Inspiring Future Theatre
On Wednesday 3 July, UK Theatre and SOLT, together with organisations across the industry, celebrated Inspiring Future Theatre Day - aiming to show young people the range of careers available in theatre, both on and off the stage.
Here are just some of the ways that RADA helps young people experience theatre, learn new skills and discover what careers are available in theatre and the creative industries.
Focus On: Sound at RADA
From a large-scale musical with full orchestra, to a small studio production – what you hear in a theatre is just as important as what you’re seeing on stage.
Head of Sound Steve Mayo takes us through the sound department's training and how students put their work into practice on RADA productions and other projects.
Stanislavsky: The Beginning - a journey to Moscow
Last month, first year students on RADA's BA (Hons) in Acting travelled to Moscow to take part in the Stanislavsky: The Beginning International Festival, hosted by GITIS - the Russian Institute of Theatre Arts.
Student Elizabeth Hollingshead writes about their experiences there.
Student wellbeing and support at RADA
Taking part in an intensive training, whether as an acting or technical student, can be challenging and stressful at times.
Tracy Keating, Student Wellbeing Manager, writes about the support we provide for students throughout their training, and the unique challenges and rewards of working at RADA.
Prop-making project work
Students on the BA (Hons) in Technical Theatre and Stage Management specialise in a particular area of theatre production skills in preparation for their chosen career.
Current BA student Leo Rameckers created this wonderful copy of the famous bronze Florentine boar as one of his projects in prop-making.
Focus on: Acting technique at RADA
Students on RADA’s BA (Hons) in Acting participate in a range of classes that build on their potential and prepare them for a wide-ranging career – from voice and singing, to movement and combat, as well as dramaturgy, acting for camera, microphone technique and many more.
John Beschizza, Lead Tutor in Acting, explains what to expect in an acting technique class.
"Newly written works help us to understand the society we are living in"
Woman and Scarecrow: "I have lived passionately unbeknownst to myself"
Focus On: Stage Management at RADA
As you watch one of our RADA productions, you may be struck by the creative use of lighting, sound, set and costumes, all of which demonstrate the skills of our theatre production students.
Less immediately visible to an audience, but crucial to the running of a show, is the role of stage management. Find out more about our training and the roles students take on productions in this blog.
"Alike in dignity": opposition and difference in Romeo & Juliet
Sarah Kane's Blasted: "#MeToo, Syria, Brexit, Trump, Bolsonaro are all part of the chaos"
Son et Lumière
For BA (Hons) Technical Theatre and Stage Management students who choose lighting as their specialism, the annual Son et Lumière project is a fantastic opportunity to practise their lighting skills in a live events environment.
Read the blog to find out more and see a taster of students' recent work.
The Words Will Come: a new anthology from the RADA Elders Company
The RADA Elders Company has performed five newly-commissioned works since its launch in 2012.
Now these plays have been published by Oberon in a new anthology, which director of the company Vivian Munn hopes will inspire other elders theatre companies.
Read our blog to find out more.
Focus On: Costume at RADA
If you’ve ever been on one of RADA’s public tours, taking you behind the scenes of our theatres, studios and workshops, you might have had a glimpse of our extensive costume store, giving an insight into the huge variety of work carried out by the wardrobe department.
Read our blog to find out more about how we train students in costume-making and wardrobe supervision.
"Is it better to be deluded by belief, even if it may be a fiction?": Philistines by Maxim Gorky
Maxim Gorky's Philistines was written at a time of ideological and political turmoil in Russia.
In this blog, Director Donnacadh O'Briain examines the personal conflict at the heart of play, which reflects this national turbulence.
"We are a collective. We are an ensemble." Linda and the power of the voice.
"Cut off from their pasts, ready to clothe themselves in the costumes of a new beginning"
Inspired by a photograph of her grandmother decades earlier, Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel follows a group of people affected by the social changes brought about my mass migration, women entering the workforce and the faster pace of city life.
In this blog, director and RADA graduate Chipo Chung reflects on how their story might reflect our own urban living.
"A story about a very human betrayal": interpreting the trial of Judas Iscariot
"We have become obsessed with the canon of biblical books throughout this rehearsal process; how it was put together and by whom... However, at the heart of this script, are the simple themes of free will and responsibility."
Read our blog from director Matthew Xia on the influences behind Stephen Adly Guirgis's The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, from the Gnostic Gospels to Making a Murderer.
"The last days in the life of a legendary womaniser": Don Juan's final journey back from the war
"It is clearly from more than just the battlefields of World War One that Don Juan is depicted as coming home in the play."
In 2012 playwright Duncan Macmillan created a striking new version of Ödön von Horváth's Don Juan Comes Back from the War, in which the notorious lothario is transported into a post-war tale of displacement and isolation. As our version opens at RADA this week, director Sue Lefton takes a look at the poignant final journey of this staple character of European theatre.
Focus on: Design at RADA
While the majority of RADA public productions are designed by professional freelance designers, this term’s production of Cathy has been created by two student design co-ordinators, Anna Cierpial and Hannah Driver.
Our Lead Design Tutor Alison Cartledge explains more about how we teach design skills, and the work that goes into creating these productions.
"A rollercoaster that gathers momentum and veers off the tracks": the powerful truths in Cathy
Inspired by the unforgettable docudrama Cathy Come Home from director Ken Loach and writer Jeremy Sandford, this contemporary, honest and heartbreaking play by Ali Taylor tells us of a working London woman who finds herself at the mercy of a burgeoning and often predatory private rental market, and an over-stretched and impractical social welfare system.
Read the full blog from director (and RADA graduate) Rosie Jones, reflecting on the powerful immediacy and resonance of Ali Taylor's Cathy.
