Explore our Training

On this page you’ll find videos and case studies to give you an insight into what the LAMDA student experience is really like, from the inside.

  • Joining LAMDA

    Joining LAMDA
  • Training at LAMDA

    Training at LAMDA
  • Living at LAMDA

    Living at LAMDA
  • Leaving LAMDA

    Leaving LAMDA

Student Interviews

BA (Hons) Professional Acting, first-year student

King Boetang

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

I was training with the National Youth Theatre four days a week and working in my spare time. I knew the NYT was a preliminary step for me and the end goal was always to get into drama school. In my first year of applying to drama school I didn’t get in anywhere, but the next year I was offered places at four different schools and accepted LAMDA.

I wouldn’t have been able to take up my place if it wasn’t for the scholarship funding I got. Well, maybe I could have managed it but it would have been unbelievably stressful on my family and me and probably been a totally different experience.

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

In my first year of applying to drama schools I didn’t know as much about the process, but in my second year I knew what I wanted. I had heard about the CDD (Conservatoire for Dance and Drama) and knew that the CDD drama schools, including LAMDA, were the best of the best. More than that though, I started looking into where the actors I liked and respected had trained and saw that so many of them had come through LAMDA.

I got through to final round auditions at seven drama schools in my second year of applying but at my final audition for LAMDA I knew it was the one I wanted. It just felt like the best place for me – it felt right.

How would you describe the training at LAMDA?

Intense! It’s demanding on every level. Physically, the movement training is really taxing; intellectually, you’re pushing yourself to explore and understand characters and then inhabit them; emotionally, it opens you up and makes you a lot more aware of your feelings, which in turn, makes your emotions more available for your work. You expect the physical work to be full-on but the emotional effect of the training surprised me. I’m also learning how to trust my gut and follow my instincts as an actor and that’s invaluable.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

Knowing that I’m getting everything I signed up for: the best quality training, friends for life, a great launch pad into the industry… And it’s fun! It’s a pleasure to be a part of LAMDA’s story and history.

What excites you about LAMDA’s new training centre?

It’s amazing. Incredible! The most exciting thing is that we are all back in the one building – first years, second years, third years, directors, diploma students… you really get a feeling now of being part of a community and a family, part of something bigger. I’m one of the lucky A’s who has been chosen to take part in Fight Night this year and I cannot wait to get onto the stage of The Sainsbury Theatre and experience that!

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Challenging (in a positive way!). Fun. Inspiring.

King graduates in 2019.

BA (Hons) Professional Acting, first-year student

Samuel Stafford

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

After I had done my A-levels, I auditioned for drama school for a couple of years while doing a BTEC qualification (and working to fund myself). The BTEC was really a back-up; my goal was always to act. I had done drama as an extracurricular at school and always loved it.

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

I did LAMDA Exams when I was younger so I knew about the Academy. In my third year of auditioning for drama school, I was told I hadn’t got a place on the BA Professional Acting at LAMDA but I was asked to audition for the Foundation Diploma, and was offered a spot on that course. Whilst I was sceptical at first (as were my parents) about the career prospects I’d have after only one year of training, I was completely blown away by the amount of time, effort and love LAMDA put into the course. I have diabetes so I also thought it would be a way to see if I could cope with the demands of full-time training. LAMDA do a great job of integrating the year groups. The F course was a great gateway into drama school, and after that one year I was lucky enough to be accepted on the BA at LAMDA!

How would you describe the training at LAMDA?

It’s phenomenal. So beneficial and so tough, emotionally, physically and mentally. It’s rewarding though; the blood, sweat and tears are all worth it. There are days when you just hit the wall with the training and you feel like you just aren’t getting it (for me, that happened when we were doing Jacobean scenes) but somehow you find a way through it and it’s so worth it when you do.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

The family vibe; everyone is so warm. It doesn’t feel like an institution. We work hard but we are all in it together. Everyone is really understanding and supportive of each other.

What excites you the most about LAMDA's new training centre? 

Mentally, it helps to have facilities to match the hard work you’re putting into the training. And it’s just lovely that everything is in the one place, under one roof now.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Fulfilling. Exhausting. Great!

Sam graduates in 2019.

BA (Hons) Professional Acting, second-year student

Scott Gordon

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

I came to LAMDA straight from school. I went to a really sporty high school in New York and hadn’t really done much acting up until that point. I got into an extracurricular acting programme at my school and loved it. In my senior year (the equivalent of Year 13 in the UK), I started an acting company for me and my classmates which is still there and still staging plays.

