Category: News

Introduction to stage combat workshop October 2021

The word in about what workshops do you want to do largely seems to be “I’m not sure.”  So, let’s make it easier for you.  I’ll run an Introduction to Stage Combat Workshop on the weekend of Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd October so put the dates in your diary.  You’ll learn some basic sword techniques, footwork, safety and performance principles on Saturday.  On Sunday we’ll have “What do Tiggers like for breakfast?”  A chance to play with other weapons; see how what you learned on Saturday applies to those; learn non-sword weapons like knife and quarterstaff.  Then you’ll have a better idea of what appeals to you. 

Details aren’t finalised yet, but I will do so soon.  If you’re interested and you’re not already on the mailing list, please sign up and I’ll send you details as soon as I have them.

Courses and Workshops Autumn 2021

Fingers crossed, I will start running courses and workshops again in Glasgow this Autumn 2021.  The question is, “What do you want?”  Certification Courses.  Introductory days?  Fighting for Film?  What weapons? Unarmed?  Big weapons like broadsword or sword & shield or quarterstaff?  Other options for beginners would be rapier & dagger or knife.

You can either let me know  through the Contacts page on the website or DM me on the Facebook page and I’ll see what can be arranged.

Covid precautions will still be in full force so get your vaccinations done.


Classes during COVID-19


I’ve been getting quite a few enquiries about when classes will start again.  The short answer, I’m afraid, is I don’t know. 

At the present time, August, I don’t consider it’s safe to be running classes.  Stage combat necessarily requires you to be in fairly close proximity to your partner over a period of several hours.  In the case of unarmed combat you will be in very close proximity and, for some moves, touching so social distancing is not possible.  Wearing masks is essential but it’s physically active so people are breathing hard, which means they may not be that effective and uncomfortable to wear.  Weapons need to cleaned to avoid spreading the virus through contact with those, and everyone needs to wash hands or use sanitiser.  If just one person contracts the virus then everyone in the class is a contact and everyone needs to self-isolate so there can be no more classes until everyone is deemed clear, which means re-scheduling the hall booking which may not be possible.  All this means that it is currently not practical to run classes in a safe way.

I will keep an eye on how the situation stands and guidance from the Scottish Government on the possibility of running classes in the Autumn but, realistically, there probably won’t be any classes until 2021.

If you’re interested in classes then please subscribe to the mailing list and I’ll let you know as soon as I have definite plans.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay well.

Best wishes




2018/2019 – news from Janet

2018 was a busy, busy year for me.  Alas, teaching had to take a back seat as being President of the BASSC is pretty time consuming but the Executive Committee is making big steps in looking at how the BASSC is organised and what it needs to grow and be successful in the future.  We’ve had the legally necessary: GDPR, our privacy policy; the organisational: reviewing our policies and procedures and associated guidelines to bring them up-to-date; the educational and fun: reviewing how we teach techniques and sharing and discussing the variations for different venues and styles.  All of the UK teachers had the opportunity to attend an amazing Fighting for Film workshop run by Richard Ryan, stunt co-ordinator on Vikings and films such as Troy and The Dark Knight.  This was at our national Workshop, the BNSCW and we had great fun being fighters and directing each other and viewing the results on video and considering how to improve the action.

On top of that I was co-ordinating the BASSC Teacher Training Programme.  This takes the best part of a year and is not for the faint-hearted.  The standards are high and I’m delighted that we now have two new Certified Teachers and another two finishing off their training.

So, with to-ing and fro-ing to London at weekends the Stage Fight Scotland semi-intensive workshops became impossible but, I’m back!

I ran a sword and shield semi-intensive in October as a certification course but with a definite focus on the differences for Fighting for Film from stage work.  Mostly aimed at supporting artists wanting to acquire action skills for film work, they discovered just how much there was to learn and how hard it is to acquire those skills but, pain aside, everyone passed their fight performance test and the plan for 2019 is to run another.  The question is: Broadsword or Sword and Shield?  There will also be the long-awaited unarmed FPT course which I’ve been promising for a while.  These are scheduled for March and April and details will go up on the website and Facebook Page shortly.

Just after Christmas I’ll be off to Banff, Alberta next to the Rocky Mountains to teach at the Paddy Crean Workshop.  I attended as a student two years ago and was delighted to be invited back to teach.  There’s a huge variety of classes from teachers working in performance, stunts, martial arts and Historical European Martial Arts.  So much to learn from these amazing teachers.

In the New Year, I’ll be back in my regular slot as combat coach at Acting Coach Scotland drama studio in Glasgow introducing the 2019 intake to the joys of fighting on stage and then we’ll see what else 2019 has in store.  I hope to see you in class sometime.

Happy Fighting!

2017/18 – News from Janet

2017 was a great mixture of different experiences for me as teacher, student, performer and fight director.  It started off as a student in the glorious frosty surroundings of Banff, Canada at the Paddy Crean Workshop having the chance to learn some amazing stuff from some awesome people.

Back to the cold and dreich of Scotland, in February I got to play Mrs Hinzmann in the Scottish Zombie Christmas Musical Anna and the Apocalypse fulfilling a Walking Dead fan dream.  I saw the film at a cast and crew showing in Glasgow in October and it’s wonderful but probably won’t hit the screens here till this Autumn but it’s a must-see movie for this year.

