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Forum theatre

Forum theatre

Using interactive drama to explore solutions to workplace dilemmas

Forum theatre effectively promotes discussion and debate, helping individuals to explore how to improve outcomes in a safe, consequence-free environment.

Forum theatre is a drama technique which explores individual behaviour and motivation and its effects on others. Actors call on their formal drama training to play and replay scenarios, with direction from the audience, demonstrating a variety of behaviours and displaying appropriate emotions such as anger, interest and empathy.

Directed by an experienced Facilitator, actors illustrate how behaviour influences outcomes whether with a client, colleague, stakeholder or customer. Using stop-start theatre techniques participants begin to own the outcomes and be in a position to transfer the learning into their work life.

RoleplayUK employ a successful three stage strategy to Engage participants in the need for change, Explore options and opportunities to improve and truly Embed your learning objectives, to bring about lasting change in the workplace.


By acting out a typical workplace scenario, actors hold up a ‘reality mirror’ to the audience, depicting what current behaviour looks like; no naming or shaming but clearly reflecting the issues to be addressed.


Participants investigate and identify solutions to improve the scenario outcome. What could be done differently? What works? What doesn’t? What would happen if you changed…?


Participants personally direct the actors to adjust their behaviours, choice of language and body language to reach a more successful outcome. In some instances they can physically step in to the action to demonstrate how they would prefer the scene to work.

Importantly the participants own the outcomes, which means they take them away with them to apply in the workplace.

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The Skills Coaches are also adept at challenging and pushing delegates when appropriate. We monitor delegate feedback closely and this has shown a high level of engagement with both the process and the content which ensures that learning is effectively embedded.

John Lewis Partnership – Leadership team

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