I attended the four day course in 2012 and have no acting experience. Don’t believe their website when it says this is a taster for people of any background. In reality, it’s a continuous audition.
It seemed that your opportunities were set from the morning of the first day based on your photo and a movement class. Previous reviewers are correct that the school is only interested in selecting students for the two year course.
Classes are run as mixed ability groups. Mine contained models, extras and those with considerable skills. This is not a safe environment for beginners.
The facilities are minimal and grimy with décor that dates back at least 30 years. Given the low cost of the course, this could have been overlooked.
However, most teachers are not amiable and have zero customer focus e.g. no handouts were provided other than the timetable and the list of attendees. They don’t ask why you’ve enrolled or what you’re seeking.
Although the course was not a feel good experience for me, the class I enjoyed most was stage combat; an informative session with an entertaining teacher.
This course may be suitable if you; 1) are reasonably experienced (i.e. can act by sight reading, have a strong singing voice and/or dance experience) and 2) are seeking selection for traditional theatre training in an authoritarian environment.
This comment has an official response:This review is very concerning and is not consistent with most of the feedback we have received on this site & directly from students.
It is regrettable that you did not enjoy your experience. Our short courses are open to absolutely everyone as long as they are capable of taking on what is in involved. We do not audition for our short courses & as a result have people of all different abilities on each course.
The short course is not set out to be a continuous audition. Our short courses have been set up to give a realistic taster of the drama school experience. This is achieved by the high quality of teaching provided in the disciplines offered to full time drama students. It is important that each student attending any of our courses is committed & ready to give each class their best. This is what makes the courses work best. There is an option to use your short course as an audition for the two year training. This gives students more of an opportunity to show thei ability & potential.
We do not run classes exclusively for beginners and because there is no audition for these courses, our intake of students are always of mixed abilities. Throughout the literature on our short courses, it is stated that the short courses are for everyone; whether you have experience or not. This does not impact the teaching in any way & everybody is treated the same.
Our facilities have had considerable refurbishment since being damaged in a fire in 2011. We have also recently expanded & have added two more studios. We have made vast improvements to our outside area with the addition of decking & a cafe last summer.
It is not general practise at the school to provide handouts during any of the classes. We believe that acting is not something that can be studied intellectually, but rather a craft that is learned almost through osmosis. Our teachers are highly qualified & always happy yo help. They are happy to oblige any student who would like any extra help, including the provision of notes.
We do not ask students why they have enrolled on our courses because it is essentially not important to the course. Everyone has personal reasons for attending whether it is trying to improve, try something new or the realisation of a lifelong dream. Whatever the case, every student has the same chance to enjoy the classes & achieve what they set out to, whatever it may be.
We are pleased to hear you enjoyed stage combat. We have the privilege of employing the first female stage combat instructor in Britain.
It is not correct that string singing or dancing skills are required. This is something that is taught as an acting exercise & there is nothing expected here in terms of levels of accomplishment, even on our two year training. It is also not true to say that you need to be experienced. Many of our short course students have no previous experience & gain a lot from the course. It is possible to substitute a short course for a traditional audi
From: The Poor School