Actor Training

“The Cygnet’s method is eminently practical and reminded me of my own early invaluable experience as an actor in regional repertory companies, tackling play after play through the year. Audiences taught me more than any academic class could. In future, when I am asked what an aspiring actor can do to advance their hopes of a career in live theatre, I shall recommend applying for a place at the Cygnet.”

Sir Ian McKellen 2018

Drama School training on the stage

The Courses

Cygnet’s training takes a learn-while-doing approach, giving live performances as an ensemble to paying audiences from term one. All students should expect to be part of at least one touring production and benefit from the direction of multiple directors, both in-house and visiting. Our students graduate with a working knowledge of how to enter the industry.  All drama school students receive tutorials and group work as well as masterclasses with industry professionals. Stage combat training is offered to all students with third year students being offered the opportunity to continue on to advanced level training. All students are expected to take an ATCL Diploma (Trinity) with the potential to move on to the LTCL. Because our Drama School training is focused on live performance, students engage with other aspects of the industry such as stage management, lighting and costume.

The three-year course balances classwork with rehearsal for the ongoing programme of productions. Tutorials and group classes cover acting, voice, singing, movement (including Alexander Technique and dance), text, film, radio and stage combat. All students in their third year present their work in a London Showcase to an audience of invited industry contacts. Third year students will also benefit from industry preparation and guidance to launch their careers successfully as well as leaving with a professionally produced show reel and voice reel.

Foundation year students follow the same pathway as a first-year student. Most foundation students will be offered the opportunity to continue into the second year if they wish, providing they meet the expected standard. Whether or not they choose to stay with Cygnet, Foundation students will have a solid grounding in acting technique as well as the chance to ‘test drive’ some other aspects of the industry such as stage management to consider how they would like to move forward with their career.

The one-year postgraduate programme offers a detailed and flexible Spotlight recognised training leading to a London Graduate Showcase performance. In addition to the ensemble-based technical training in Voice, Movement and Acting, post-graduate students will receive career mentoring from industry professionals. They will join the third year acting students, leaving with a professionally created show reel and voice reel and will be given the option to take qualifications including the ATCL Diploma (Trinity) with the potential to move on to the LTCL.

Eligibility: Candidates should have completed a first degree and/or have relevant professional experience to qualify.

To Audition

An initial application by self-tape is requested:

  • 1 x 2-minute monologue by SHAKESPEARE
  • 1x 2-minute monologue post 1980
  • 1 verse and 1 chorus of an unaccompanied song
  • A short introduction to you, outlining your work, your experience, and your aspirations both of the training and for your career.


Foundation and three-year course: £7,500 per year (refundable deposit £1,000 to secure the place)

Postgraduate one year course: £8,000 (refundable deposit £1000 to secure the place)

Entry for all courses is by audition and interview.

To apply you can either:

call us directly on: 01392 277189

email us at:

Use Perform This to apply

“What is so refreshing in Cygnet’s programme is that from the start the actors are challenged. The teacher brings passion and experience, this needs to be grasped with both hands. The days of spoon-feeding are over. This is where Cygnet begins.”

Peter Brook, Patron (Cygnet Theatre)