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The Summer

*2024 Dates*

9th - 14th of August


Rapier & Dagger, Single Sword, Unarmed


Sabre, Axe, Unarmed


Rapier & Lantern, Rapier & Cloak, Pool Fight. 

Single weapon + Workshop

Baton/Escrima (advanced), Theatrical Firearms, Military Skills

The Fightreel Film

A full short film, with fights included, shot professionally for working reels & Credit

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of Courses

A Week of Stage Combat Awaits...

A fully residential course in Canterbury, offering either;

- 3 weapons (at Standard, Intermediate, or Advanced levels),

- 1 weapon over 3 days, a 1 day Firearms and a 1 day Military Skills workshop,

- or,

- a fight reel course!

...Read more about the adventure below!

The Full Story

The Summer course has a heritage dating back over 20 years.


It was originally held at GSA (The Guildford School of Acting) in Surrey, from 1999 till 2000, before moving to a residency at St Donats castle (Atlantic College) in Bridgend Wales in 2001. Hosted by a dominating welsh castle, it was a marvellous backdrop for theatrical swashbuckling, and provided a unique and dedicated experience for Actors from all over the world. It began as a BADC (British Academy of Dramatic Combat) exam at the time and was founded by Andrew Ashenden & Kevin McCurdy as a major summer course in the UK.


In 2009 it transferred to the Academy of Performance Combat for examinations, and was known as the APC Summer course.


In 2015 left its foundation residency and moved to the Tudor-founded Sir Roger Manwood school in the Medieval Cinque Port town of Sandwich. At its height, the course catered for over 50 staff and students across all levels. In 2019 the course then became a joint exam-board course with the APC and ACTT before moving on to its fourth home in the historic city of Canterbury and is now examined under ACTT.


Over the years the Summer Course has had guest lectures from the UK, USA, and Australia, alongside professional Martial Artists in Katana, Karate, JiuJitsu, Goshin Jutsu, Theatrical Firearms, Military drills, Film courses, Firing ranges, and Jousting.

The course is proud to continue in the traditions and ethics of its founders, under the organisation of Sword&Scoundrel Theatrical Combat, and is excited to maintain the mantle of being the busiest Summer Course of its kind in the UK!

Three Weapons. One Week

The flagship of the Summer Course is the 3 weapon course.

Available at Standard, Intermediate, or Advanced.

The 3 Weapon course.


This is Sword & Scoundrel's flagship course, and as such is currently its only 3 weapon intensive. If you are entirely new to Stage Combat, this is your "zero-to-hero course", or otherwise known as the "Drama School Standard". Learn the staged principles of Rapier & Companion, the Single Sword, and Unarmed systems, and present them in a scene for your performance exam. 

At Intermediate, 3 different weapon types are introduced, with added complexity and length, providing a manageable challenge. Suitable for those with a minimum of 3 Merits at Standard Level, two of which must be a sword and an unarmed module.

Advanced; the big challenge. Added complexity, subcategories of weapon types, and choreography based on Martial application and Historically referenced material. Suitable for those with a minimum of  3 merits at Intermediate, any weapon type.

The Malthouse Theatre

The hosting venue is Canterbury's 300 seater Traditional Theatre, with heritage and links to Canterbury's own Playwright Christopher Marlowe.

The Venue.


The Malthouse Theatre hosts the course, and provides a 300 seater Theatre, two purpose-built Dance & Drama studios with sprung floors, interesting halls and corridors, a connecting Sports Hall, and plentiful green outdoor space, a short walk from the theatre itself.  A theatre library containing scripts means there's no need to lug around books for the course, everything is provided. With crash mats and martial floor mats, the possibilities for Theatrical combat are endless! 

See the virtual tour here -


Enjoy a Stay in theTheatre's International College suite, in relaxing twin ensuite rooms.

The Rooms.


The International College adjoining the Malthouse provides dormitories in  relaxing and comfortable twin ensuite configurations. The building is set much like the Roman Villas of Canterbury's past - with a quiet courtyard in the centre. The college also provides a common room, with television, games, and a kitchenette.

Just don't let the cat in!
See the virtual tour here -


Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Fuelling your days of theatrical fighting!

The Food.


The King's School Staff lay on Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner for the duration of the course (Not including arrival and post exam time).

With a range of Cooked meals, salads, and snacks, everything is provided to cater for your week of physical activity. All medical and ethical requirements are included, with a range of Vegetarian, Vegan, and "Free-From Allergen" options available.

Anything you wish to bring can be stored in the kitchenette!


Martial Arts, Iai Jutsu (Japanese Sword), Theatrical Firearms, Military Skills Falling, Rolling, HEMA, and more!

The Workshops.


Optional workshops are available in the evenings. The Summer Course has long been in the unique position to run workshops with guest instructors in different skills & arts, for those wanting to learn a little more in the evenings. 
Workshops in the past have included Iai Justu (Japanese Sword) with the Kyojinkan Battodo, Military Skills with Military Instructors, Karate with Jindokai Martial Arts, Firearms with Ex Military Instructors, and more. Each year we rotate the workshops to allow students to experience a broad spectrum of supporting skills. 