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

For a long time I didn’t realise that academic grades aren’t so important when it comes to getting a place at drama school. Once I discovered that, I applied to lots of schools in New York and also to LAMDA, almost as a joke. I didn’t really have any intention of leaving New York. But then I got offered a place here and at a school in NYC and I had to choose! I decided to take the plunge and move to London to study at LAMDA and I haven’t looked back since.

How would you describe the training at LAMDA?

At LAMDA, I haven’t just learned how to act; I’ve learned how to be my own person. The training opens you up – you really get in touch with who you are – and that’s a good thing! It has exceeded my expectations at every stage. When I went for my audition and met some of the tutors I knew LAMDA was the place for me. It felt different to the other schools and I knew I would be among friends and like-minded people here.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

The people and the environment; it’s such a welcoming place (especially for a guy from New York who has moved to London on a whim!). I think one of the things that impacts your training the most is the people you are training with and the environment you’re in. Every bit of LAMDA is a part of my training and feeds into it and I’m surrounded by great people.

What excited you about LAMDA's new training centre?

I think it’s definitely going to have (and is having) a positive impact on my training. I’ve realised that I’m training at LAMDA at the best time; having seen how things were before the new building opened and then getting the chance to work and perform in the new spaces. The new theatres are so necessary and will definitely produce different work from all us students.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Defining. Formative. Life-changing. Challenging. Exciting.

How has your experience of living in London been?

Moving has been great. At the start I really didn’t know what I was doing or what was involved and it was tough. But I had an instant connection with my classmates at LAMDA and I’ve made really good friends here and outside of the Academy. They feel like family. It’s been a good experience.

Scott graduates in 2018.

BA (Hons) Professional Acting, second-year student

Jenny Wall

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

I worked for two years after I finished school and was involved in productions with my local theatre at the same time. At one stage I had five jobs on the go! In my third year of applying to drama school I got into LAMDA.

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

I knew someone who had done the Foundation Diploma at LAMDA. He loved it and raved about it but I wanted to make up my own mind, so I applied to all the big drama schools in London as well as LAMDA. The thing that clinched it for me was the atmosphere in the different schools when I went for my auditions. For me, LAMDA was definitely the friendliest and most welcoming. I got a really positive feeling from it and wanted to come back. All the students I met there were the kind of people I wanted to work with and be friends with and that was what really made me see myself living a life in London studying at this school. It seemed like something possible - I didn't feel like I'd have to change myself in order to fit in here and be a part of LAMDA

How would you describe the training at LAMDA?

For most of the first term I couldn’t stop smiling. When I first started here I would compare the feeling of walking around the building as a student to walking around the building at my auditions. I still feel so incredibly lucky every day to be here doing this.

As for the training, you get opened up to so many things, and so many things open up inside you that you never knew were there. Things come out of you – emotions and feelings and reactions – that you would never have expected. Things you didn’t even know you had the potential for.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

Finding a sense of belonging. And really feeling like the teachers care. From day one the staff and tutors at LAMDA make a big effort to know you; you’re not just another student. On my open day the Registrar knew me by name, and that was so lovely. At LAMDA, you really get the feeling the tutors love what they do. They want you to succeed and they enjoy guiding you through the training and the process. The pastoral care is brilliant as well. In my experience, staff members have gone above and beyond to make sure I’m ok and taken care of. It gives you faith in the training when the people around you invest so much of themselves into it.

What excites you about LAMDA's new training centre?

I live with third years and I see how challenging it has been for them having to train and rehearse and perform in different spaces and theatres around London. Having everything under one roof now is going to make a huge difference to that side of things. It’s going to be particularly incredible for the technical students. I think for all of us though it’s going to allow us to train and work in spaces and facilities as close as possible to the professional environment of a theatre, and that’s very exciting. The real work is going to start happening in the building.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Fun (more than I thought drama school would be).

Enlightening (it’s taught me things I didn’t know I didn’t know!).

Total (everything is covered – no stone is left unturned with the training).

Jenny graduates in 2018.

BA (Hons) Professional Acting, final-year student

Leah Harvey

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

I was at college doing a BTEC Extended Diploma in Performing Arts.

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

My drama teacher told me about LAMDA and after doing some research, I decided to apply. I knew LAMDA offered a wide range of classes like dance and stage combat and that was exactly what I needed.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

The wonderful people you meet and work with. The focus on the ensemble is so central to LAMDA's training. With a class of such wonderful people, it was easy to put my focus on them rather than on myself.

