Reading English literature aloud: 19th century

Course Dates: 16/09/20 - 21/10/20
Time: 13:00 - 15:00
Location: Online

Come and enjoy reading aloud prepared passages from novels by Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy, while using your voice to provide narrative and create character. The class also contains vocal warm up and sight reading elements each week. We will study one novel by Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy.

This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.


What is the course about?

Come and enjoy reading aloud passages from novels by Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy. We will discuss the plot and themes of the novels while focusing on using your voice to provide narrative and create character. We hope you can join our afternoon reading group! It will be delivered online.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

How we use pitch, pace and pause to tell stories. How we need clear diction for narrative as well as range and variety for vocal characterisation. The importance of good vocal delivery, powered by correct breathing techniques.
We will always include an element of vocal warm -up at the beginning of the class and sight reading at the end.
Tess of the d'Urbervilles- Hardy
Picture of Dorian Gray- Wilde
Oliver Twist- Dickens.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Demonstrate more confidence in the sound of your voice.
Acknowledge a greater delight in 19th century literature by reading passages aloud and thus sharing stories.
Identify some key breathing and vocal techniques to assist reading in public.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is for all those who enjoy reading novels and wish to develop greater confidence in reading aloud. You will have some ability with sight reading and if you are a non-native speaker, you must be fluent in English.
In order to get the most from the course you will be able to:
• Speak English fluently.
• Communicate in group situations.
• Give and receive constructive feedback.
• Read and respond to a range of texts.
• Take course notes for your own use.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

We will read in a large group together. You will be expected to read and prepare passages in advance each week.

As part of the course content, your tutor may record your image for initial and ongoing assessment purposes. You are entitled to decline to participate in the recording of your image.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You should obtain copies of the novels we are reading. Please read in advance Tess of the d'Urbervilles- the tutor will ask you to read a passage at the first session to assess your ability level.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Any Voice or Speech course in the programme such as Storytelling for Business and Pleasure, or Voice Technique: Beginners
Please refer to our
full sequence of voice and speech classes at City Lit (click here) as you consider which area you would like to study next.


Customer Reviews 4 item(s)

Write a review

Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

That it is great for anyone wishing primarily to develop their spoken presentation skills AND at the same time to enjoy some very great literature.
Course Rating
Review by LewishamMan / (Posted on 09/11/2019)
A useful course to introduce (or re-introduce) you to 19th century literature. Good opportunies for voice work.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 23/10/2019)
Yes, I found it informative and enjoyable.
Course Rating
Review by Jennifer Kingston / (Posted on 28/10/2018)
An excellent course for people who already enjoy literature or are a bit scared of it and want an interesting way in. Very good too for those who want to develop their speaking voice, whatever their current level of competence. Actually, I should have stressed the voice element first. This is likely to be your main gain at the end.
Course Rating
Review by Lewisham Man / (Posted on 11/10/2018)
Tutor Biographies
Vernon Thompson Tutor Website

Vernon Thompson been responsible for overseeing all Voice Speech and Communication courses in the School of Performing Arts (almost 200 per year) since September 2005. He is also Course Leader for the year-long OCN accredited Level 2 Extended Certificate in Drama Foundation course. He regularly directs student productions, most recently The Laramie Project (2019) and the Graduating Students Agents' Showcase (2017). Voice specialities include Shakespearean text and practical application of resonance and support. Vernon also works as Voice Consultant to Channel 4 News, and his private clients currently include BBC newsreaders and an international model. Vernon has an MA in Voice Studies from Central School of Speech & Drama and PGCE from City University. Previous posts include Voice teaching at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Outside City Lit Vernon also works as a freelance director (Teatro Franco Parenti, Milan 2019; Hen and Chickens, Islington 2017) and produces a season of rep theatre every summer in Bournemouth with London Repertory Players.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: DVP020

Wed, day, 16 Sep - 21 Oct '20

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Full fee: £119.00
Senior fee: £95.00
Concession: £73.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2542

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.