Ever fancied yourself an actor while seated in the cinema, completely captivated by the unravelling plot? Does the room cling to your every word when you tell a story to your friends? Do you watch the Emmy Awards or the Oscars wishing you could be in that room with all the talent?
If you have answered yes to one, or all of the questions above, it is time to make your dream come true!
But hang on a minute, did you know that despite common misconceptions the art and the craft of acting isn’t all just talent and good looks? Although it is a key ingredient to the recipe of becoming the next Tom Hardy or Kate Winslet, discipline, dedication and hours of rehearsing are also hugely connected to success in the performing arts business.
Yes. Our island has given the world a multitude of sought-after talents that have in turn inspired many to pursue acting. Yes. We have great drama schools and many other ways to educate yourself. Yes. We have selected a few options here for you. Just read on dear aspiring thespians!
Why Learn Acting in Britain?
The United Kingdom has not been the breeding ground for inspiring acting figures like ten-time BAFTA winner Dame Judi Dench (Skyfall & Shakespeare in Love) or fantastic Eddie Redmayne (Fantastic Beasts & The Theory of Everything) just by accident.
Britain ranks on the podium of top drama schools in the world. Moreover, you will find quality instruction all over the UK, firstly in great numbers in London but also in Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Belfast, Cardiff, and Edinburgh.
So put that idea of a one-way ticket to LAX aside. Indeed British actors have nothing to envy from their American counterparts. They are known to have more effective gestural and vocal techniques, switching tones and accents on demand. A stronger natural inclination for humour has also been recognised in British born and bred actors and actresses. True story!
Whether you are looking to pursue drama as a hobby or graduate with a diploma from a theatre school, we will help you sort through all the choices between acting colleges, private coaches, theatre companies and more. Whether you plan on applying to a three-year bachelor degree or just curious about the Stanislavski method we’ll help you find the right class for you.
Between Studio Lights and Theatre Heights
You have a choice between stage acting or screen acting. Standing on set in front of rolling cameras is very different to delivering lines to a live audience.
Common to both types of acting though: memory! Knowing your lines better than the back of your hand is key to enact your role with poise and ease. Hot tip: Record your progress and things to keep working on.
It is also a good idea to record details about your assignment and performance, take notes on stage placements when blocking out scenes, props you may need for your character and the costumes changes you may have. Writing things down will help boost your memory, choose a good notebook or download a note-taking app on your mobile.
If you wish to learn film acting in Britain, be it for television or the cinema, then you are searching for practical courses that offer cold reading techniques, good audition training to get into that callback. Classes focusing on film or tv acting instruct students on confidently appearing on screen.
These courses are found in major cities as the main British film studios and production companies have expanded beyond the capital to regional hubs like Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, and Belfast, among others.
Stage actors will look for courses focusing on presence, breathing and delivery techniques. This type of “live” acting, be it comedies, historical period pieces or tragedies, requires a strong ability to always remain active, even when it appears that nothing is happening.
Note that improvisation is key, many professionals will agree that when something unforeseen happens staying in character and adapting to the situation takes a performance to the next level. A course in improv is a must and well, a lot of fun!
Check for improv classes on Superprof.
Acting for Everyday Life
Self-confidence is very important in drama training as well as managing stress levels and emotions. In turn, training your voice, your posture and body language awareness can do wonders for your everyday life. Elocution, rhythm and voice projection are a good batch of lessons in themselves. You will also learn to listen and stay silent without being passive. More body focused training like dance classes can widen your set of skills and strengthen your presence.
Good acting classes can unlock confidence in public speaking and unveil qualities that you never knew you had. You will be sure to learn tricks and tips that will make you shine in the business meeting or at that social gathering you have been dreading.
Single or in Good Company?
Are you a lonely learner who needs quiet and one-on-one focus with the instructor or do you prefer the energy of a group?
Collective acting classes are often helpful in feeling less like a fool and getting in touch with your artistic side. Seeing everyone else struggle with the exercises will be sure to make you have a good laugh with them, hopefully not at them.
You might even meet like-minded people with the same passion and go on to take acting workshops and master classes with illustrious actors and directors together.