What did you look forward to the most in a week at LAMDA?

I looked forward to pushing my boundaries, discovering I could do something I didn't think was possible. Those moments of revelation were invaluable.

Where did you live while you were at LAMDA?

I moved from east London to west London. Compared to some of my peers it wasn't a big move, but for me it was life changing! I had to become independent very quickly. Managing my time and emotions took a bit of practice! But once I settled into LAMDA, I felt much more at ease.

Tell us about a time at LAMDA that you’ll never forget.

Winning Fight Night in my final year with my partner, Albert. When our names were announced I knew it was a special moment I would never forget. The hard work was worth it!

What do you hope to do now you have graduated?

I have two weeks off until I start rehearsals for the Shakespeare Trilogy at the Donmar Warehouse, which I'm very excited about! So, thankfully, I'll be very busy doing what I love.

Do you think your training at LAMDA has prepared you for a career in the industry? If so, how?

I came to LAMDA with a couple of things in my toolbox but now, thanks to the training, I have so much more in there. I'm ready and excited to go out into the professional world and continue adding to my box!

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Happy. Crazy. Unforgettable.

Leah graduated in 2016.

BA (Hons) Professional Acting, final-year student

Peter Losasso

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

I applied to LAMDA three times before I got in! I was shortlisted on my second application and offered a place on my third. Between leaving school and starting at LAMDA I spent a couple of years working and travelling and, in retrospect, I’m really glad I had this time out. It meant that when I did begin my training at LAMDA, I felt really ready for it.

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

I did LAMDA exams as a kid so it was always on my radar as a school with an amazing reputation. When I came to audition here it had a really nice feel about it; a lack of pretentiousness. The year I got into LAMDA I got offers from a couple of other schools too but I knew straight away that LAMDA was the one for me.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

The sheer mass of experience that you get! You may come to LAMDA with certain notions of why you want to be an actor and what that means, but your ideas of acting and the world are challenged and tested from day one. You’re given so much space to play and to get things wrong and to learn.

What did you look forward to the most in a week at LAMDA?

There are things I had a chance to do at LAMDA that I know I’ll probably never get to do again! Things like mask class, clowning, movement, physical theatre. That kind of work gave me a really in-depth knowledge of the tools of the acting trade – it’s the type of learning that is rare but so important.

Do you live in London or at home?

I’m from Buckinghamshire but I live in London.

How has living where you do affected your experience of training at LAMDA?

I literally met a group of my classmates for the first time at our induction day and we got on so well we decided to find a house together! Living with people that are doing the course was great, but very intense. You have to remember to talk about other things outside of LAMDA and your training!

Tell us about a time at LAMDA that you’ll never forget.

The opening night of the first play I was in in my final year. All the training and work we had done over the past two years led to this one night. Somehow it all slotted into place. It was just easy and fun and exactly what it should be.

What will you do after graduation?

I’ve signed with a lovely agent and go straight into rehearsals for a play that I’ve been cast in; The Wipers Times at The Watermill, Newbury. The show opens in late September for a one month run, followed by three weeks on tour.

Do you think your training at LAMDA has prepared you for a career in the industry? If so, how?

LAMDA gives you a massive head start with the preparation they give you for life after drama school. They do all they can to prepare you for the industry while acknowledging that the journey is going to be different for everybody. You’re able to just enjoy the fun bits and stop worrying about the rest.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Mad. Illuminating. Joyous.

Peter graduated in 2016.

MA Classical Acting for the Professional Theatre

Miranda Rizzolo

Miranda Rizzolo

How did you hear about LAMDA?

I did my undergraduate degree in English and Theatre Studies at Yale, and the summer before my final year I was in London to do a Shakespeare short course. While I was here, I heard about the LAMDA MA Classical Acting. I was looking for a program that would give me a really intensive blast of conservatoire training and a good foundation in the classics. And of course I already knew that the UK was training incredible actors, and I was aware of the calibre of LAMDA graduates.

What was the application process with Marshall like?

