Crowe shares his acting secrets in a “once in a lifetime” masterclass
by Sarah Ingrams
Russell Crowe inspired young actors in a master class for Durham students this morning.
Twenty four talented Durham Student Theatre (DST) members participated in a workshop entitled Leadership and Original Thought led by the Hollywood star.
Alex Twedell, President of DST, described the workshop as a “once in a lifetime opportunity”.
Russell Crowe said that the morning’s workshop was a “fascinating and adrenalising experience”.
“The talent that exists in this university is amazing”.
And Rebecca Mackinnon, a masters student in English Literature, described the experience as “surreal” and “really great”.
She refuted Crowe’s tough-guy image: “There’s this hard man reputation that comes about from Gladiator which results in people being quite scared of him. I was worried about how he was going to be but he immediately put everyone at ease, making jokes”.
The session began with vocal warm-up exercises and games. Later, students did some scene work, exploring the different interpretations of a few lines of dialogue.
Ms Mackinnon continued: “He’s really, really friendly and made everyone feel individually worthwhile. He went through and took the time to learn all of our names which was really nice. He gave everyone the opportunity to shine a little bit”.
The workshop ended with a question and answer session in which students found out a bit more about Russell Crowe, his experiences and opinions.
Only finalised yesterday, the intense workshop was held in St Chad’s College chapel.
Bill Bryson described the reaction of “disbelief” from students when the star’s visit was first announced. “This is a dream”, he added.
Russell Crowe’s visit culminated in a talk addressed to DST members at the Assembly Rooms Theatre earlier this evening. Those lucky enough to secure one of the sought-after tickets for An Evening with Russell Crowe saw a 90 minute ‘home movie’, followed by a question and answer session chaired by Bill Bryson.
Crowe also invited an Irish band, Size Two Shoes, to perform at the event.
Sarah Peters, president elect of DST, summed up the day’s events as “an unbelievable experience”.
She thanked Russell Crowe: “You’ve made us feel so special”.
See the next edition of Palatinate, out on 21st June, for full coverage.