Acting (CDT), BA

Duration: 3 years full-time, October start

UCAS code: Institution C35, Course W410, option CDT

Award: Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Acting

Tomorrow I'll Be Twenty, 2017 - performed by BA Acting: Collaborative and Devised students

About the course

Central’s BA Acting (Collaborative and Devised Theatre) is in creative partnership with international touring theatre company Complicite.

  • An innovative and rigorous actor training, emphasising the creation of new theatre
  • Embraces a multicultural and multidisciplinary methodology
  • Celebrates the creative potential of collaborative processes alongside development of the individual actor
  • 3 years full-time, and students are entitled to full Equity status upon graduation.

You will graduate with the skills to work in classical and contemporary theatre, film, radio and screen, as well as being an accomplished maker of your own work. The core actor training includes the psychophysical techniques of Jacques Lecoq, Michael Chekhov, Konstantin Stanislavski, Kristin Linklater and Moshe Feldenkrais and emphasises an embodied and experiential approach.

As well as developing rehearsal techniques for script-based work, the course will encourage you to explore the most up-to-date forms of theatre and filmmaking and to have a full creative and political engagement with your work.

Course Detail

YEAR 1: Acting and devising practice

  • Through progressive work on acting, script analysis, voice, movement, devising, ensemble, singing, dance and improvisation, you will begin to undo physical and vocal habits
  • Develop openness and sensitivity to space, image and impulse and cultivate mental and physical connectivity
  • Apply these approaches to work on poetry, verbatim, observation and storytelling, as well as studio work on three plays.

YEAR 2: Transforming through acting and devising

  • Through continued and extended work you will move towards greater expressivity and transformation across a broad range of characters and genres
  • Full-length devised performance, American scenes, radio drama, comedy of manners and classical tragedy
  • Uniquely, the process includes the full integration of design (sound, lighting, video, set) in the autumn term
  • Class-based training concludes with a three-week clown intensive and a series of professional preparation workshops.

YEAR 3: Testing creativity and actor processes

  • Through producing public performances for paying audiences, agents, casting directors and industry professionals, you will develop your artistry and independence
  • Work on at least two plays and one devised theatre piece
  • Undertake radio and screen training (including recording voice clips and showreels, and writing, shooting and editing a short film)
  • One of the third year performances is usually performed off-site at a professional London theatre venue, as is the annual showcase.

Download BA (Hons) Acting (CDT) Course Specification 2016-2017 (1.03 MB)

Entry Requirements and Admissions

Minimum Entry Requirements

2 A Levels at C, 3 GCSEs at C, and selection by audition.

Normal offers may be higher and depend upon expected grades and audition performance. Exceptional applicants who do not meet this requirement, but demonstrate appropriate potential, may be accepted.

Admissions

This is an intensive professional training course and must be followed in its entirety.

Applications for deferred places are not accepted for this course.

Candidates must be eligible to satisfy the general admissions requirements. Admission will be based on the reasonable expectation that you have the potential to complete and contribute positively to the programme and that you would benefit from honours study. There is no alternative to selection by audition.

Selection for audition will normally depend on you meeting, or being predicted to meet, minimum entry requirements, and on written references and demonstration of the following in the UCAS written statement:

  • engagement with theatre and acting at national/local level
  • evidence of a real commitment to acting and a long-standing interest in acting and theatre
  • knowledge of a range of theatrical forms and genres
  • experience gained in post-education contexts, such as the workplace, travel and voluntary settings.

In the absence of formal qualifications, an indication of academic potential will be sought in your UCAS statement.

We particularly encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in higher education, such as students with disabilities and members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. Find out more information on Central’s commitment to equality and diversity.

Auditions

Find out more about the audition process for our Acting, BA courses.

View the audition speech list, or request a copy by calling +44 (0)20 7722 8183.

International Auditions

Each year Central hosts a number of auditions outside of the UK, with a team of tutors from Central traveling to meet applicants. The international auditions are designed to replicate the London-based audition experience in every aspect (other than a tour of our site!). See our Event Finder for listings of upcoming audition locations and dates.