I heard about the Marshall Scholarship whilst researching fellowships and the application process was similar to others I had seen; writing short essays, providing recommendations from teachers, that kind of thing. I did a first interview to get my university’s endorsement before submitting my application on the national level. Then, a selection committee in each of the eight regions across the US chooses finalists for a last round of interviews. I began the application process in August and found out that I had been successful in November, so it all happened pretty quickly.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

The teachers and the training are incredible. The course offers a total immersion in the craft, which is so exciting and rewarding. For me, the highlight was the voice and movement work we did—coming from a liberal arts background, I’d never really gotten that kind of rigorous, technical training, and it was completely transformative for my work.

How have you enjoyed living in London?

I’ve loved it! The history, the culture, the arts – it’s all amazing. There’s such a great community of actors and artists in the city, and I really felt like a part of that community while at LAMDA. Plus I got to see so much great theatre!

Tell us about a time at LAMDA that you’ll never forget.

There are many! Performing Shakespeare scenes onstage at the Globe. The time our meeting with the Principal turned out to be a Q&A with Benedict Cumberbatch. Our final movement project; a collaborative 30-minute movement piece that we created together as an entire company. And the curtain call closing night of our all-female Measure for Measure, my last time sharing the stage with an incredible group of women.

What will you do after you finish your MA?

As soon as we finish our public productions, I’ll be prepping to go to the US for the LAMDA industry showcases in New York and LA. After that, I’ve booked a job! I’ll be moving to Washington DC to perform in Miss Bennet, a new sequel to Pride and Prejudice at the Round House Theatre.

Do you think your training at LAMDA has prepared you for a career in the industry in the US?

I think the quality of the training at LAMDA has given me the best preparation possible for a career in the US – it’s given me the confidence and skills to put myself out there. Of course our professional prep classes and the US Showcases are really helpful with getting a foot in the door, but I think it’s ultimately the strength of the training that makes me feel ready to start working.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Intense. Liberating. Community.

Miranda graduated in 2016.

MA Classical Acting for the Professional Theatre

Jordan Mann

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

I did a four-year BFA in Acting at New York University, where I’m from, and then moved to LA where I spent four years living and working. Looking back now, I realise how much I didn’t know when I was doing my BFA. I definitely didn’t understand what the career path of being an actor meant. I didn’t appreciate how proactive you have to be now about creating work and finding opportunities rather than waiting for things to come to you. You have make a career happen. I also didn’t have a huge range of life experiences to draw on in my work at that stage, that all came later after I moved to LA.

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

After four years in LA I still hadn’t been deterred from acting – I knew it was the career for me and I knew that I needed more training. To train as an actor at grad school in the US is two year commitment minimum, mostly three year. Because I had done my undergrad degree in acting and been working in the industry for a few years already, I had a very clear idea of what I needed to get out of a postgrad and I knew I would be able to get it from a concentrated programme like this, which is only one year. And I knew that I wanted to focus on stage training rather than screen. If you’re trying to break into theatre in somewhere like New York, having an MA on your CV matters.

Also, the fact that LAMDA audition in the US is hugely helpful.

How would you describe the training at LAMDA?

Eclectic! The tutors here throw so many different avenues and techniques at you to help you find characters. There’s no sense of there being one ‘right’ way to do something – they give you all the tools and methods you need to find your own way to the core of a character. It gives you a much better chance of finding the tools that work for you, instead of trying to adapt yourself to the tools. Coming out of this course you are ready to hit the ground running and able to do the work that you need to do, on your own, to go to castings and auditions and really represent yourself well.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

The tutors at LAMDA are as committed and as involved as the students. They give you huge amounts of time and are always on hand to help you work through problems. And I mean really work through problems, not just skim the surface but talk things through with you and help you out the other side. You feel very taken care of. There is so much support available that a student should never feel lost or alone here.

What excites you the most about LAMDA's new training centre?

There’s a lot more of a sense of community among the students now and more interaction between the different year groups. There’s always rehearsal space free too if you need it and you can always find a room to yourself before class or at the end of the day to do your own work.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Busy. Intense. Effective.

Jordan graduated in 2017.

LAMDA Foundation Diploma

Nathaniel Christian

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

I came to LAMDA straight from school. I was part of a youth theatre group at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith and one of my friends there was already studying here – that’s how I heard about LAMDA. Originally I auditioned for the three-year BA (Hons) Professional Acting but I was offered a place on the one-year Foundation Diploma instead. Initially I was disappointed but now, having gone through the year, I can see how much of a good thing it was that I didn’t get a place on the three-year course straight away. A year ago, I don’t think I really appreciated how intense the training was. If I had gotten into the three-year course then it would have taken me a long time to adjust.

