By Francesca Hoare
LAMDA slashes first round audition fees, widening access to drama school training
London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art has announced its new audition process and audition fee structure, which will see the cost of first round auditions slashed for all applicants.
This is the first initiative under the leadership of acclaimed theatre director Sarah Frankcom as she takes up the helm as Director of LAMDA. Applications are open now, via LAMDA’s website: ww2.lamda.ac.uk
A new simplified process comes into immediate effect for UK and EU applicants for LAMDA’s acting courses. A £12 administration fee will drastically cut the upfront cost of auditioning by 75%. A remaining fee, would then only be payable by candidates invited back for a full-day recall audition, ensuring that those who benefit the most from the process pay a more proportionate amount.
LAMDA Director, Sarah Frankcom, said: “This is about removing the barriers to finding the best talent across the country for our acting schools. It is all about creating greater opportunity. For too long we have talked about removing barriers to students from challenging and low-income backgrounds, but the cost of the first audition for these aspiring actors has too easily been a barrier to them seeking their chance to audition. LAMDA wants to demonstrate the importance to the industry of slashing the cost of that vital first audition.”
The Rt Hon. Shaun Woodward, Chair of LAMDA Trustees, and the former Labour Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said: “This is all about giving real opportunity to students across the UK. We were set the challenge of how to respond to concerns that ‘the cost of having a go’ was ‘discouraging to would be actors from poorer backgrounds.’ So today we meet that challenge. We want to play our part in removing barriers to young people getting the chance to have their first audition. From the experience of my former constituency of St Helens, I am certain that expensive fees for a first audition really do prevent students from these tougher backgrounds taking the chance on that first audition. This decision by Sarah and our Board is a vital next step and hopefully LAMDA’s lead will encourage more of the industry to act accordingly. We must put our noble ambition for greater access into practice. Slashing first audition fees is about giving the break to opportunity.”
Benedict Cumberbatch CBE and President of LAMDA added: “I am so excited to see that Sarah’s first step as the new Director of LAMDA has been to open up the doors to greater opportunity for students from the toughest backgrounds. We need to make sure that training for the stage, film and television is opened up and that we take down barriers to young people with enormous talent and potential who might have been put off by a first audition fee that was unaffordable.”
LAMDA will continue to hold first auditions regionally, visiting eleven cities across the UK, Ireland and France, with regular dates in London. Audition places will be capped at 4,200 and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
LAMDA will maintain its system of UK audition fee waivers and travel bursaries. Financial support will continue to be available at both stages for candidates applying via LAMDA’s Access and Widening Participation programme.
For further information on funding available, course details and applications visit ww2.lamda.ac.uk.