9 August - 16 August

A Play in a Week


In 2024 the Chateau d’Aix summer school is launching a new venture for actors, A Play in a Week. The aim is to replicate the repertory theatre experience: intensive rehearsal, building to a public performance.

A Play in a Week is a unique opportunity for emerging actors to broaden their skills. The project will be led by a team with long experience of directing, acting and teaching in the world of European theatre,  and will include satellite classes on mask work, acting and pure movement.


The Musicality of Acting - rhythm, tone, pitch

Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it, trippingly on the tongue - Hamlet

Just as a pianist can parallel the role of actor - music as a kind of speech, musical structure as a kind of narrative - so an actor can experience the musicality of acting. In intensive daily workshops for actors, and master classes for pianists, these fundamentals of craft and artistry will be explored in the moment. 

If you just let a play speak, it may not make a sound. If what you wish is for a play to be heard, then you must conjure its sounds from it - Peter Brook

Actor, Performer, Pianist

Theatre at Chateau d'Aix, running alongside the celebrated piano summer school Music at Chateau d'Aix, is a unique venture in cross-arts collaboration. The close proximity of actors and musicians will reveal the common ground between two different art forms and enable insights into the nature of the performing artist.

Under certain circumstances music may be something that is not music, but speech - Friedrich Nietzsche

Paul Roberts, the artistic director, has led numerous workshops in Europe and America on the theme Pianist as Actor, and has invited colleagues from the drama world to contribute cross-arts classes at the piano summer school in France. Notably over the years Wendy Allnutt, actress and former Head of Movement at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, has given classes on movement, dance and mask work. The experience for pianists, in both the amateur and advanced classes, has proved revelatory.

Wendy Allnutt will be joined at Chateau d'Aix by acclaimed writer and director Oliver Bennet, and actresses Florence Roberts and Grace Andrews (see Tutors, below). 

Music & Theatre at Chateau d’Aix is the logical outcome of the direction our summer courses have been taking over many years. It is time now to continue the process with the formal involvement of actors - not only to explore the essential relevance for actors of musical performance, but to expand the experience for our pianists. We cannot wait to continue this journey.

Application and Auditions

Full details can be found on the Courses page.


Wendy Allnutt

Wendy trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She held the post of Head of Movement at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama for 25 years and is a founder member of L’Oltrarno Acting School in Florence. Other teaching credits include: Colorado College USA, Conservatoire Stratford Ontario, Canada, Penn State summer schools, Laboratorio Internationale Teatro Degli Astrussi in Montalcino/St Mineato, l’Accademia Silviov D’Amico, Rome, LAMDA, Colby London Programme, BESG and BADA. 

Wendy has worked extensively as an actress, including West End, RSC, repertory theatre and tours across the USA, UK and Sweden.  Her film credits include: Oh What a Lovely War, When Eight Bells Toll, Tales from Beyond the Grave, All Coppers Are, Priest of Love, Wuthering Heights, and Il Rosario. She is best known as Jennifer, Ronnie Corbett’s fiancé in Sorry, and Wendy, the ex-wife in Dear John. Other TV includes The RegimentRough JusticeJuliet BravoThe Bill and many others. 

Wendy was Master of Movement at Shakespeare’s Globe 1st season in London and more recently for Henry V1 parts 1, 2 and 3. She is currently movement tutor at Fontainebleau School of Acting

Oliver Bennett

Oliver, writer, actor and director, received his training at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. He has worked in film, theatre and television for many years. His first full-length play Europe After the Rain was winner of the Mercury Playwright Award and shortlisted for Out Of Joint’s WiT Award and the Papatango Playwright Award. It was produced at the Mercury Theatre in April 2018 and described as a “feverish, fiercely relevant satire...a highly promising debut” and “a darkly surreal, highly theatrical exploration of the world we live in now” (The Stage). It has since been translated into Russian, and in 2020 was performed at the Goethe Institute.

In 2018, with director Vladimir Shcherban, Oliver set up HUNCH theatre with the aim of mixing European and British theatre aesthetics and practices. Their celebrated production of Mikhail Lermontov’s novel A Hero of Our Time was performed at the Edinburgh Festival, London's Arcola, and at theatres in St Petersburg, Cologne and Mogliev. The play was listed as one of the best pieces of theatre of 2018 by Broadway World, hailed as “a vision of what theatre should be” (The Spectator), and “a blistering feat of storytelling” (The Stage). Oliver's acclaimed one man show Pass the Hat played in London's West End in 2022.

Florence Roberts

Florence Roberts trained as an actor at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, where she now sits on the audition panel. She has worked extensively across theatre, screen and radio, most recently appearing in Miss Scarlet & The Duke for PBS. Notable theatre credits include critically-acclaimed BU21 (Trafalgar Studios); Punts (Theatre 503, nominated for Best Female Performance, Offies); French Without Tears (Orange Tree); Arcadia (Nottingham Playhouse); and Shakespeare In Love (Noel Coward Theatre).

Florence has recently produced, written and directed two short films, Finding an Audience and Getting To Know You, in which she also stars. Last summer she guest-featured for In A Landscape: Classical Music in the Wild in Oregon, reading poetry and prose. She has read for Words & Music and Free Thinking on BBC Radio 3.

She is currently co-producer and performing artist for Multiphonic Arts, curating evenings of classical music, folk, jazz, dance, mime and poetry from around the world, exploring the effect of mutiple genres in a shared space. 

'Florence Roberts [gave] a master class in acting if ever there was one' (Bruce Graham's The Duration). '[She] has an unmistakeable sprinkle of stardust about her' (Evening Standard BU21). 

Grace Andrews

Grace Andrews trained as an actor at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. Acting credits include: The Forbidden Zone (Schaubühne), Peer Gynt (LSO), Tomorrow I Was Always a Lion (Belarus Free Theatre), The Winter’s Tale (Cheek by Jowl), Hamlet and Romeo & Juliet (Actors from the London Stage), and Macbeth (Sophie Fiennes/Cheek by Jowl). Her international teaching includes work at Fontainebleau School of Acting (Paris), Ensatt L’École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Techniques du Théatre (Lyon), and Prima del Teatro (Pisa).

Her leadership experience involves curriculum design at Fontainebleau School of Acting as well as the role of Head of Short Courses, including the founding and direction of FONACT London. As an Acting Tutor she attained a distinction on the MA in Actor Training and Coaching at The Royal Central  School of Speech and Drama. Her current research investigates the tension between safe space and identity in effective actor training.

'A highlight of the performance was Grace Andrew’s stunning delivery of Juliet’s monologue: “Tis but thy name that is my enemy."' (Actors from the London Stage)