ALRA News & Events

ALRA graduates have a growing reputation for gaining acting roles on the famous cobbles of ITV’s Coronation Street.

Other ALRA graduates who made their debuts on Coronation Street in the last couple of years include Ryan Clayton (ALRA North 2015) whose character Josh Tucker recently made a comeback, Corey Weekes (ALRA North 2018) who played Morgan Middleton, Joe Mallalieu (ALRA South 2018) who played Cormac Truman, and Molly McGlynn (ALRA North 2016) who played Leah Buckley. Most recently, 2019 ALRA South graduate Mollie Gallagher was straight out of ALRA and onto the screens, playing the recurring character of goth teenager Nina.

We caught up with another ALRA North 2019 graduate Yasmin Steadman, who recently appeared as a policewoman in Coronation Street, to get the ins and outs of her experience.

What’s it like being part of such an iconic programme?

I had such an incredible day filming with Corrie. Everyone was so friendly and I was lucky enough to have a little tour around the cobbles at the end, which was definitely a ‘pinch me’ moment!

Can you talk us through the casting process? What did you have to prepare?

There was only one round of auditions because it was a smaller role I went for. I had nothing to prepare and received the script upon arrival. It was quite a relaxed audition and the casting director made me feel very comfortable in the room.

Can you pass on any tips for someone going to work on a set for the first time?  

I’d just say to listen and take direction as much as you can. The crew have so many other factors to worry about, for example the lighting, the background, hair, make up, costume… the list goes on. It just makes their lives a bit easier if you’re focused and open to change at any moment.

What particular skills did you draw on from your ALRA training?

I utilised a lot of the skills I learnt from my training at ALRA; mostly the work I did on the text beforehand and breaking down the scene. Having filmed a showreel at ALRA, it really prepared me for what life would be like on set.

What are your favourite memories of training at ALRA?

I have so many memories from ALRA. My favourite memory would probably be the trip to London to perform our showcase or being in Alice in Wonderland at Christmas, which was loads of fun!

Any other advice to students looking to audition for drama school?

Just be yourself at the audition, really. Choose pieces that show you to the best of your ability and remember sometimes it takes a few tries to get in. It can be competitive! Keep motivated and don’t give up.

If you are alumni and would like to share your story or current projects with us, please get in touch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Keep up to date with what our graduates have been up to by visiting our news page or following us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

National Student Survey results 2019

Back in February, ALRA’s outgoing third year students completed the National Student Survey and the results are now in. We’re really proud of what we have achieved and that it has been recognised by our students. Here are some key summary points of the data:

  • Highest ranked Conservatoire in the UK for student satisfaction and in the top 10% of all providers in the UK
  • Overall satisfaction improved to 94.4% (up from 89% in 2018), and the average across the country was 83.65%
  • Scored above the benchmark in 24 out of 27 questions
  • 100% satisfaction in staff explaining things well

You can find more information on the Office for Students website here.

These achievements follow our earlier successes this year of an ‘Outstanding’ OFSTED report and a Silver TEF award. 2019 is a great year for ALRA so far!

Audition Tips: FAQs to do a good job at our drama school audition

We had a great time this term putting together our video trailer about a young man and woman preparing themselves for their audition at drama school. We are well aware how exciting, daunting and overwhelming auditioning for drama school can be so we asked Adrian, our Principal and Chris, our North Course Leader, some questions we thought might be useful for you preparing yourself for the day.

How do I choose the best monologue:

Adrian Hall: Pick your age and type, then you can concentrate on staying calm and doing your best.

Chris Hill: Read as widely as you can so that your choice is really informed. Try to make sure that something is happening to the character in the monologue - not just delivering facts. Even if the character is telling a story, think about how that effects them. What emotions are prompted? Lastly, make sure there is some development in the monologue. How does your character change throughout the monologue?

Adrian Hall: And for a classical monologue I’d give the same advice as for the modern monologue above and remember the words are different, but the people felt the same things as we do.

Chris Hill: Read the entire play that each of your monologues is from so all your choices come from a detailed understanding of the text. Read up on the school you are auditioning for and the courses they provide. There are slight differences so make sure you're informed.

Adrian Hall: We ask for one classic and one modern but learn as many as you can comfortably have ready to perform. Then you have options. Two of each to start with.

I've never been very academic, and the Shakespeare monologue is a bit daunting. Are there easier and harder monologues? If so, and I choose an 'easy' one - will that count against me?

Chris Hill: The key thing is that you understand and connect with the monologue so that we can see your potential. It's no use choosing a piece that is difficult or obscure if you aren't passionate about performing it. Shakespeare is covered in some detail within the course so what we want to see is a willingness to engage with this kind of text that we can work with if you join us.

If I'm really nervous - will the panel still be able to see my potential?

Adrian Hall: We are used to people being nervous, that's usual on audition days!

Will I have to dance at the audition?

Adrian Hall: No but there’s a warm-up and group workshop.

Chris Hill: Movement is a large part of the curriculum at ALRA but the focus is on generating an understanding of your own body as a tool for creating characters. The workshop includes some movement work, but there are no steps to learn or anything. It’s a great opportunity for us to see your creativity away from a text of any kind.

Will I have to sing at the audition?

Adrian Hall: Not at ALRA although some other schools ask for a song.

If I play a musical instrument should I bring it with me?

Chris Hill: You don't need to bring instruments that you play. However, it might be interesting to talk about your other skills briefly in the interview portion of the day.

I sing, dance and act and I'm not sure if I should study musical theatre or acting - how do I decide?

Adrian Hall: Your first auditions will give you an idea of the competition and where you stand in the context of the others auditioning.

I'm dyslexic - will I have to sight read at the audition?

Adrian Hall: Possibly, but you will have time to prepare.

I didn't take drama at A Level. Will this be a disadvantage?

Chris Hill: Absolutely not. It’s really important to us that actors can follow a variety of routes into the industry and the auditions are structured to show people at their best regardless of their history with the performing arts.

I'm worried that I will be much younger/older than the rest of the people auditioning - is that a disadvantage?

Adrian Hall: We just don’t care as long as you have the talent.

Chris Hill: What we look for is a readiness to take on the rigour of training at this level. It’s very demanding but readiness doesn't necessarily correlate with age. Some people are ready at 18 and some are ready much later. We don't judge people on when they have decided it is time to train, just on their readiness to get the best from what we have to offer.

Good luck with your auditions! Remember you are choosing the drama school as much as they are choosing you, so research well and be prepared. We hope this information is really useful and helps you prepare yourself and puts your mind at ease. We hope to see you here auditioning at ALRA soon.

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ALRA's Notable Alumni
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5 tickets for ALRA showcases | that's alumnights

At each Friday night performance of any ALRA show there will hold back 5 complimentary tickets for our ALRA graduates.

To find out the forthcoming shows, please see the ‘What’s on’ section of the website.

Alumnight tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis; to book tickets please email info@alra.co.uk

Please note: ALRA still offer free tickets to all ALRA shows to alumni that are within their first year of graduation.

To learn more about ALRA’s graduate package please email dylan.stafford@alra.co.uk

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