Jump to content


Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,


I was pointed the direction to this forum by a friend and would love some input on my issue.

I am a final year student at university doing a drama degree and am now looking into doing a Stage Management and Technical Theatre course. Due to my age and financial situation (I'm going to be 24 and am an international student) I have narrowed my list of choices quite dramatically as I didn't want to do another 3 year course and I want to stay in London.


Anyway, I have had interviews at RADA and LAMDA and am still waiting to hear from Mountview for the postgraduate course. However I have been told not to go to Mountview by a few people in the industry as it's not an accredited course and it may not be enough to do a one year course to be completely well rounded. I will still go to the interview but my main choices are LAMDA and RADA.


Anyway, here's my main question: I have an offer from LAMDA and they sent a letter saying I have to accept or decline my offer by the 17th of February, if I fail to reply I lose my place. However, I have still not heard from RADA despite being interviewed in November. At the RADA interview they did warn me I may wait a while but that I should get a holding letter if I don't get a rejection straight away. I don't have either so I am going to assume I am being held, but I have heard from someone that RADA will not send any offers until interviews are all done.


I have therefore decided to accept my place and LAMDA and see whether RADA accept me and then decide which one to go to. Now here is where the dilemma starts... I have NO idea where to go if they both accept me. I LOVED the facilities at RADA and it's a 10 minute walk from where I live but I hear so many different opinions from people in the industry and at my university regarding the schools' reputations that I really don't know whether to follow my heart or actually maybe listen to what people say. Everything I have heard is making me lean towards LAMDA at the moment and I guess I am a bit attached as they were the first ones to offer me a place despite me thinking I had the worst interview ever.


Hope you people can help in this or at least just give me opninions of both courses?


Thanks a lot in advance, anything will be appreciated! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to LAMDA 12 years ago so am slightly biased but I do think the LAMDA course is great, it was (and I believe still is in the most part) mainly practical without too large a written element, they have great links with the industry and a well structured course with good shows.


That said, LAMDA is currently without a proper theatre (they moved out of the MacOwan last year and haven't started building their new place yet) so are doing shows at various venues around town.


RADA has nice facilities and most of the graduates I have worked with from there I have found to be good.


Personally I liked LAMDA for its relaxed attitude and system of training through work, which is especially good for older students who don't want to go back to 'school'


Hope that helps!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Richard! When I went to the interview they explained the theatre situation which initially discouraged me, but working at various professional theatres sounds like a great way to get experience with different equipment and different contacts. I have heard from a lot of people who are or were at LAMDA but have not heard from anyone at RADA to give an insider's view. Seems like they are pretty private. hehe.


I am definitely gonna accept their offer, don't want to risk my place waiting for RADA, only to find I've been rejected or waiting listed (new verb there).


Any more opinions will be appreciated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this is very much going to come down to personal opinions and having gone to RADA I am obviously going to be somewhat biased. I do have to say that in my opinion the course at RADA is extremely good. There are of course flaws in it, as there are in any course in any institution. However I was student rep in my final year and I can honestly say that a huge amount is being done to rectify some of the things that particularly bothered me. Neil Fraser, the head of the course is great, with what I think is a genuine drive to deliver the best to his students. If you put the work in, youll get what you want from the course. Little things, like the push to integrate the actors and technicians more in order to bring everyone to a higher level of understanding of the craft makes it a wonderful place to study. A good number of shows are put on with an expectation of nothing but the very best. I would say that each department differs so depending on what you wish to focus on you will have varying levels of teaching etc. I would also say that the facilities there are probably among the best in London. The previous comment is dead right, LAMDA are in the process of moving theatres and I have heard this is causing some problems. If you are a mature student from overseas then I would try to get through to Patricia Myers, the bursar, who I found was always extremely helpful. I was in a similar position as yourself and she talked through all the available options with re fees etc.I guess it comes down to what you yourself want to do. I found everyone at LAMDA really friendly, it had a lovely relaxed atmosphere and I would have happily have spent 2 years studying there. However when I walked into RADA I just felt that it was the right place for me and where I needed to go.Hope this in someway helps! And good luck whatever you decide on.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to neither RADA nor LAMDA so I have no axe to grind. (and fair play to the previous posters for declaring an interest).


I've seen the facilities at RADA and they are indeed very nice. I think they offer a wonderful learning opportunity. I particularly liked the studio as a "found space", but the larger theatre is also very beautiful, if perhaps a little "blonde" and neat for my personal taste.


However, I would suggest that the fact that LAMDA does not have its own facility currently may not be a disadvantage. If the staff are on the ball, they will be able to find interesting and challenging alternative facilities, meaning you might find yourself working in a much wider variety of environment rather than restricting you to experiencing the facilities available in-house.


I think there are plus points to both options, but I wouldn't dismiss either without a lot of thought about what experience you already have and how you might best enhance that.


And now I will declare an interest - I went to Mountview in the early eighties when our course had accreditation, but RADA's SMgt course didn't. Not sure what that signifies, but thought I'd mention it in a flurrie of loyalty to the old Alma Mater ....


So do bear in mind that accreditiation is a useful guide, but not necessarily the only criterion to take into account

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's worth noting that LAMDA's current show - a production of Cabaret - is taking place at Wilton's Music hall, an amazing space and - in an era when 'site specific' is all the rage - is a great place to learn how to put on a big show in an unconventional space.


I would also make the point that one of the things I feel (in hindsight) was great about LAMDA is that the theatre there wasn't perfect, it didn't have enough bars, the dimmers were old, there were old lanterns and the fly tower wasn't tall enough. While this was a pain it taught students how to cope with less than perfect spaces, while still being well enough equipped to be able to stage large scale shows. Students who train in perfect spaces with all mod-cons I feel sometimes struggle when faced with your typical victorian recieving house..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Andy S.


As a GSA graduate 10 or so years ago I have no axe to grind either, but at the time was also offered a place at LAMDA. It was a bit of a choice to make, but in the end I chose GSA simply becasue it was cheaper to live (ie out of London) as money was tight and although maybe a little more of me wanted to be at LAMDA but it was just not practical.


After all, beggers cant be choosers!!


Although LAMDA dosent have its own theatre atm, allthough causing problems maybe, it a brilliant scope of learning for doing a tour. A valuble and useful experience for some work ahead! At GSA - at the time - the touring side wasnt amazing. We did the odd thing here and there in the UK as well as just one tour to USA (which I was chosen as LD and another student as SM) and another to Brussels with a different team.


So, I think ur right to go to LAMDA. Please dont shoot me down but I must say in the past ive worked with a few RADA tech grads and maybe I was just unlucky but they didnt seem to know as much as they made out they did.


Im sure things have changed since then....


GOOD LUCK with it :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

My personal opinion? Go wherever you think YOU will get the most out of the course; the course that is delivered in the way that suits you best, where you got the best feel from. Nobody has ONCE asked me if my course is accredited by anyone, and very few people have even asked me what qualification I'll get at the end of it; people are actually more interested in what I can do and what I am learning, than the bit of paper. If you feel you need a 2 year course then go for it; a friend of mine felt he needed the full three years of tech theatre to really get it all under his belt; another friend applied for the full three year and got offered postgrad one year based on her previous experience.


And yes I am on the PG course at Mountview. And it is the only place I applied (because it was the only course that appealed to me for various reasons) and it's still the best thing I've ever done, going back to study technical theatre. I've learnt and am learning LOADS. But then I think from experience, these things are what you make them to some extent. I am a bit peturbed though that there are folk who think that we're less employable somehow. That's not the feedback I've been getting from people on placement etc. Just saying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.