Liberation of Acting


by Peter Bridgmont

Welcome to the Liberation of Acting website. Here Peter Bridgmont offers a wealth of insight into acting and the theatre, free to all who feel passionate about live theatre. It is a distillation of over 60 years experience. There are 26 studies offering tools and insights in the form of classes and exercises you can do on your own or with colleagues, or perhaps use them to teach students.

Below you will find a foreword by Mark Rylance, and a preface by Peter, to the 26 classes. If they appeal, try the 'Preview Classes PDF' as a further taster, or the 'All Classes PDF' download. All free of charge.

The Chrysalis

For an impression of the author and his training, have a look at The Chrysalis, a short documentary about the acting school Peter and his wife Barbara ran for nearly 25 years. Made by Spanish director Alvaro Ramos. It won the Best Documentary award at the High Desert International Film Festival (US).

The Gift

Barbara wrote many poems, one of which was recently set to music and performed by Susan Raven. (

Edward Gordon Craig

Edward Gordon Craig was one of the giants of 20th century theatre and his ideas were a great inspiration for Peter and Barbara. They visited Craig in France and corresponded with him over several years. Listen to an interview with Peter about meeting Craig, and have a look at the letters the great man wrote to him.

A Short Film: A Short Film

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FOREWORD by Mark Rylance

Peter and Barbara Bridgmont made a profound difference to my persona as an actor with their teaching about voice and speech. I use the word 'persona' carefully, as they taught me how to move with sound, through sound, persona. In our visual-material age, sound is the great undiscovered or forgotten land for actors and audiences. Reason and Emotion are all very well in speech, much needed, but with Peter and Barbara I learnt of the limbs of speech, the feet, the legs, the arms, the great will and beautiful spirit to move with speech. Just as a marvellous javelin thrower wills his spear down the pitch to the winning distance and harnesses every muscle necessary in perfect balance to achieve his aim, so, when appropriate, we speak in space and silence. It was a lucky day for me when I met them; they know some great secrets and forgotten pathways.

Mark Rylance

PREFACE by Peter Bridgmont

Dear Colleagues.

Having completed eight years as an actor in weekly repertory companies, twice nightly touring, and a survival course in London's West End, a day came when I was given a small booklet introducing the work of the actor and stage designer Edward Gordon Craig. His book, 'On the Art of the Theatre', stopped my career. For the first time in my life I put myself out of work, wrote to Craig, made masks and pined for the stage. This came to life again when I joined Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop and, incidentally, met my future wife Barbara, who was at that time the darling of the Company. Two seasons with Workshop brought to life the dreams of a new theatre; inspired by Craig. I was invited to work with Rudolf Laban. This heady life was completed by a honeymoon in Vence and three interviews with Craig. Barbara and I formed our own Mime Company and, after three years of touring, determined to stay at home.

For a time we worked but also studied speech with Dr Ernst and his wife Herta who had worked with Marie and Rudolf Steiner. We formed our own school in our own theatre, teaching and touring for the next twenty four years. Finally, semi-retired, we met many young actors, queuing for work. At least in my time we had Weekly Rep. Today's young talents are not so fortunate.

Putting together some of the work that Barbara and I have done in our school, with the dogged help at the keyboard, of Elisa Terren, a tenacious actress and relentless critic with the voice of today echoing down the corridors of yesterday, we created this Book of classes.

With these studies you can work alone, with a colleague, with friends, form a company, or form a school if you must. Let actors begin to discover what they have got and from their talent and no one else's look towards what the future of the live theatre wants from you. For a time, let the actor go free and make his own discoveries and laws. It is time he took over the reins and drove the theatre into the magical world where it belongs!

Peter Bridgmont