This blog has been written by professional actor, Lee Moone, one of the founder members of our forum theatre team who has worked with Resound for over 5 years.
And here he is with Resound actor Robyn Lewis enacting a scene at the National Optometric Conference (Thanks to Optometry Today for the pic)
'I think The Apprentice shows what can happen if you DON'T use professional actors for role-play. And whilst we can all have a bit of laugh whilst watching the antics of the apprentice particpants, we take the quality of our client role-play work seriously.
What most people don't get to see is the amount of 'behind-the-scenes' work done on each piece of commissioned work before delivery. For each project we have a detailed brief that has been researched by Gill with the client, so we know exactly the information and background that's needed for each role we are asked to play. This is important, as when we are hot-seated as a character, we are not working from a script but improvising our answers to the questions put to us by the audience.
And this approach is used for all our role-play scenes whether it's a NHS Consultant Psychiatrist I am portraying (Dr Cowen, North East London Advocacy project for Mental Health Week), or a service user with a learning disability (Michael,London Borough of Enfield, South Anglia Housing) or a manager conducting an appraisal (John, Bird Luckin Accountants) or even a member of the public with challenging behaviour (Ron Williams, London Borough of Havering, Estuary Housing, South Anglia Housing).
Very often delegates attending our training programmes will tell me that my character is exactly like someone they have worked with, a measure of our success in building believable characters, capturing the organisational culture and fulfilling our brief. It is important to remember that whilst the character may have been seen by the audience for a very short time there are hours of preparation required to bring this character to life.
Using actors in role-plays can be a very effective training and learning tool but to get the best outcomes from role-play you need the best people to do it. Professional actors not amateurs.'
So what's your experience of using role-play? Do let us know we would love to hear from you.