Theatre Night

Thursday night, Theatre night!

A Play after play.

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It's Thursday evening, the night before the exam. Rather than offer a workshop on this night, we bring in a Theatre Company, for public performance. This usually involves a decent Stage Scrap, providing students a chance to see Combat in action for an audience, as well as an evening away from the physical exertions of the week. Entirely optional, tickets are offered at a reduced fee for students.

2022 saw Quill & Inkling Theatre's production of "The Prisoner of Zenda", during its regional tour.

Free Time!

Don't fancy the evening workshop? The evening is yours!

Time to unwind...


The Summer course is known as an intensive for a reason. The courses run from 9am-5pm, and are physically demanding. Consequently, though Sword&Scoundrel provides free evening workshops, the evening belongs entirely to you.

Relaxing in your room or the common room, or socialising at the Pub in town (A mere 5 minute's walk from the centre!) allows you to take the course at a pace you can manage, and feel comfortable at the same time. There's enough local knowledge if you want to explore anywhere, just ask the staff.

Canterbury - A Roman City

Canterbury has been pivotal in the history of England and Britain, once the first British Roman City, the capital of a Jutish Kingdom, and the seat of Christianity in England. So much of it is available to explore today.

History & beauty in an historic city.


Durovernum Cantiacorum. The Romans established Canterbury on the site of a British settlement, the home of the Cantiaci tribe (Kent). Canterbury saw Roman Villas and Amphitheatres, Cathedrals and Medieval Battlements, and even the bombing raids of WWII. 

So much of Canterbury's history is visible on a walk through the city, and with a little exploration, locatable underground. From Punting trips through city centre on the River Stour, to tours of the Roman Museum, or the centrepiece of Canterbury; the Cathedral, there is a wealth of culture and history to be seen on a summer's day. If you have time either side of the course, or in the evenings, take advantage of what the Jewel in Kent's Crown has to offer!


Single Weapon course,
Firearms & Military Skills Workshops

Looking for something a little different? A three-day, one weapon course awaits, with a one-day Firearms, and a one-day Military Skills workshop!

A Different Course.


You may have trained in the weapons for this year's 3 weapon course. You may want to explore other skills! So Sword&Scoundrel have added the one weapon and workshop course to accommodate!


In the first three days, take on a single weapon from the ACTT syllabus at your relevant level, and perform the exam on the third day. Once completed, the fourth day will consist of an introduction to Theatrical Firearms, covering safety, weapons types, and use in productions, as well as hands on experience, ending with a session of firing blank rounds. The fifth day introduces military skills; from understanding the organisation of an Army (Using the British Army for reference) and a soldier's role, to practice Drill (Marching) and infantry skills up to section level. All the while, learning the relationships and characters of soldiers and officers, to help inform your understanding of military character in theatrical performance. The skills will be filmed on the final day, to provide you with material to add to your portfolio.



The Fight Reel Film

For advanced level students; A named character in an action short film, filmed with different weapons, to showcase your skills. The film will be submitted to Festivals, and the scenes can be broken down into a separate fight reel for each individual;.

Something to show the casting directors.


Once you have developed a niche with advanced skills in Theatrical Combat, you'll want to showcase them in a dedicated fight performance reel. This particular course will see you learn two scenes choreographed by an instructor, and perform them for camera, utilising a mix of the Malthouse and Canterbury's best locations, and Sword&Scoundrel's costumes and quality weaponry. These are filmed and subsequently edited by our own DoP, and sent to you for your own reel of work. A final group fight will be performed and filmed too, to add to the quality of reel.

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Spotlight and Equity recognised qualifications, ready to add to your CV.

Accredited Courses.


All of our examined courses provide performance qualifications under the Actors Combat Theatrical Training Exam Body (A.C.T.T). These are recognised qualifications and The ACTT operates under the directorship of Andrew Ashenden; the current Chair of the Equity Fight Director's Register. These qualifications are also recognised by Spotlight, and can be uploaded to the performance skills register on the Spotlight CV. 


All teachers are qualified instructors, and accompanied by current Trainee-Teachers under the ACTT Teacher Training programme.

Sword&Scoundrel also runs courses under the Academy of Performance Combat, but please note the Summer course is administered solely by The ACTT.

Further information on the content of courses can be found at 

Pricing & Payment Plans

A fully residential and inclusive course awaits, competitively priced

Spread the cost, and make things manageable.

The Residential course fee includes the accommodation (6 days), 3 meals a day (Excluding the arrival evening and evening after the exams), course, additional workshops, and exam fees, over the whole term of the course.

Sword&Scoundrel has worked closely with the Kings School to provide a payment structure that reflects the quality of the facilities and the course, while keeping the fees as low as possible.

The Course fees are;

Online Payment;

Residential - £790.00

Non-Residential - £640.00


Residential (Early Bird - Ends 30/09/23)  - £725.00

Residential (Sword&Scoundrel Member) - £740.00

Residential (ACTT/Equity Member) - £760.00

Residential (Fight Reel) - £800.00

Non-Residential - £640.00

All Fees are open to a payment plan, subject to initial payment of the course deposit (Included within the price). Contact to arrange a plan.

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