In the case of an individual class, you can begin by looking at acting coaches, who are often drama school alumni themselves. Intensive personal sessions may be the key to revealing your talent or sharpening that one skill you have been having trouble with. You will need to ask yourself a few questions in order to find the right coach: Are you looking to master a particular technique, musical theatre perhaps, or auditioning components? A trained eye will help you identify which part of the job to focus on to improve.
If you have little time to spare to find the right location, you can also have a browse online and find the right private acting tutor for you with Superprof. A variety of industry professionals (casting directors, playwrights, etc.) offer their services, complete with exhaustive profiles. You can even get a group of friends together and arrange to have the instructor come to your home.
A safe environment, more familiar than a classroom, will encourage shy learners to move beyond their comfort zone.
You can even opt for a class taught via webcam if you are planning on travelling while exploring acting or search for "acting classes near me".
Acting Classes in London
Feeling inspired by the capital’s generous performing arts agenda and to pursue acting as a career?
An undergraduate degree from one of the prestigious drama schools and their long list of award-winning alumni will be sure to impress on a resume : The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA), The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA), the Royal Central School for Speech Drama (CSSD) or the Guildhall School of Music and Drama for example.
Training will vary from strong traditional approaches usually split between stage and screen acting to more open and more flexible programmes. Ambitious screen actors can apply to The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts spread across different locations between East and South London. With great connections to the industry, it attracts fearless prospective students wanting a highway to real work experience and a valuable network.
Beyond established names, the British capital is also a fertile ground for smaller industry inspired learning opportunities for amateurs. Between the Soho, Spitalfields, Southbank, and Barbican areas, you are sure to find an acting class that suits your needs and bank account.
But do not neglect to get off the beaten track, there are terrific acting studios and companies in various neighbourhoods. You may just find your theatre mentor from an information board at your local coffee shop so keep your eyes open!
Find acting classes in London.
Acting Classes in Birmingham
Annette Badland from Eastenders was born in Birmingham’s very own Edgbaston area in 1950. Other famous actors from the city include Timothy Claypole from Selly Oak neighbourhood and Pat Roach (also a wrestler, he was cast in A Clockwork Orange, Clash of The Titans and several Indiana Jones films).
For formal training look to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (formerly the Birmingham School of Acting) and Birmingham City University offers formal training for aspiring thespians.
The Class Act Drama Centre housed at The Custard Factory in Digbeth provides courses of different levels and intensity for all ages. Did you know that an acting class can boost communication and team dynamics? Why not bring your coworkers along for a bespoke corporate seminar with some team-building?
What about that promotion you have been cringing to ask your manager? Acting can also help with asserting yourself and getting the message across confidently.
For the young ones, The Youth Theatre from the Birmingham Repertory Theatre works with adolescents across Birmingham from ages 17 to 25 years. Their actions also extend to the rest of the West Midlands where teachers work with youth to produce a variety of theatrical experiences.
In nearby Coventry the Belgrade Theatre endeavours to add value to the community through adult acting classes. By helping people gain confidence and interact with one another, the theatre contributes to the citizens’ wellbeing. Who knew going to rehearsal could support social inclusion?
Acting Classes in Manchester
Live up North? Manchester has its fair share of options to learn performing arts. There are for everyone for those in need of improving their audition technique or just looking to learn the fundamentals of drama with a big D!
Many young Northeastern English talents gravitate to The Manchester School of Theatre part of the Metropolitan University for its close ties to reputed TV channels, giving students regular industry exposure. But there are many other choices, namely the more accessible Manchester School of Acting and ActUpNorth. Both aim to provide a passionate and secure environment for budding actors. The film and stage industries are both present in Manchester and you will find many opportunities that will suit your aspirations.
Industry-led course taught by active thespians may also come in handy for those looking to make it in the business. Several Mancunian schools offer useful modules like building a showreel, learning how to go about getting jobs and marketing oneself as a professional are highly recommended.
Are you starting to think that this is too demanding? Do you wish to simply try something you would have never dreamed of doing before? Get your heart racing while you perform a monologue in front of a room full of people! Give your social skills a boost through an acting workshop at the Manchester Hub Drama and kiss you timidity goodbye.
