The home to three historical entertainment venues, Manchester is definitely a leading lady amongst the Northern English acting scene. The city’s well-equipped drama schools and venues materialise a true commitment to keeping British performing arts heritage alive. Cultural jewels like the Palace Theatre have successfully welcomed many blockbuster musical productions like Les Misérables, Miss Saigon and Mama Mia!
A talented crowd, Mancunians have populated both local and international cast lists for decades, amongst them Bernard Hill whom you might recognise in several memorable roles: Theoden in the Lord of the Rings trilogy but also the heroic captain in Titanic. John Bradley, who grew up in Wythenshawe, South Manchester, plays the courageous and benevolent Samwell Tarly in the infamous Game of Thrones series. We will be sure to see more of him in the future!
Are you a local talent yourself? Have you ever wondered whether you could take the main stage without losing your cool? Against general perception, discipline in intensive rehearsing is key to becoming an actor. If you wish to learn the fundamentals of drama but don’t know where to start we’ve got you covered. Dive into our list of acting classes available in Manchester!
Finding Acting Classes in Manchester
Have a big passion for drama but a smaller budget? If you’re looking for cheap acting lessons look no further.
ActUpNorth offers affordable adult acting classes for those with commitment and determination in a safe environment. Launched in 2009 by casting director Peter Hunt, you will find dedicated and professional care for budding thespians here. The programme is strongly influenced by the modern media climate and favours a practical approach to instruction in cold reading and monologues. Basic skills and acting techniques are taught in a novel way so to best fit the current film industry. The school supports students’ early on in their careers through opportunities to work with producers, directors and agents. Studying here will give you the opportunity to get your foot in the (studio) door.
Accessible drama training for all is also a strong focus for former acting and voice coach Mark Hudson. His Manchester School of Acting endeavors to teach the stage and screen acting methods in various formats, from part-time to more in-depth intensive sessions. Mark and his team will have you progressing in no time, focusing on challenging material. Applicants will have to go through an interview process that involves an audition and a meeting with Mark and his team, each class costs £20.
The New Live Theatre Company caters to all prospective students with acting workshops and short-courses suitable for all levels from beginners to perfecting a monologue. Not only do they want you to grow as an actor but they also address the challenges of breaking into a tough business. Why not add useful industry insight to your course list like learning how to market yourself as an actor, a critical ability to get work in a dense market. Weekly acting classes cost as little as £12.50 and you can join at any time of the year.
The Royal Exchange Theatre is not only based in one of the most beautiful buildings in Manchester but believes that everyone should be able to train to become an actor. A Northern hub for storytelling, after showcases the time to exchange ideas about the latest production encourages reflection and a critical eye. Not a class per say but definitely an evening from which you will learn a thing or two, head here for more information.
Private Acting Coaches in Manchester
Going about finding a private tutor can be daunting as there are numerous ads and postings out there. But once you have found him, the right acting coach will spotlight a particular aspect of your set of skills that needs work. They can be great in directing novice and intermediate level actors to the next level. By supplying sharp feedback, a coach will help you overcome your learning hurdles and kick-start that growth you have been looking to achieve as a performer.
Beyond particular acting techniques like improvisation or even clowning, coaches can also help you work on presence and physicality, your posture and gestures. Their services can also help conquer stage fears or anxiety-inducing social situations.
If you are thinking about private tuition to hone a particular skill, The Actor’s Lab is for you. With a reputation for tailored service, they are as flexible as your schedule requires, offering weeks days, evenings and weekends availabilities. Looking to add another talent to your repertoire? The school also offers singing classes from a range of seasoned industry professionals in a studio of your choice, the tutor’s home or even the comfort of your own home. A one-hour private acting class costs £60.
Thinking Actors offers acting training and support for children and adults alike. For example for kids can learn the groundlings of drama through a fun and lively lesson. You can also book a public speaking course or a corporate team building seminar. Peter Carroll will teach you everything about performing for film and tv. His professional methods include Stanislavski and Meisner. Student improvement through constructive criticism is key here so expect valuable feedback. Other coaches like Karen Henthorn who also teach at prestigious acting schools like London’s Italia Conti return regularly for weekend masterclasses. Beyond delivery and voice control, the special workshops also cover transversal skills like emotional and spatial awareness. Expect £130 for a two-day masterclass and £20 for an acting for camera group session.
The Manchester Hub Drama in Salford neighbourhood can simply help you build self-confidence. The professional approach coupled with an intimate atmosphere will be sure to give the shyest one in the crowd a social boost. Their panel of coaches is ever evolving and has a constant flow of newcomers like Callum Arnott (Coronation Street, Fat Friends, Doctors). The wealth of experience from all the teachers combined covers both TV and stage training. Trial classes are a great deal at £7.50 and regular classes are subject to a monthly fee of £50.
Established in Manchester 15 years ago, film director Ian Vernon has won multiple awards and developed his own method drawn from solid experience in the film business. He teaches 3-hour evening classes composed of small focused groups limited to 9 students. Ian explores technical skills and shares tricks that many schools won’t know about. Clear direction and honest critiques are his tools of the trade to make you progress into a capable actor with range and cast-ability.
Several websites offer a direct contact with acting coaches that are also practicing actors with industry experience. We recommend a careful read through their profiles which will have everything from qualifications, teaching methods down to the distance they are willing to travel for the lesson. Prices may vary from £20 to £40 an hour. Who knows you may find your new mentor online!
Drama Schools in Manchester
In terms of formal and accredited acting training, The Manchester School of Theatre, linked to the Metropolitan University, is the main choice for Northeastern England. The school follows a more physical approach to theatre, think the Grotowski method. Not limited to one school of acting, you will find instruction on Brecht and Stanislavski too. Working in close collaboration with the BBC North and Granada channels, the school is a reputed stepping stone into the business. The many alumni that have gone on to have bright careers in acting testify to the quality of the program. The three-year full-time undergraduate course tuition costs £9,250 for UK and EU students.
You can also choose to enroll in a BA or a diploma at The Arden School of Theatre. Reputed for top-notch training for musical theatre, dance and dramatic arts, it is a place of transversal skills. The acting faculty includes TV drama regular Marie Critchley and Paul Broughton, who has been in the business for 22 years. The stage oriented course “Theatre and Performance” targets game-changers, innovators and those excited to take drama to new heights. The “Acting for live and recorded media” will give you a wealth of experience from 3 years of learning in state of the art infrastructures: strong audition skills down to clean and professional show and audio-reels. The course is taught by professors still actively involved in the industry who will share their business know-how. The application process requires an audition, a GCSE grade C or above in English and at least 96 UCAS points. The current rate for this course is £8,900 per year. The school also offers evening classes from 6.00 to 8.30 pm, running in 6 week periods for £150 per term.
The Manchester College’s Performing Arts department teaches students from all ages from post GCSE level to adults looking for a change in career. All you need to do is find a course and apply online with your resume, it’s as easy as that! The first interview with corresponding tutors will cover your motivations, it is generally hosted on campus. Be it in Central, North East or South Manchester, visiting the course location is the chance see the learning environment and get a feel for the student life there. That said, every campus has consciously established a long-standing relationship with their host community, making sure local businesses also benefit from the college’s activities. For the youngest students (16 to 18 years old) there are no course or exam fees, but other life-related expenses may arise and the college offers a range of financial support schemes or you can apply for a scholarship.
Congratulations fellow Mancunians - you now know everything about finding the right acting class for you! Be it Chekhov, Shakespeare, the Emmy awards or Broadway, your drama aspirations now have an outlet and no excuses. Now go forth, give one of these options a try and step onto your own stage!