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

  • Caliban: ‘This island’s mine… the rest of the island’. The Tempest (Act 1 Sc 2)
  • Proteus: ‘Even as one heat… use my skill’. Two Gentlemen of Verona (Act 1 Sc 4)
  • Proteus: ‘To leave my Julia… plot this drift!’ Two Gentlemen of Verona (Act 1 Sc 5)
  • Sebastian: ‘This is the air…here comes the lady’ Twelfth Night (Act 4 Sc 3)
  • Benedick: ‘This can be no trick…marks of love in her.’ Much Ado about Nothing (Act 2 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)
  • Angelo: ‘What's this? What's this? ……I smiled and wondered how.’ Measure for Measure (Act 2 sc.2)
  • Prince Henry: ‘Do not think so…this vow’ King Henry IV Part 1 (Act 3 sc 2)
  • Hamlet: ‘Look here upon this picture……O shame, where is they blush?’ Hamlet (Act 3 sc.4)
  • Edmund: ‘Thou, nature…bastards!’ King Lear (Act 1 Sc 2)
  • Edgar: ‘I heard myself…..Edgar I nothing am’ King Lear (Act 2 Sc 3)
  • Ferdinand: ‘Let me see her face again……thou hast done much ill well.’ The Duchess of Malfi – Webster (Act 4 sc.2)

Speeches for Female Characters

  • Silvia: ‘O Eglamour….depart alone’ Two Gentlemen of Verona (Act 4 Sc 3)
  • Julia: ‘And she shall…love with thee’ Two Gentlemen of Verona (Act 4 Sc 4)
  • Viola: ‘I left no ring with her……knot for me to untie’ Twelfth Night (Act 2 sc 2)
  • Helena: ‘How happy some…back again’ Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act 1 Sc 1)
  • Helena: ‘Lo, she is one…the injury’ Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act 3 Sc 2)
  • Portia: ‘I pray you tarry……you from election.’ The Merchant of Venice (Act 3 sc.2)
  • Katharina: ‘Fie, fie…husband’s foot’ The Taming of the Shrew (Act 5 Sc 2)
  • Adriana: ‘Ay, ay…undishonoured’ The Comedy of Errors (Act 2 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)
  • Portia: ‘You've ungently, Brutus……with your cause of grief.’ Julius Caesar (Act 2 sc.1)
  • Portia: ‘Is Brutus sick?..from darkness’ Julius Caesar (Act 2 sc.1)
  • Juliet: ‘Thou knowst….so discovered’ Romeo and Juliet (Act 2 Sc 2)
  • Juliet: ‘Shall I speak ill…words can that woe sound’ Romeo and Juliet (Act 3 Sc 2)
  • Juliet: ‘Farewell!.....I drink to thee’ Romeo and Juliet (Act 4 sc 3
  • 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)
  • 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)

Contact

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