all sorts so I really appreciated it, even if I squirmed at the time! Hearing the feedback from the scratch night where everyone really loved the story I produced was amazing. If I could do it again, I think I would definitely do more work outside of the course on all the material, so I could concentrate on the performance aspect within the course.” Suzanne Crosby, 2012. 

I can heartily recommend joining Jonathan Brown on his Creating Your One Person Show Course.
The course is well-structured, fun and challenges you in a supportive way to give you the confidence to kick-start the process on making your own work. Since participating in the course, I have gone on to write my own show: Procrastinators Anonymous, and despite occasionally being stuck in the research side of this process(!),
I am excited to be developing this further, with a view to perform it in due course. As a seasoned performer and writer of his own work, not only is Jonathan Brown a fantastic resource himself, it is also great to dive into this creative and challenging process with other performers and like-minded folk.
Miranda Morris. 2015. “Procrastinators Anonymous.”

If you’d said ‘one woman show’ to me a year ago I would have told you to go do one.
Two very wonderful women in my witchy circle whispered the name ‘ Jonathan Brown’ to me.
You need to go work with him they cackled. Before heading off on their broom sticks.
Then one late stormy January Wednesday night, of not heing able to sleep before for my full teaching day, a facebook advert for ‘ Grow Your Own solo show’ popped up, with none other than the infamous JB.
2020 for reasons you can probably imagine, has been a bit of a ‘fuck it’ year for me.
Fuck it and say yes. We might all die of Covid anyway.
So I signed up. With zero acting / script writing experience.
Jonathan helps you realise a show is built up out of managable sections.
When I told him I had an innate disability with learning lines he simply didn’t believe me and told me to get on and learn them. I surprised myself and did. On the dress rehearsal I went home in tears. I can’t do this.
Jonathan had pushed me to the edge ( because he knew, presumably, I would likely fly).
I actually don’t think he did know but he took the risk of pushing us all anyway.
He would be prepared each session to be bad cop just to get us to take more performance risks. Risking us showing ourselves. On the final performance day we all flew. As if by magic. The audience cheered and blew a sigh of relief as they all thought they were going to have to lie to us and say,’ it was good’. Instead they were all pleasantly surprised.
It was ‘ actually great’ said my husband who was dreading the afternoon having seen me pull my hair out several times about which props to keep and discard.
The word Grow is in his courses title. He won’t let you stay small.
Anna Atkinson, “The Arrow of Tarot” 2020

 

Some Past Titles and Blurbs:

Loyse de Pury “Eggspiry Date”
Loulou feels like a ticking bomb.
The big 4-0 is approaching fast.
She needs your help to make crucial decisions about her eggs!
Before she becomes out of date…
Your presence is essential.

Olivia Nicholson: The Hen Coop
It’s Kirstys hen do. And a weekend stuck with a bunch of strangers is just what you need to let off steam. But how do you tell your best mate that her fiance is a prick? Infact, how do you tell everyone they’re all pricks? Oh that’s easy, with tequila of course.

Jessica Forrest: Yummy Mummy
Ophelia’s days of roaming around South West London like an organic flax seed dancing around a Nutribullet are officially over. The nanny is sick, her husband’s away again and as for the dog…he would rather stay in the kennel. Pop on your listening ears and your quiet lips as we divulge into this harrowing hole of motherhood. Oh, and whatever you do, don’t wake the baby!

Nick Cohen: “Life Without Oscar”
Nick’s career is okay… RSC, BBC… But he wants more! So he flies to LA and lives with an Academy Award winner, desperate for his own Oscar. But the passion Oscar incites can be very dangerous….

Jacquie Hummelbird: “Laraine, Loos, pies, mops etcetera” (working title)
Laraine works in a loo and is fed up with her life…she’s bothered by her snobby supervisor, feels stifled by her xenophobic pie loving husband, and takes responsible for her naive sister -will all of them going to Gibraltar solve her malaise?

Nine Night by Lorna Gayle
Martha is asked to host her best friend’s Nine Night. The past comes back to haunt her as she bumps into some of the guests. Will she be able to contain her tainted memories? Or will grief get the better of her.
A play about grief, friendship and loyalty

Fashioning A Dream by Paulette Harris-German
60s Britain was a harsh and hostile place, but, no match for the sunny disposition of Miss Florence, Can she rise to her calling or will tragedy steal her dream.Paulette

 Miranda Morris: “Procrastinators Anonymous”
Frustrated with her apparent inability to write her one-woman show, Jane joins a support group for people who are perpetual procrastinators and whose lives are permanently put on hold as a result. At these meetings Jane comes face-to-face with different facets of her procrastination and learns why she needs to eat a frog every day so eventually she can climb out of the quagmire of inertia. 2015Lianne Campbell: “And the winner is…” (‘Lessons from Leela’)
With confidence boosted by a fabulous experience in a Karaoke bar, a dancer decides to spread her wings and audition for a dance part in a West End show. A show that requires her to, um, sing. The dance section of the audition complete, she swaggers through to wow the auditioners with her new found “voice skills”. Will she fall or fly!? 2015

Clare Rebekah Pointing: “Delphine” (Working Title) ‘Hello, my name is Delphine, my mum says its french chic but I like it because my favourite animal is a Dolphin’
Delphine is 30 and up until now the possibility of falling in love has only ever existed in her imagination. Now something has happened and Delphine must finally face the joys and difficulties of adult freedom. 2015

Sarah Charsley: “Ghost Sex”:. Having a lot of sex with people who subsequently disappear? What is the obvious explanation? Sarah knows. 2015

Kristina Howell: “Cul-de-sac” Single, childless, and now the sole remaining member of her family, Caitlin feels at a dead end. Following her mother’s funeral, she returns to clear and sell her parents‘ house – the house she grew up in, in the cul-de-sac of her childhood. Here she finds tough memories and troublesome belongings. Overwhelmed by stuff, can she take possession of herself? 2015Terianne Falcone: “My Mother, The Shoe, My Dad and The Motorcycle Accident.” Four true stories from Terianne’s life. Funny and not-so-funny. 2015

Catherine Higgins: “Nance”.
British/Australian Catherine Higgins grew up in the first inland town settled in Australia in 1815. To mark the 200 anniversary of settlement, Higgins travels back on the journey of her ancestors and meets the extraordinary Nance Ferrel on the way. 2014

Kate Darach: “Moon Tales”:
Thirteen tales based on the old names for the full moons, muse on the particular and universal aspects of womanhood. Each chapter is a different character whose story interweaves with the others. From 16th Century Yorkshire to the affluent ‘burbs of Johannesburg, from a middle-aged femme fatale in Hunter’s Moon to a teenage porn star in Milk Moon, these are dark, witty, disturbing and thought-provoking statements of what it is to be a woman, across time and place. “They say we’re creating the problem…a ‘culture of mistrust’. He’ll change his mind when he steps out and gets carjacked, won’t he?” (From Moon Tales) 2014

David Stephens: “Pulling Up The Drawbridge.”
Soup, spiders and fruit – is this what it means to be English? There’s an earthquake coming … Can you feel it? George can and it might shake the land from under his feet. Things ain’t what they used to be. it’s time to wake up and smell the soup, but only Tomato will do.George has had enough of talentless talent shows, antisocial spiders and fruit with too many seeds. The fear of losing what it means to be English has driven him to the edge, literally, and from his cliff-top tent he is going to defend his island against whoever or whatever may be coming. Everyone else was too busy watching telly. 2014

John Hoggett: “Homophobe in the Head” 2014