Audition Guidance

First-Round Auditions

Candidates should prepare either:

One modern/contemporary speeches (written after 1956) and one speech from the Elizabethan* / Jacobean period or;

Two contrasting modern/contemporary speeches (written after 1956),

There is no specific advantage in choosing one option over the other, it is up to the individual candidate.

The speeches should be taken from published plays and each speech must last no longer than two minutes. Candidates should not perform their own material. Candidates may use an extract from a film or television screenplay/script for one of their two pieces – in which case they must bring a transcript with them detailing exactly from where the extract was taken.

*The following speeches should not be used at audition:

Edmund (King Lear) A1 S2: Thou, nature, art my Goddess

Rosalind (As You Like It) A3 S5: And why, I pray you

Phoebe (As You Like It) A3 S5: Think not I love him

Juliet (Romeo and Juliet) A3 S2: Gallop apace, you fiery – footed steeds

Launce (Two Gentlemen of Verona) A2 S3: Nay, ‘twill be this hour

Candidates will be taken as a group to a rehearsal room where they will be invited to perform their chosen pieces, in turn, to an audition panel comprised of members of the acting programme staff and external, professional practitioners. Please note that your speech may be interrupted if it runs over two minutes.

We will inform you in writing whether we are able to invite you to attend a recall audition.

Recall Auditions

Candidates attending recall auditions should be prepared to repeat their original speeches from the first round.  Candidates should also prepare two new speeches, one of which should be modern/contemporary and one from the Shakespeare/Jacobean period.

You should also learn any one song, which you should be prepared to sing unaccompanied. You do not need to imitate the original artist. The song may be in any language but should last no longer than two minutes.

You will work with the panel on material which may include improvisation, your prepared speeches and previously unseen texts. You will also participate in a movement workshop, a singing workshop and a short, informal interview.

Recall auditions will be filmed as part of the selection process. The recordings taken at these auditions are solely used to assist in the decision process and are only viewed by staff responsible for application decisions.


Due to the large numbers of candidates attending auditions, we regret that we are unable to provide individual feedback. The decision of the panel is final.

Advice to Candidates

The College places a high value on:

  • The ability to 'inhabit' a character - to understand and reveal their complex psychology
  • Willingness to take risks, but to exercise some sophistication in their execution
  • Generosity in working with others
  • Technical and expressive ability in voice, movement and singing
  • An active interest in, and knowledge of, theatre and related performing arts
  • Life experience - we encourage applicants from a wide age range

We also make the following specific recommendations:

  • Make sure that you are secure in remembering the pieces you select
  • Avoid over-used speeches. If you have selected a piece from an audition book, the chances are that the panel may have seen the piece performed many times before
  • Avoid speeches by characters much older than yourself, unless the sentiments within it are universal
  • Avoid using an accent other than your own, unless you are absolutely secure in it
  • Avoid telephone speeches
  • Wear appropriate clothing which will allow you to move easily and comfortably
  • Do not use props
  • Enjoy the experience!