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Stage Combat: The Hard and Fast

This year’s British National Stage Combat Workshop (BNSCW) saw me earn a Pass with Distinction in the practice of both Broadsword and Swashbuckling Single Rapier.

The two styles were chosen to contrast one another completely. The broadsword is a murderous weapon of extreme emotion; if you unsheathe a blade of that magnitude, your only intention is to kill your opponent in a variety of terrifying ways derived from our medieval past.

Swashbuckling is the Hollywood style of fighting used by 30’s matinee idols like Tyrone Power, Basil Rathbone and Errol Flynn. More recently seen in Pirates of The Caribbean, it is a style that emphasises flare and a broad grin over historically accurate techniques.

The difference between them can be summarised as power and speed, anaerobic and aerobic, smash and dazzle…  ultimately a fine education for an actor like me with a penchant for Shakespeare and beards.

I look forward to using my new found skills and would like to take them to the stage, though I already have some interest from a documentary series produced in Canada. Time will tell.

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