From Verona to Gdansk: our Shakespeare for Young Audiences performers in Poland
This summer, second year students from RADA's BA (Hons) in Acting course travelled to Poland to take part in the Gdansk Shakespeare Festival, joining workshops and performing their Shakespeare for Young Audiences production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, directed by Carl Heap.
Read the full blog from cast member Rachel Feeney – who played the roles of Lucetta, Thurio and Crab in the production – as she reflects on her experiences of the festival.
Costume and Technical Graduate exhibition 2018
"The exhibition is amazing, a space cavorting with costumes, temples, paintings, and a crocodile."
The Costume and Technical Graduate exhibition took place in our Studio Theatre from 4 - 6 July 2018, showcasing the outstanding work created by students completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Theatre Costume and specialists on the BA (Hons) Technical Theatre and Stage Management (Costume, Lighting, Property Making, Scenic Art, Sound and Video).
Reny Morsch, who has just completed our two year Postgraduate Diploma in Theatre Costume, gives us her account of the experience of preparing for the exhibition.
Read the exhibition blog here.
Aron Julius: Laurence Olivier Bursary Award winner
"RADA has changed everything for me. The training has given me more flexibility and specificity as an actor. It has stretched my capability, broadened my knowledge of plays and challenged me in the most fruitful and creative ways".
Read the full blog from BA (Hons) in Acting student Aron Julius, recent winner of the Laurence Olivier Bursary Award, who reflects on his RADA training so far.
Prasanna Puwanarajah on Journey's End and the shadow of war
"It’s never quiet, like this."
Being in a war is one of my greatest fears. I can’t imagine or really even begin to imagine the scale of the assault on lives lived in its horrendous shadow. We look into that shadow from a managed distance consisting of objective media desensitisation and a certain subjective knowledge that vivid closeness might be too hot to bear. Journey’s End is a play that gets as close to that shadow as any.
Read the full blog for more about Prasanna's take on Journey's End, the long shadow of war and what the play might say to us in 2018.
"Today's audience needs to be challenged": Simona Gonella directs The House of Bernarda Alba
Ahead of RADA's upcoming production of The House of Bernarda Alba, director Simona Gonella sat down with Director of RADA Edward Kemp to share her insights into Lorca's classic Spanish tragedy.
Listen to our podcast to hear more about the sexual politics of the play, how Simona is working with both Acting and Technical students, Baśka Wesołowska's design, and the new translation of the play.
Theatre Costume student featured in the Financial Times
Reny Morsch, who is currently training on RADA's Postgraduate Diploma in Theatre Costume, has been featured in the Financial Times in an ongoing series, Meet the Career Changers.
Reny moved into costume-making and began her studies at RADA following a 30-year career in finance, working as a trader in Frankfurt and then London.
The series of interviews in the Financial Times tracks five different people who are making a mid-life career switch.
Technical theatre: lighting students visit ROBE in the Czech Republic
In the run-up to Christmas, a group of students and staff from RADA's Technical Theatre and Stage Management department visited Robe lighting in the Czech Republic, giving them a chance to tour the factory and see a demonstration of some of their latest products.
Short Courses: Stories from the summer
Last summer our students enriched the academy with their presence on our short courses: they ranged from age 16 to 73, and came from over 30 nations.
Delve into the world of RADA by reading some of the stories from our class of 2017, giving you an idea of just some of the experiences gained through our Spring/Summer Short Courses.
We have an insightful interview with TV Presenter Laura Whitmore, as well as feedback from student Finn Holmes and Patricia Magno Arizu - an internationally renowned diplomatic interpreter.
"Nowhere else offered the hands-on training that RADA does": Postgraduate Diploma in Theatre Costume
RADA's Postgraduate Diploma in Theatre Costume is a specialised course in our theatre production department, offering training in all areas of costume-making and wardrobe supervision, leaving students well-equipped for a career in costume.
We spoke to recent graduate Florence Dempster and Head of Wardrobe Diane Favell about what the course offers.
Interview with a graduate: Tanmay Dhanania
With the second series of Indian Summers recently broadcast on Channel 4, and his film Brahman Naman set to be imminently launched on Netflix worldwide, we caught up with Tanmay Dhanania about making the film and particularly his recent experience of going to the Sundance Film Festival.
"I met some wonderful people at Sundance who had done some amazing work there, and just like in RADA, you form connections which organically last."
Read the full interview.
Interview with a graduate: Maya Kazmarski
As Nick Payne’s Elegy finishes its run at the Donmar Warehouse this month, we caught up with alumna of the Technical Specialist Scenic Art course Maya Kazmarski who worked as part of the scenic art team on the show.
"Elegy was really interesting as we used real raw materials. It was a challenge from my point of view as I wasn’t ‘faking’ anything."
Read the full interview.
West End success for technical alumna Vicky Eames
"I felt very supported when I was at RADA... I know it will always be a home from home".
Vicky Eames completed her Graduate Diploma in Technical Theatre Arts at RADA in 2005. She has subsequently put her training into practice working as DSM (Deputy Stage Manager) freelancing in a range of venues across London and Europe. We grabbed Vicky for a quick catch-up after she finished working on The Maids at Trafalgar Studios.
Read the full interview.
Sabia Smith on After Miss Julie
Ah, that green dress - forget Keira Knightly in Atonement - RADA student of the Technical Theatre and Stage Management Foundation Degree (TTSM), Sabia Smith, has made one just as good.
Sabia, who is currently in the second year of the TTSM course, spoke to us about constructing a dress for the RADA production After Miss Julie which played in the GBS Theatre this autumn. We asked Sabia about her training, working with the designer of the show, and getting the look just right.
Read the full interview.