International Students

Visit the International Students section to view details of English language requirements for Central's courses.

Industry Links & Visiting Staff

Permanent members of the Acting CDT staff regularly work on professional theatre projects and, from the outset, you will work closely with professional theatre companies and emergent or professionally active directors.

In recent years students have had workshops and created performances with Complicite, Filter Theatre, Catherine Tate, Lucy Porter, Ridiculusmus, John Hegley, Inspector Sands, Declan Donnellan, Max Stafford-Clark, Robin Soans, Tanika Gupta MBE, Transport Theatre, Blind Summit, the TEAM (New York), out of Inc and Quiconque. Film and theatre professionals are often invited to hold research and development workshops with students, who may go on to work on those productions.

Recent Visiting Staff

Directors

Pooja Ghai (Stratford East), Nancy Meckler (Shared Experience, Royal Shakespeare Company), Mel Churcher (Control, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory), Wilson Milam (Royal Court, Donmar Warehouse, Tony Award Nominee), Marcello Magni (Globe, Complicite, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord), Yael Shavit (Young Vic: Jerwood Directors Award), John Walton (Fol Espoir), John Wright (Told by an Idiot), Dominic Rouse (Concerned Architect, Headlong), Simon McBurney (Complicite), Joyce Henderson (Complicite, National Theatre), Jemima James (Complicite, Theatre O).

Visiting Professionals

Tanika Gupta MBE (Royal Court, Royal Shakespeare Company, BBC), Ally Cologna, Max Mackintosh, Imogen Knight (Old Vic, Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells), Maeve Diamond, Stephen Kemble (RSC, Birmingham Rep), Vicki Manderson (National Theatre of Scotland), Lucy Cullingford (Royal Shakespeare Company), David Ashley, Ng Choon Ping (Royal Exchange, Hodgkiss Award Winner), Julie Spencer (Shakespeare’s Globe), Robert Bowman (Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, Living Pictures).

What our students said

Fisayo Akinade
Fisayo Akinade, who graduated from Acting CDT in 2011

Graduated 2011, credits include Cucumber for Channel 4, Banana for E4, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Ordinary Lies series for the BBC, The Vote at the Donmar Warehouse, Pigs And Dogs at the Royal Court Theatre, and the film The Girl With All The Gifts with Glenn Close and Gemma Arterton.

The course has been invaluable to me. Its greatest strength is that through detailed and varied training it nurtures real versatility in an actor: an ability to adapt to almost any situation. This has been hugely beneficial to me when moving between working on the stage and screen. The techniques you learn on the course are universal and can easily be applied to any medium. For example, the work we did on Jacques Lecoq and Michael Chekhov made screen work feel instantly familiar. Acting CDT gives you a rounded training and it challenges the limits of your imagination – making you think more freely and creatively.

Recent Graduate Successes

Theatre

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, Sonia Friedman Productions; Lionboy, The Encounter, Complicite; Barbarians, Young Vic; The Plough And The Stars, Three Days In The Country, Moon On A Rainbow Shawl, Emil And The Detectives, People, Places And Things, The Amen Corner, National Theatre; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bristol Old Vic; A Raisin in the Sun, Sheffield Crucible; Beautiful Burnout, Frantic Assembly; The Roaring Girl, The White Devil, Royal Shakespeare Company; The Alchemist, Liverpool Playhouse; Let The Right One In, National Theatre of Scotland; The Vote, The Silence Of The Sea, Making Noise Quietly, Donmar Warehouse; The Mystae, A Human Being Died That Night, Hampstead Theatre; Richard III, Money The Game Show, Waiting For Godot, Refugee Boy, West Yorkshire Playhouse; The Crossing Plays, Hidden, Truth And Reconciliation, Royal Court Theatre; Powder Monkey, Manchester Royal Exchange; War Horse, West End and Broadway; Romeo And Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s Globe; The Duchess Of Malfi, The Old Vic; Fear Of Music, Out of Joint.