Find an acting course in Manchester.
Acting Classes in Glasgow
Guess what city has become a leading acting hotspot for Scotland? That’s right Edinburgh may have the Fringe festival but Glasgow now has the studios with many production companies setting up shop there. Members of the talented Glaswegian crowd include James McAvoy, David O'Hara, and comedians Robbie Coltrane and Billy Connolly. Scotland surely has a penchant for successful humour, a funny bone one would say!
Going about finding an acting class in Glasgow is an easy affair with a broad range of choices between established academies and more informal programmes.
For young aspiring actors looking for serious training in film or scree∂ƒn acting, look no further than the illustrious Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Drama for Beginner’s course in Glasgow. Dating back to 1847, RCS is definitely up there on the list of drama schools in the United Kingdom and offers the leading drama curriculum for Scotland. Not to mention Prince Charles is the current patron and contributes greatly to the quality of the infrastructure and the courses. Alumni include Robert Carlyle, Billy Boyd, and Angela Lonsdale.
Looking for something less commitment heavy? Nearby Strathclyde University also has a specific evening course for adult actors once a week with an overview of Sanford Meisner and screen performance guidance. The Tron Theatre provides adult classes introducing basic drama skills all the way to script analysis and writing workshops.
For more specific help, there are also specialised acting coaches for improv techniques, auditioning or voice management for example. The team of Acting Coach Scotland will welcome you with open arms whether you are looking for solid preparation for national entrance exams or a stage combat certification.
Because we all learn differently, there is a myriad of different classes beyond the conventional approaches to acting. You will find the best fit through trial and error so commit and don’t give up.
Be it Shakespeare or some good old British comedy all you have to do is jump in! We hope we have helped you along the path to finding that acting class that is perfect for you. Finally, have fun: laugh, scream, cry, jump up and down, run your imagination into overdrive and don’t forget to enjoy yourself - after all it’s just show business!
Check for drama classes for kids here.
Find Acting Classes In Leeds
Although there are plenty of great places to tone up your acting skills in Manchester, it’s certainly not the only place you can go to in order to become a better actor.
Leeds, for example, is another hub in the north of England where you can find lots of quality drama courses.
The Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television Acting, for example, prides itself on the fact that it offers its students a syllabus designed by graduates from drama schools such as the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Pretty impressive!
Drama classes in Leeds are also quite diverse, so whether you’re looking to improve your on-screen presence, or would prefer to delve a little deeper into the world of character, emotion, and even method acting, you should be able to find a course to suit you.
Just as there are lots of different drama courses available in Leeds, there is also quite a bit of variety when it comes to how those courses are delivered.
For example, ActUpNorth accepts students on the assumption that they will attend the course for a minimum of one term (which can be between 12 and 16 weeks in length, with one class per week). Other drama schools, such as The Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television Acting, are happy to offer drop-in sessions for students – perfect if you’re time poor or can’t commit to a full term of classes.
Another thing to think about when looking for acting classes in Leeds is whether you’d be interested in learning within age-specific classes. For example, The Yorkshire School of Acting offers classes for both kids and adults, as does the IPM Acting Academy, which has a variety of child, teen, and adult acting courses.
Find Acting Classes In Belfast
If you want to improve your acting skills, why not take a class in a location famous for its presence in films and TV shows! Belfast has a wide array of acting classes that you can dip your feet into, whether:
- You’re a non-actor looking to see whether acting could be a new hobby for you;
- You’re a beginner when it comes to acting but would like to learn more;
- You’re an intermediate actor but would like to improve certain aspects of your repertoire, whether that’s audition technique or your voice acting; or
- You’re an experienced actor looking to break into the industry.
Move Into The Industry
In fact, if you’re serious about acting, then Belfast has so many courses that might help you further your career.
The Lyric Theatre, for instance, runs a course designed for young adults (aged 18 – 25) called Drama Studio that is specifically designed for students looking to work in the industry. Although the course is not a full-time acting course, you do take part in workshops held on Saturday and Tuesday evenings and take part in a production at the end of the course.
The course can provide a great pathway for anyone looking to get into drama school, and it is a very popular course, with an audition required in order to be accepted.