Students on the One Year Acting for Stage and Screen course at Acting Coach Scotland drama studio in Glasgow produced some excellent performances for their BASSC Fight Performance Test and showed their ability to choreograph their own fights as part of their training later in the year.  It’s the only drama course in Scotland that includes a full stage combat certification course as part of its syllabus so the students are always really keen.

More teaching workshops in Spring and Summer – Unarmed, Rapier & Dagger in Glasgow, and then Sword & Shield at the British National Stage Combat Workshop in August.

As a student, I attended a Fight Directing workshop run by Moving Body Arts with the extraordinary American Fight Director J Allen Suddeth and another run by Theatrical Intimacy on directing concepts and creating performances for intimate scenes; a powerful and timely workshop in which I’m hoping to do a lot more training in 2018.

In September, life suddenly became very busy – I’ve taken over as Co-ordinator for the BASSC Teacher Training Programme so it’s my job to take the four advanced students through the theory and practical elements.  It’s a year-long training programme and very tough so, if you’re being taught by a BASSC teacher, you know you’re being taught by someone who’s gone through the highest standard of stage combat training in the UK.

I was at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in October fight directing their production of The Wonderful World of Dissocia and had a chance to use some of the skills from the theatrical intimacy workshop.

In between travelling down to London for the teacher training and running a broadsword course back in Glasgow, I was asked to travel over to Ireland to be part of the stunt crew for Series 6 of Vikings!  Who knew standing in a freezing cold, muddy field could be so much fun?  A sword, a shield, lots of black eyeliner – that’s being a shield maiden ticked off my wish list, although always available for more.  Many thanks to the amazing Richard Ryan, the founder of the BASSC, my first stage combat teacher and now Stunt Co-ordinator on Vikings, amongst many other things, for having me over.

Finally, I headed East, very East, to Shanghai in China to run swashbuckling classes at the Shanghai American School and fight direct their production of Blondel.  I had great fun and best wishes to their teacher Simon Williams and all the cast and crew for success with the production next year.

Which brings us to 2018.  So what’s in line for this year, so far?

Acting Coach Scotland’s new course starts next week so I’m looking forward to meeting the new batch of students.

Unarmed combat is going to be a theme for the first few months with unarmed workshops for the BA Acting Course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in March and another certification course for students on the RCS Masters Classical and Contemporary Text course around Easter.  I’m hoping to re-schedule the certification course in Glasgow – The Broomhill Bash – in the late Spring.

The big thing that is coming up is that the BASSC will be 25 years old in 2018.  I’m proud to have been a member for almost as long;  I started my BASSC training in 1995 and it’s been a major part of my life ever since.  I’ve been serving on its Executive Committee for the last nine years as Vice-President and Secretary and I was very honoured to be appointed President from 2018.   It’s a big responsibility but we have a great Committee and we’re already preparing for our flagship workshop, The British National Stage Combat Workshop which will be held 13th – 25th August at Rose Bruford Drama School in Kent and I’ll be there helping to run it.  We want to it to be our biggest and best.  Every year we have students attending from abroad; an indication of how good the BASSC’s reputation is both in the UK and elsewhere.  So, if you can’t make it to any Stage Fight Scotland courses, consider the BNSCW.  There’s a basic workshop for beginners, an intermediate/advanced workshop for those who have passed unarmed and rapier & dagger, plus we have some other things planned especially for this year.  There’s an accommodation package, you’ll be training with the best and you can help us celebrate our quarter century.  I hope we’ll be having students training with us for many years to come.

There are other things in the pipeline which I can’t talk about yet but if nothing else I’m going to be very, very fit!

Best wishes for 2018 and Happy Fighting!


Unarmed combat for 2018

Stage Fight Scotland returns to its friendly home at Broomhill and kicks off its 2018 programme of courses with unarmed combat – the Broomhill Bash.

Over 5 Saturdays and Sundays it will cover all the various techniques to give you a solid grounding in unarmed combat for stage and screen culminating in the BASSC Fight Performance test.

For further information click Here

To book a place click Here

Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year to you all!

The latter half of 2017 was really busy for me – teaching at the British National Stage Combat Workshop in Kent, teaching a broadsword certification course in Glasgow, running the BASSC Teacher Training Programme in London, being a shield maiden for Series 6 of Vikings in Ireland, teaching and fight directing in Shanghai and I finally came back home and promptly succumbed to the cough/cold that everyone else seems to have had.

So what’s new for Spring 2018?  As requested, the Glasgow certification course will be UNARMED – dates TBC as I’m currently trying to sort out possible weekends to fit in with more Teacher Training sessions and other commitments in London, so there will be weekends off.  Watch this space plus the Facebook and Twitter accounts for further info.

See you soon and Happy Fighting!

Broadsword in a hurry – Autumn 2017

You can learn to fight with a broadsword in just 2.5 weekends – five days training with an option to test for certification with the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat.

No previous experience of stage combat is required.

Dates: Saturday 21st, Sunday, 22nd October; Sunday 29th October; Saturday 4th, Sunday 5th November
Time: Saturdays 9am to 6pm: Sundays 1pm – 9pm

Further information here.
or Contact:

Rapier and Dagger in Glasgow August 2017

Congratulations to my 8 students who all passed their rapier and dagger fight performance test on Saturday 5th August.  It was a tough week but they made it!  Many thanks to Master Teacher and Fight Director Roger Bartlett for coming up to examine.  Plans are afoot for more semi-intensive courses in Glasgow this Autumn.  Watch this space and the Stage Fight Scotland Facebook page and @stagefightscot Twitter page for details.