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

I had heard about LAMDA Examinations while I was at school but I didn’t know much about the drama school training. From talking to my friend at the Lyric, I realised that the training at LAMDA really focused on the ensemble, on people working together to produce great theatre rather than on the individual. That really attracted me to the training here and was a big part of my motivation for applying.

How would you describe the training at LAMDA?

It’s enlightening. I developed so much as a person here. I’ve become a lot more comfortable in my own skin and more open. I’ve grown so much as a person and I really like who I am know – it’s given me a sense of self-worth that I didn’t have before. I think that’s part of the journey of self-discovery that the training takes you on. It’s also taught me to be bold and to take risks. I really understand now what it means to learn from your mistakes; you have to take chances in order to develop as a person and as an actor and I’m not afraid of failing anymore. It’s all part of the learning curve.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

The focus on the ensemble. It’s not about the individual here, it’s about the group. The training really teaches you and your classmates to think and work as a team. Everyone is here to create something – you learn really quickly that it’s not about individual personalities; it’s all about the work and about creating the best theatre possible.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Eye-opening. Challenging. Revealing. Fun. Intense.

What’s next?

The three-year BA! I auditioned for it and got in. I feel really ready for it now and I know I’m going to handle it better after a year of training on the Foundation course. This past year has been a really good thing. I’m excited about what’s next and a little bit terrified!

Nathaniel graduated in 2017.

LAMDA Semester Programme Classical Acting

Keaton Brower

What were you doing/studying before you came to LAMDA for a semester?

I was a junior BFA Theatre Arts student in the conservatory program at Boston University also pursuing a minor in Arts Leadership.

Why did you decide to apply to train at LAMDA?

I think there is great value in the classical techniques that LAMDA teaches its actors and wanted to integrate such tools into my work.

How would you describe the training at LAMDA?

The training at LAMDA is rigorous, holistic, practical, and fun all at the same time. Because it demands such great focus and dedication from actors, it also offers immense rewards in all aspects of the training. Critically, LAMDA classes present actors a wide variety of techniques while also clarifying their immediate use in the rehearsal studio. Throughout the training a communal and curious spirit is maintained, encouraging growth on both the individual and collective levels.

What’s the best thing about training at LAMDA?

I think the best thing about training at LAMDA is the positive environment cultivated by the students, administration, and faculty. While the school recognizes that criticism is essential to creative work, it was never in doubt for me that everyone wanted each other to succeed and grow. The sense of support I felt from my teachers, classmates, and the school’s administration made me both a better artist and person. It allowed me to do my best work and also gave me the opportunity to support the rest of the community in return. Through this aspect of the training I learned the true meaning of listening and earnest collaboration, two of the most essential skills any theatre artist can have.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Challenging Transformative. Beneficial

LAMDA Semester Programme Classical Acting

Helena Klaus

What were you doing/studying before you came to LAMDA for a semester?

I’ve worked as an actress at several theatres in Berlin. Besides that I did masterclasses in different acting methods and had private acting lessons.

Why did you decide to apply to train at LAMDA?

LAMDA is one of the leading schools in drama. Who does not want to be trained by the best?

How would you describe the training at LAMDA?

It focused on different acting techniques and on discovering your instrument.

What’s the best thing about training at LAMDA?

I always felt very safe in classes! The teachers created a big safe space where every student (as far as I know) could be who they are without risking judgment.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Challenging. Safe. Professional.

Shakespeare Summer School student

Max Samuels
 

Why did you decide to apply to train at LAMDA?

I have a number of friends from college in the USA who completed the Shakespeare and his Contemporaries Short Course and they all said it was not to be missed! I knew that I wanted to become a professional actor, but also felt that I was missing ‘proper’ classical training and had little experience performing Elizabethan and Jacobean texts. I was confident that the course would provide a rigorous environment in which to learn and grow in this area; and boy, did it exceed my expectations. 

What did you look forward to the most in a week at LAMDA?

I most looked forward to our weekly Wednesday afternoon master class. Each week was unique and gave us new and interesting perspectives, which we could then take back and incorporate into our core classes.  

What’s been the most surprising thing about living in London and training at LAMDA?

I found a passion for the language of Shakespeare and his contemporaries that I never knew I had. I was unsure what to think about speaking verse at first as I wasn’t sure if it would it be accessible to me and was surprised to find that verse is a gift to the actor, not a burden. The combination of seeing Shakespeare performed in London and training at LAMDA made this very clear.