Television

Stella, Sky 1; Paranoid, Downton Abbey, Foyle’s War, A Touch Of Frost, ITV; Banana, Youngers, E4; A Song for Jenny, Cuckoo, In the Dark, One Child, EastEnders, The Ark, Peaky Blinders, Wallander, The Village, Inspector George Gently, Casualty, Holby City, Doctor Who, Robin Hood, Our Girl, Doctors, Call The Midwife, New Tricks, BBC; Cucumber, Hollyoaks, Fresh Meat, Drifters, Blackout, New Worlds, Channel 4; Law And Order, Hallmark; Game Of Thrones, HBO.

Film

The Girl With All The Gifts, Altitude Films; Knights Of The Round Table: King Arthur, Velocity; Dunkirk, Gravity, Sherlock Holmes, Warner Bros.; Good People, Millennium Films; World War Z, Paramount Pictures; The Rochdale Pioneers; The Look Of Love, Film 4 / Baby Cow Productions / Revolution Films; This Is Not Happening, Picnic Films; Cinderella, John Carter, Disney / Pixar.

Notable Alumni

Fisayo Akinade (2011) played the lead in the UK tour of Refugee Boy and has gone on to star in Banana and Cucumber by Russell T Davies for Channel 4 and E4.

Alisha Bailey (2009) appeared in the National Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company’s production of Moon On A Rainbow Shawl.

Peter Bray (2009) has worked at the RSC, Shakespeare's Globe and the National Theatre.

Michael Brett (2008) appeared in War Horse and was also Puppeteer and Movement Artist on the Academy Award-winning Gravity.

Michael Fox (2013) appeared in the BBC’s Noah playing Shem to David Threlfall's Noah. 

Alice Hewkin (2014) appeared in Game Of Thrones during her third year of training, along with a guest lead in Stella by Ruth Jones.

Staff on the Course

View profiles of the academic staff who teach on this course. Click on each staff member to see their CV.

Catherine Alexander, BA

Reader in Theatre Making, Course Leader Acting – Collaborative and Devised Theatre (BA)

Geoffrey Colman, BA, MA, FRSA

Head of Acting, Programme Leader BA (Hons) Acting

Daron Oram, BA, MA, SFHEA

Senior Lecturer, Voice

Sinéad Rushe, BA, PgDip, DEA

Senior Lecturer, Acting and Movement

Our Current Students

About Central's Acting, BA courses

by Geoffrey Colman, Head of Acting
Geoff Colman, Central's Head of Acting

Historically, Central actors have always adopted a pragmatic approach to their training, drawing upon multiple performance theories rather than subscribing to a particular doctrine or method. The three specialisms reflect this eclecticism and celebrate the many and varied techniques available to the actor trainer.

Students are required to attend auditions held in London and internationally. At audition participants may opt to be considered for one, two or all three courses. If successful, an offer may be made for one or more of the courses, but it will not be possible to transfer between courses once accepted.

During their study students will be taught a wide range of acting processes by resident and visiting professional staff. Each of the three specialist courses of the BA (Hons) Acting will help them learn how to become self-determining creative actors eminently capable of working in theatre, television, film and radio and will constantly challenge their understanding of acting. Intensive conservatoire training also requires utter dedication and will demand courage, intelligence, wit and generosity.

The three courses exist within a thriving university/conservatoire environment – home to a dynamic range of related performance disciplines at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The training will be contextualised alongside relevant professional advice and is structured in such a way as to gradually equip students with a thorough understanding of the industry. Professional preparation, including meetings with agents, casting directors, producers and directors, as well as mock auditions/castings and a West End showcase, has meant that, in recent years, most students of the BA (Hons) Acting – across all three courses – have secured agent representation by the time they have completed the course.

Performances by BA (Hons) Acting alumni have long been recognised by major awards such as the BAFTAs, Oscars, Golden Globes, Olivier Awards, Tony Awards, London Evening Standard Theatre Awards and The Sunday Times/National Theatre Ian Charleson Awards.

Most recently alumni have been awarded a British Academy Television Award for Best Actor, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie, MTV Movie Award for Best Hero, British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor, Empire Award for Best Actor, Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Performance, San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble Performance, Ariel Award for Best Actor and Emerging Talent Award at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

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