The School for Wise Children is back!

Emma Rice’s School for Wise Children

An Introduction to Ensemble Theatre: music, movement and making

Monday 5, Tuesday 6, Thursday 8 and Friday 9 November, 1-4pm each day. Central London venue TBC. £160, with free and discounted places available. 

Emma Rice’s unique blend of stage magic relies on a creative ensemble who use all the tools in their theatrical kit to bring stories to life.

This four-day course offers an introduction to ensemble theatre making with each day focusing on a different aspect of the work. Emma will lead sessions on building an ensemble, Etta Murfitt will explore the language of movement and Ian Ross looks at creating music for theatre.

At the end of the course, Emma will bring the strands together, demonstrating how this toolkit can create surprise and wonder.

This course is perfect for people who love physical, visual storytelling theatre and want a taste of how it’s made. All participants will dance, sing and perform but don’t need any previous experience of performing to take part.


Please complete the application form.

If you have any questions about applying, you can email us at:

Applications must be received by 5pm Thursday 4 October. Successful applicants will be informed on Tuesday 9 October.

The course is aimed at ages 18+, but younger applicants will be considered.


If you receive Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension, Credit Guarantee Credit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Universal Credit, Housing Benefit or support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, you’re eligible for a free place at The School for Wise Children.

As well as a free place, we may also be able to cover travel, accommodation and / or other costs.

Discounted places for current students cost £100.


Award-winning choreographer and dancer Etta Murfitt is Wise Children’s Movement Director. Trained at the London Contemporary Dance School, Etta is also the Associate Artistic Director for Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and is a founder member of the Company, as well as leading its educational: Re:Bourne. She created roles for Matthew’s Adventures in motion Pictures (AMP) between 1992 and 2002 and became Assistant Artistic Director in 1995. Etta has also worked extensively with Emma Rice, with choreography credits including: Romantic’s Anonymous (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), The Tin Drum (Kneehigh Theatre / UK Tour), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe), Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Kneehigh Theatre Co. / Leicester Curve and Gielgud Theatre).

Ian Ross is Wise Children’s Director of Music. Born in Somerset, Ian began his musical life playing in bands in the back of vans and travelling up and down the country and across Europe as trombonist for festival favourites Babyhead and The Zen Hussies. From a degree in Musical Instrument Technology (guitar building and the finer points of the use of paper in European pipe organs), to being lead tutor at Bath Festival Trust’s Creative factory, Ian has a breadth of experience of music and the many ways it has of contributing to the human experience. As a performer and Music Director, Ian has toured extensively for Kneehigh over the last ten years in shows including; The Red ShoesDon JohnThe Wild BrideTristan and Yseult and The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk. As composer: Twelfth Night (The Globe), The Very Old Man with Enormous WingsThe Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (Kneehigh).

Photo: Steve Tanner


Author: Poppy Keeling

Executive Producer at Wise Children

One thought on “The School for Wise Children is back!”

  1. Oh this is such a wonderful offering! I am in Australia presently and will be mid-way through Clown training in Melbourne for November so I am gutted that I can’t apply to join the training. But please do keep me posted as I would so love to participate in this training with Emma and Wise Children if you run it again in the future. Thank you as well for making this kind of training accessible to ordinary people…having an OPEN application process. It’s heartening. Very best wishes.


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