What’s been the most challenging thing about living in London and training at LAMDA, and how did you overcome this?

My time was too short in London and at LAMDA. While the amount I gained and learned over two months was enormous, I felt myself wanting more by the end. There's a lot to learn about the city, about Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, and about one's self as an actor. I wish we had more time to grow and soak it all in!

Tell us about a time at LAMDA that you’ll never forget.

I'll never forget our first day: the Head of Drama School taught a class in the afternoon that blew my mind. We learned about the history and architecture of Shakespeare's Globe and the subtle differences between a first folio and a modern edition of Shakespeare, and then dove right into working on the opening scene from King Lear. He had a number of students up on their feet, so it was great to get introduced to the work of the other students as well as the passion and energy of the tutors on day one.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Eye-opening. Rigorous. Supportive.

FdA Production & Technical Arts: Stage and Screen, first-year student

Anna Short

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

I was in sixth form doing my A-levels. I knew from when I was 16 that I wanted to do technical training. When I first started looking at drama schools and courses, I was really keen to get a BA degree and I discounted LAMDA initially because I didn’t know about the BA top-up. Once I realised that LAMDA offers a BA top-up year to its FdA degree it became my first choice.

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

I had done LAMDA Exams when I was younger so I knew about LAMDA through that. I knew of its reputation – it has such a good name for the quality of its training. The more I read about the new building and the employment rate for LAMDA technical graduates the more excited I was to train here.

How would you describe the training at LAMDA?

The first term is really intense; you’re doing practical lectures and getting to know your tutors and learning new skills and meeting new people and, in my case, moving into a new house… it’s full-on! In the second and third terms then you try out roles in each of the four disciplines (stage management, lighting, sound and scenic construction). At that stage you start to get to know the Academy, the spaces you’re working in, the props, the actors and other technicians really well and it all starts coming together. It’s intense but amazing!

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

Working on productions straight away – from day one you’re right in the thick of things. In the school I went to the school community was really tight and that was very important to me. I worried that it wouldn’t be like that at drama school, but at LAMDA everyone is so friendly and so welcoming and everyone works so well together that it’s a really positive environment to be in. There’s mutual respect and understanding between all the students at LAMDA, actors and technicians, and we all want each other to do well. We understand too that everyone is learning and that means it’s ok to try new things and make mistakes and try again.  Before I came to LAMDA I was worried that everyone else on my course would be older than me (I’m 18) and have way more experience but that’s not the case. It’s a level playing field here, we are all equal and the tutors bring out a sense of camaraderie not competition in the class. We’re all in it together!

What excites you most about LAMDA's new training centre? 

It’s a privilege to be one of the first students working in the new building.  The more we work in the spaces, the better they get and it’s exciting to see that happening. The new green room is probably one of the best spaces – it’s given us an area where actors and technicians can hang out together.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Constructive. Exciting (and fun!). Eye-opening (you really discover who you are). Maturing (as soon as you get here you are treated like an adult and expected to work like an adult and that’s a really good thing).

Anna graduates in 2018.

FdA Production & Technical Arts: Stage and Screen, first-year student

Lucy Rees

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

I was working at a sixth form college as a mentor, advising students on universities and careers as well as organising and planning several events throughout the year. I would work 8:30am to 4:30pm then drive 45 minutes to my community theatre to stage manage productions, sometimes leaving in the early hours of the morning, to gain more experience in theatre.

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

I did the stage management summer school at LAMDA and loved it, however I was worried about funding two years training. I applied to various drama schools and academies that offer one-year training at a lower cost but they didn’t have the breadth of modules and knowledge on offer at LAMDA. I wanted to learn about all departments in theatre, not just stage management, so I can appreciate the work others do and help out when things go wrong. LAMDA also has a lot of weight when finding work, I wanted the LAMDA name on my CV and be part of the LAMDA family working in theatre worldwide.

How would you describe the training at LAMDA?

It’s very intense, but I’m learning so much, which is what I wanted from my training. You’re constantly on the go and I learn a completely different new skill each day, from welding to paperwork, and I love learning so much.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

Having the opportunity to experience every department and to learn not only what that department has to do but how demanding it is physically and mentally. I’m currently in construction, something I wouldn’t have chosen to do and I am not planning on going into a construction career but I have thoroughly enjoyed it so far and now understand how I can appreciate all the work that goes into making a small piece of scenery. Also working with industry professionals and being taught by people who have a vast amount of experience and are still working in the industry is a big plus; being a LAMDA is like a two-year networking event.

