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Basics of Stage Combat

Single Sword

by Andrew Ashenden


Publisher: Universal-Publishers
Pub date: 2012
Pages: 133
ISBN-10: 1612331726
ISBN-13: 9781612331720
Categories: CommunicationTextbooks & Study Guides


The single sword is the most-used weapon on both stage and screen. The techniques used in single sword stage combat are derived from real combative methods used historically, and modified for acting. Basics of Stage Combat: Single Sword, the second in a series, instructs the reader about the foundations of safe, skillful single sword use in theater, film, and television. Actors both wishing to refresh their old skills and those new to stage combat will learn how to parry with a sword, move with a sword, and perfect the various movements required of them to perform a safe and realistic stage combat scene. Basics of Stage Combat: Single Sword will also help drama students who are taking stage combat classes or stage combat exams gain the confidence to embrace the complexities of working with a sword.

Among the swords discussed are the single rapier, sabre, and the eighteenth-century small sword; this book does not discuss broadsword techniques. Chapters provide illustration and instruction about thrusts, lunges, hand positions, advancing and retreating, passing steps, binds, beats, and cutting with the sword, as well as basic fighting positions. A brief fight choreography sequence is included at the conclusion of the book.

Book one, Basics of Stage Combat: Unarmed, is an introduction to the basics of stage combat in the area of unarmed combat. It holds enough information to give students an understanding of the subject, as well as how to perform some of the more simple "tricks of the trade." The importance of the safety involved in performing stage combat is also discussed.

About the Author

Andrew has worked as an Equity fight director in television, film and theatre. His credits include: BBC Wales on the soap POBOL Y CWM since 2006, Welsh National Opera, The National Theatre of Wales, The Bristol Old Vic, Theatre Royal Bath, The Globe (touring Company), Bute Theatre Wales, Birmingham Stage Company and Harrogate Theatre to name a few. Andrew is also a Founding Member of the Academy of Performance Combat (A.P.C.), and the resident fight teacher for Guildford School of Acting (G.S.A), The Bridge Theatre Training Company (based in London), Royal Academy of Music (R.A.M) (based in London), and the University of Lincoln.