Stage combat is about acting a scene of conflict. It requires two actors to act and react with conviction, otherwise any fight scene just won’t work. When done well, stage combat creates the illusion of violence or conflict whilst keeping actors as safe as possible.
Many young performers enjoy the power of creating high-tension scenes. Fights and violence – from a simple slap in the face to a full-blown fight – usually happen when words are no longer sufficient to express emotions, and often occur at pivotal moments in the story. For example, in Romeo and Juliet, the fight between Tybalt, Romeo and Mercutio is inevitable from the beginning of the play and, ending in tragedy, is a pivotal point from which the rest of the story unfolds.
At its most basic level, stage fighting is a form of choreography and a series of staged and rehearsed movements. But, at its best, it is physical storytelling in which characters express their thoughts and intentions, responding ‘in the moment’ and carrying the audience with them!
There are many excellent companies out there who provide workshops on stage combat and some can be found in our online Directory.
More information about stage combat from First Light Video can be found here.
Make sure you follow the rules and stay safe. If you think your youth theatre members are too young, too excitable, or are not able to follow instructions well then don’t even think of allowing them to try stage fighting!