What excites you most about LAMDA's new training centre? 

Honestly, I’m looking forward to not have to load vans with our equipment! I’m also excited to be in our own space and to be able to take more ownership of it. I think it will also be a great opportunity for more teaching, with our classrooms and equipment all on site.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Busy. Insightful. Exciting.

Lucy graduates in 2018.

FdA Production & Technical Arts: Stage and Screen, second-year student

Samantha Gruskin

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

After I graduated from high school in New Jersey I started working professionally in New York straight away. I had done theatre from a young age and was really lucky to get work immediately. One job led to another and I loved it, but I felt like it was important to get some kind of formal training. I came to London as part of a programme I was doing in the US and, while I was here, stumbled across LAMDA. Literally! I decided to come visit the school as part of Open House and when I was here realised it offers a technical training course. I interviewed and got in!

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

It had everything I wanted and offered a type of training that I would never have gotten in the US. It’s entirely vocational; you get hands-on, practical experience from the first day. And you work on public productions, lots of them! The focus isn’t on how good you are academically; it’s all about getting your hands dirty and learning by doing.

How would you describe the training at LAMDA?

Intense and all-consuming. You have to give it everything. It’s challenging but all the more rewarding for that.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

The approach of the tutors. They give the students so much autonomy to do things for ourselves, make mistakes and learn from them.

What excites you the most about LAMDA's new training centre?

It’s a bit surreal to be honest – we’ve been looking forward to having it for so long that now it’s here it feels overwhelming. I was worried that it would take away some of LAMDA’s identity. Last year when we were commuting to different venues around London for training and performances, the chaos was part of the charm of the experience. I was worried that would change now that we are all in one place but I’ve realised that LAMDA’s charm is in the spirit of the school and the people here. And that won’t change. It’s in the energy of the Academy.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Ridiculous. Rewarding. Life-changing (no one leaves LAMDA the same person that they were when they started).

Samantha graduates in 2018 from the BA (Hons) Production & Technical Arts Top-Up.

MA Directing

Adelaide Waldrop

What was your experience/field of study before the course?

I graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2013 with a degree in Latin and English Literature. I had been acting since I was eight with a youth theatre back in the U.S., doing Shakespeare and adaptations of other classics. It wasn't until university that I began directing and started seriously pursuing theatre as my desired career. I thought about applying to drama school immediately after uni, but instead I went back to D.C. (where I'm from) and started working in the theatre scene there. I worked professionally for three years, mostly with an ensemble-devised, interactive theatre company with whom I had a yearlong apprenticeship and then went on to devise, perform, and tour with. My first paid directing job, which was with a small offshoot of the youth company I'd grown up in, finished a month before I started at LAMDA.

What made you want to study a post grad course and how did you make your choice?

I'd always toyed with the idea of getting a post grad degree in some aspect of theatre. Training isn't for everyone, and it definitely isn't accessible to everyone at the moment, but I felt strongly that spending a year studying and practicing theatre full time would help me immensely in developing my artistic work. Choosing which program to pursue was a challenge since I wanted a program that was flexible and would accommodate my somewhat eclectic range of artistic interests. The MA Directing at LAMDA wasn't the first program I looked at, but the more I learned about the course the more I knew it was the right choice for me. Every experience I had through the interview and audition process gave me a real sense of LAMDA's perspective on training, which has a strong emphasis on collaboration and ensemble-building. The conversations I had through that process, and the more I learned about the course, made it clear that this program was a perfect fit. The MA Directing program is diverse and multi-faceted – it provides directors a wide range of learning opportunities that are complemented by reflective academic work all designed to fit the needs of each individual artist.

How has the course helped so far?

The MA in Directing at LAMDA has provided me with countless opportunities to learn and gain new experiences, teaching me new tactics for making my art, and preparing me to continue learning as I move into the professional world. As part of the MA Directing program, you to gain an intimate understanding of the actor training process and you assist on public showcase productions (including a short film), which gives you first-hand access to learn from how other directors work while enabling you to build real connections in the industry. All the while we were doing various projects on our own that covered everything from dramaturgy to devising to film direction and much, much more. Countless industry professionals also came in to talk with us about a wide variety of subjects. Most importantly, however, this course enabled me to gain a better understanding of who I am as an artist. The MA Directing at LAMDA gave me the support and resources I needed in order to explore my artistic identity and expand my artistic toolbox. Leaving LAMDA, I feel infinitely more confident about my work, my artistic perspective, and my drive to continue learning and improving as an artist.