Learn The Basics
However, you don’t need to be an experienced or advanced actor in order to benefit from acting classes in Belfast.
In fact, there are lots of courses and workshops out there designed for absolute or near-beginners.
Belfast Talent runs a few different courses suitable for beginners. The first is the Acting for Non-Actors class, which is aimed at adults who are interested in learning more about acting but don’t have any background in the field.
Alternatively, there’s the Introduction to Acting for Adults, which provides a foundation for students into the basics of drama study, including script analysis and improvisation skills.
Want To Specialise?
Another great selling point of studying acting in Belfast is the fact that there are some schools in Belfast that allow you to undertake specific study in an area of drama.
The American Musical Theatre Academy, for example, offers one-year and two-year courses in musical theatre, part of which involves study in London and New York.
Designed for students looking to break into musical theatre, whether that’s the West End, Broadway, or elsewhere, the courses help develop your singing, acting, and dancing abilities, and give you skills useful to work in musical theatre.
Find Acting Classes In Cardiff
There’s no denying that there are lots of highly rated drama schools across the UK, and Cardiff is no exception.
In fact, if you’re looking for drama classes in Wales, or you live in Cardiff, then going to a drama course in Cardiff makes a lot of sense.
Cardiff boasts a wide number of acting courses that focus on different areas of the industry, including:
- Courses that teach beginners the basics about acting, from how to read a script to basic acting techniques;
- How to get ahead during the audition process and really stand out from the crowd; and
- Courses that are focussed on TV and film, the theatre, or a mixture of the two.
There are also plenty of experienced acting tutors in Cardiff.
Whether you’re looking for actors who have credits within Game of Thrones (Ross O’Hennessy of LARCA Workshops) or you’re looking for courses run by those with over 30 years’ experience in the industry (The Workshop) you should be able to find a course that is run by people who know the industry well and can help you improve as an actor.
What’s more, Cardiff carries some additional prestige as a place to study acting thanks to The Royal Welsh College Of Music & Drama, which offers:
- BA (Hons) Acting;
- MA Acting for Stage, Screen & Radio; and
- Youth acting classes, for example through the Young Actors Studio.
If you’re not looking for a degree in drama, then there are also shorter-term drama courses that you can take at other drama schools.
LARCA Workshops, for instance, offers a 10-week long acting course for adults, while the Actors Workshop offers a wide range of courses designed for a variety of ability levels, from beginners who would like to know more about the world of acting, to students with intermediate or advanced acting ability.
Find Acting Classes In Edinburgh
If you’re looking to develop your talents as an actor in Scotland, one of the best places you can go to is Edinburgh.
Whether you’re looking for a formal acting qualification, such as those offered by Edinburgh Napier University, or would like to attend a short acting course run by a drama school such as Edinburgh Acting School or Acting Out Drama School, you should be able to find what you’re looking for in Edinburgh.
What’s more, one huge draw when it comes to studying acting in Edinburgh is the fact that every year Edinburgh plays host to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
This festival, which typically runs for three weeks in August, showcases thousands of different performances from a wide range of performance types. Whether you:
- Want to catch up and coming comedians or established acts like Eddie Izzard or Rhod Gilbert;
- Would like to experience a variety of physical theatre performances; or
- Want to see a mixture of theatre, dance, and even circus acts,
You can do it all at the Fringe!
In fact, as an acting enthusiast, you might even look at the possibility of running your own show or working in someone else’s! This can be a great way to boost your confidence and give you exposure to what working in the industry might look like.
If you would like to take part in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, you can find more information on the Festival’s website.
As with any acting course, remember that when looking for the best course you need to think about factors such as cost, ease of travel, and course duration. After all, there’s no point in booking your spot on a course that you can’t physically get to!
If you are struggling to find an acting class that’s right for you, or just want some specific guidance in a particular area (such as acting technique, improvisation skills, audition technique, or cold reading tips) then you could also look at private tuition.
Superprof, for example, has a range of acting tutors, both in Edinburgh and across the UK, that can help students with their understanding of drama and give them tips and skills to be a better actor.
To find a tutor near you, simply enter your postcode on the Superprof website. Happy searching!
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