Audition Speeches - BA Acting courses

Those attending auditions for Acting, BA, Acting (CDT), BA or Acting (Musical Theatre), BA are expected to prepare two memorized classical speeches from Elizabethan or Jacobean plays. For inspiration, we have published indicative classical speech lists below, however it is not compulsory that you select from these lists.

These speeches are listed by the gender of the character as originally written. Whether selecting a speech from one of these lists or from another Elizabethan or Jacobean play, all candidates should feel free to choose speeches for either male or female characters. We would always recommend that candidates select speeches which best demonstrate their strengths and abilities, and that alone should be your guiding principle when selecting your speeches.

Speeches for Male Characters

King Richard III: ‘Was ever woman……with some little cost.’ King Richard III (Act 1 sc.2)

Romeo: ‘But soft what light……cheek.’ Romeo and Juliet (Act 2 sc.2)

Macbeth: ‘To be thus is nothing……utterance.’ Macbeth (Act 3 sc.1)

Leontes: ‘"Gone already……feel it not.’ The Winter's Tale (Act 1 sc.2)

Angelo: ‘What's this? What's this? ……I smiled and wondered how.’ Measure for Measure (Act 2 sc.2)

Edgar: ‘I heard myself proclaimed……Edgar I nothing am.’ King Lear (Act 2 sc.3)

Hamlet: ‘Look here upon this picture……O shame, where is they blush?’ Hamlet (Act 3 sc.4)

Romeo: ‘Tis torture and not mercy……that word banished?’ Romeo and Juliet (Act 3 sc.3)

Ferdinand: ‘Let me see her face again……thou hast done much ill well.’ The Duchess of Malfi – Webster (Act 4 sc.2)

Monticelso: ‘Shall I expound whore……all that receive it.’ The White Devil – Webster (Act 3 sc.2)

Hamlet: ‘O that this too too solid flesh……hold my tongue.’ Hamlet (Act 1 sc.2)

Speeches for Female Characters

Portia: ‘I pray you tarry……to stay from election.’ The Merchant of Venice (Act 3 sc.2)

Queen Margaret: ‘Enforced thee……we'll after them."King Henry VI part III (Act 1 sc.1)

Queen Margaret: ‘Brave warriors……to make thee mad do mock thee thus.’ King Henry VI part III (Act 1 sc.4)

Lady Percy: ‘O yet, for God's sake……so you left him.’ King Henry IV part II (Act 2 sc.3)

Portia: ‘You've ungently, Brutus……with your cause of grief.’ Julius Caesar (Act 2 sc.1)

Juliet: ‘Gallop apace……may not wear them.’ Romeo and Juliet (Act 3 sc.2)

Ophelia: ‘My Lord, as I was sewing……comes before me’ joined onto ‘He took me by the wrist……bended their light on me.’ Hamlet (Act 2 sc.1)

Cressida: ‘Hard to seem won……stop my mouth.’ Troilus and Cressida (Act 3 sc.2)

Goneril: ‘By day and night he wrongs me……prepare for dinner." (omit Oswald's lines) King Lear (Act 1 sc.3)

Paulina: ‘What studied torments, tyrant……and vengeance for’t nor dropp’d down yet.’ The Winter’s Tale (Act 3 sc2)

Viola: ‘I left no ring with her……too hard a knot for me to untie’ Twelfth Night (Act 2 sc 2)

Phoebe: ‘I would not be thy executioner……that can do hurt’ As You Like It (Act 3 sc 5)

Rosalind: ‘And why, I pray you? ……fare you well’ As You Like It (Act 3 sc 5)