Any challenges in taking on a post grad course-time, finances etc. and any tips for addressing those?

There were a few challenges in taking on a full-time postgraduate course. I'm incredibly lucky to have generous support from my parents that enabled me to stop working for a year, move to London, and go back to being a full-time student. One challenge while on the course full-time is finding time to work on the side in order to make money. I do freelance artwork and graphic design, and LAMDA also provides many opportunities to work for the school.

Adelaide graduated in 2017.

MA Directing

Mariagrazia LaFauci

What was your experience/field of study before the course?

My undergraduate degree was in History of Art & Architecture, but throughout all four years I was also heavily involved with theatre on campus and essentially took every acting course my school offered. At the time, I felt that it wasn't a practical career choice to concentrate on theatre, but after graduation I found there were more opportunities than I was expecting. I was hired by my old high school (I'm American) to take over their theatre programs as a teacher and director, and around that same time, I met up with a producer who gave me the opportunity to begin directing my own projects, and we began a great partnership. In the final year before I came to LAMDA, I quit my full time teaching job and began freelance teaching to give myself more time to focus on directing, apply to grad school, and start a summer theatre residency in my home village in Sicily, something I'd been dreaming about for a long time. That was part of how I knew this was the right choice-I'd already decided to give up a career that offered me certainty and make directing and theatre my whole life.

What made you want to study a post grad course and how did you make your choice?

After about four years of teaching and directing simultaneously, I began to feel like it was time to take the next step and get my MA in either theatre education or directing, since I hadn't technically gotten a degree in either one yet. I knew that even as a teacher, I was much more compelled by the work in the rehearsal room than the classroom, so I decided to look for MA and MFA programs in directing. As an undergrad I'd done a lot of acting but only directed one show, so I felt hungry for a chance to be back in that learning environment, somewhere I could take risks, make mistakes, get meaningful feedback, be challenged, and grow.

I chose LAMDA because it was the only school I looked at that offered the chance to explore such a wide variety of performance practices and traditions - I knew we'd be working on classical texts, devised works, contemporary playwriting, movement projects, etc. LAMDA also has its MA Directors train alongside the acting students during their first term, which was important for me. Since I'd previously worked as an actor, I felt that an understanding of the actor's process was crucial to my work as a director. I wanted to develop a deeper understanding and have a shared vocabulary with professional working actors.

How has the course helped so far?

LAMDA gave me the chance to learn from brilliant artists at all stages of their careers - not just directors and instructors, but also designers & actors (both professional and still in training), and my astounding classmates perhaps most of all. Moreover, I came here to be challenged, and that's exactly what I got. I was given the space both to fail and to succeed. No failure was ever treated like a disaster, nor was a success ever treated like a victory. It was all part of the process of learning, so even a failure becomes a success if it helps you to grow as an artist.

Any challenges in taking on a post grad course-time, finances etc. and any tips for addressing those?

I don't think I have any great advice for this. I was lucky enough to be able to live at home for a few years before coming to LAMDA so everything I made working as a teacher and director I put into savings, which is how I managed to afford the program (though of course that means I have no savings left to fall back on now, which is scary!). I romantically believed that there might be time to hold a part time job during the course but that is completely impossible, there's barely time to breathe. You have to embrace the breakneck pace of it; the course really does require your full time and energy.

Mariagrazia graduated in 2017.

 

Feeling inspired? Check out all of our Drama School courses to find the one for you.

The LAMDA Prospectus 2018-19

The LAMDA Prospectus 2018-19 is now available. Click here to view and download a digital version. If you are interested in receiving a free printed copy, please email enquiries@lamda.ac.uk with your name and address or call 020 8834 0500.

More from LAMDA

See a Show

Watch a Short Film

Production gallery

Our new facilities


All footage © LAMDA Limited 2014.
Films created and edited by Andrew Nolan in collaboration with LAMDA's Marketing & Communications team.
With thanks to Steve Williams, A J Quinn and all LAMDA staff, students and graduates who participated.

Complete this survey and win tickets to a LAMDA show

Are you thinking about training at LAMDA? Tell us what you want to know before applying - whether that's how to prepare for your audition or what it's like to live and train in London - and you could be in with chance of winning a pair of tickets to a LAMDA show.