ALRA News & Events

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.

New audition system live for our drama schools

ALRA is committed to reaching out to all aspiring performers and our application system has been slimmed down to be as simple, accessible and as fast as possible.

We provide an online application service so that no paper forms or postage are involved. This is for environmental and access reasons and it means that applications can be made via all computers and smart devices and data is secured on our protected server.

Auditions at ALRA are held at our own campuses, at regional venues across the UK as well as at schools and colleges through our ever increasing outreach programme.

We are confident that our system is faster, more efficient and easier than ever and we always look forward to meeting the next batch of prospective students.



ALRA Applications & Auditions 2018

At ALRA we recognise that auditioning for drama school can be time-consuming, costly and stressful.

ALRA is committed to being as inclusive as possible as we understand it's sometimes difficult to give up a day's work to attend an audition. That's why we have set up an evening option and more weekend dates this year than ever before. We hope that will make the process easier for everyone.

Our online application process has been streamlined into a process of just a few minutes. We think this will be appreciated by prospective students who may be auditioning for several schools or applying around studying and work commitments.

These are the latest initiatives ALRA are offering, in order to improve the application experience. You may also have noticed that our website is available in a dyslexic friendly font and that we've also signed up to a deal with, to get cheaper tickets for people who have to travel to our campuses for an audition.

ALRA can arrange Outreach Auditions at schools, colleges and community groups - any organisation where four or more people want to audition can apply to be an outreach centre. This saves on travel expense for the applicants and allows them to audition in a familiar place - hopefully this reduces the stress of the experience!

Our own campuses in Wandsworth and Wigan are accessible and there is a hearing loop fitted in our theatres.

Should you have any difficulty with the application process, do please get in touch by email or phone so we can help you. A full list of the audition dates can be found here and our contact information is on our website here.

We wish you all the very best in your applications for drama school and university!


Edinburgh Festival Fringe

If you want to support ALRA students and graduates at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year you definitely won't be short of options. Have a look through the list below and if you are at the Festival this year, go along and say hello.

Maddy Anholt - Herselves

2nd to 27th August at Med Quad

Character comedian Maddy Anholt, who graduated from ALRA in 2010, returns to Edinburgh following five-star sell-outs at last year’s festival and at the Soho Theatre with a brand new hilarious hour that delves into her surreal and sparkly world of outlandish characters. As seen on BBC2’s Sunny D and heard on Radios 4’s No Smoke.

Elliot Hadley - 5 Guys Chillin'

2nd to 27th August at Assembly Roxy

Following highly acclaimed, sell-out performances in Dublin, New York, Sydney and Edinburgh, 5 Guys Chillin’ is also heading to Edinburgh. It’s written by ALRA tutor Peter Darney and 2010 ALRA graduate Elliot Hadley is now Assistant Director after winning Best Male Performer at the Dublin International Theatre Festival in 2016.

Effie Summers - First Time Buyers

3rd to 26th August at Bourbon Bar

New comedy play First Time Buyers features Effie Summers who graduated from ALRA North in 2017 and has hit the ground running. She will be playing the role of Debbie.

Rebecca Vaughan - Austen’s Women & The Time Machine

Austen’s Women at Assembly Roxy Upstairs3rd to 13th August

The Time Machine at Assembly Roxy Upstairs3rd to 28th August

Rebecca Vaughan, who graduated from ALRA in 1999, is taking two shows up to the festival this year with her company Dyad Productions, marking her ninth Edinburgh Festival Fringe appearance. They are performing their brand new show The Time Machine – an adaptation of the HG Wells classic – and a revival of the five-star reviewed Austen’s Women – a celebration of Jane Austen’s heroines.

Michelle Barnette - Brutal Cessation

3rd to 28th August at Assembly George Square

Brutal Cessation is a savage new play by Milly Thompson, directed by Bethany Pitts and featuring ALRA 2014 graduate Michelle Barnette.

Emily Parker-Barratt and Keri Bastiman - Ballot Box

5th to 12th August at Paradise in The Vault

Emily Parker-Barratt and Keri Bastiman both graduated from ALRA's MA Acting course in 2013 and 2012 respectively. They are taking Ballot Box, a one-hour satirical comedy, to this year's festival.

Ballot Box was written by Emily for Tea and Tonic Productions – a company run by both Emily and Keri.

Evangeline Osbon and co. - Think

5th to 12th August at Paradise in The Vault

Evangeline Osbon, 2017 ALRA graduate, is taking her original play Think to this year's festival. The cast also features fellow graduate Ebony Wong and Third Year students Maddie Coles, Stefan Race and Romario Simpson.

Read our interview with Evangeline on the play.

Maria Crocker and Alice Blundell - No Miracles Here

5th to 25th August at Summerhall

ALRA graduates Maria Crocker (2011) and Alice Blundell (2012) are both performing at this year's festival in No Miracles Here, a play supported by the RSC as part of the Northern Stage programme.

Matt Anholt and Evelyn Roberts - The Horse Show

5th to 27th August at The Black Market

Also appearing at the festival will be The Horse Show, a character comedy produced by and featuring 2014 ALRA graduates Evelyn Roberts and Matt Holt.

Holly Chidley, Charlie Chambers and co. - Cult-ure

14th to 26th August (excluding 20th) at TheSpaceUK on North Bridge - Perth Theatre

Bind Theatre Company will be presenting Cult-ure - a thought-provoking play on bullying - at the festival this year. Featuring in the production are current ALRA students Holly Chidley (Artistic Director/Producer), Charlie Chambers (Director), William Bull, Mathew Farmer, Roisin Fahey, Alexandra Spooner and Conrad Williamson.

Hannah Samuels, Debbie Bird, Topher Collins and Scott Patrick - Meeting at 33

7th to 18th August at Salvation Army - Pleasance Courtyard

Created through extensive anonymous interviews with addicts and retold verbatim, Meeting at 33 offers a unique opportunity to experience a recovery meeting. Featuring in the production are ALRA graduates Hannah Samuels, Debbie Bird, Topher Collins and Scott Patrick.We wish all our students and graduates the best of luck for their shows and performances.

Aidan Good and Jon Clark - Edinburgh Technicians

Two ALRA SMTT graduates, Aidan Good and Jon Clark, will also be heading to the festival as techicians. Aidan will be working in the Gilded Balloon while Jon will be stationed at the Pleasance Courtyard. 

Follow ALRA on social media for further updates on the festival.

What's On
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

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

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