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Course overview

Acting Shakespeare is an advanced-level course that offers participants the opportunity to expand, explore and deepen awareness of Shakespeare's text. It aims to extend your range of work, uncover tensions that block development and work on strategies to remove them. The course is an intensive series of classes and presentations.

The course draws on the classical aspects of RADA's essential teaching, combining rehearsal of text and presentations with intensive classes in essential skills, conducted by the RADA faculty.

Course structure

During the first six weeks there are weekly workshops sessions. You will have classes in physical performance, Alexander Technique, stage fighting, period dance, choral singing of the period, voice, voice into text, character in text, sonnets, monologues and scenes.

The final ten days will be spend rehearsing a workshop production of a Shakespeare Play.


There are three presentations: ‘Sonnets’, ‘Scenes, Monologues and Song’, and a ‘workshop production’ of a Shakespeare play in a RADA theatre. This will be rehearsed with your director during the last ten days of the course.

Presentations are 'in-house' and are not external showcase productions.

Entry requirements

18+. Students below the age of 18 are not normally accepted. Entrance is by audition.

The course is aimed at students who have experience of acting at professional, undergraduate or graduate level.

Fluent, confident knowledge of the English language is essential.

Please remember that this is a physically demanding course, and that, while any specific needs will be taken fully into account, and that there is no upper age limit, participants must be reasonably fit.

Go for it - it’s one of the best things that I could have done for myself as an artist.
Lakeisha Houston, 2019 Acting Shakespeare student

Further information

Participants work in groups of approximately 16, and in smaller groups for some skills classes.

Classes are taught and rehearsals conducted by the Academy's senior staff and distinguished directors and teachers from the profession.

The course is not a casual undertaking: total commitment to punctuality, discipline and preparation is required from every student.


Details regarding accommodation will be sent out if you are offered a place on the course.


  • Classes generally take place between 9.30am and 6.30pm from Monday to Friday, but this can vary according to the timetable: some sessions each week will end later than this.
  • In the latter part of the course, extra rehearsals will be called in the evening and some weekend working will also be required.
  • Classes are not optional; students are expected to treat these as professional rehearsal calls.
  • Punctuality is essential; a certificate stating the minimum number of contact hours is awarded on successful completion of the course.

How to apply

Applications are now closed.


You can audition digitally

Please email a URL of your pieces with your completed application form to

What to prepare

For the audition you should prepare two pieces, one from Shakespeare and one from a modern play, neither of which should exceed three minutes in length.


We will contact you to let you know whether or not you have been accepted onto the course. In some instances a waiting list place may be offered.

Frequently asked questions and terms and conditions

Where can I find information about accommodation in London?

We will send you a list of accommodation once you have been offered a place on the course.

Does the course count towards university credits?

We do not offer university credits.

In the case of students who are attending courses at universities in North America (or elsewhere), it is a matter for each university or college to decide whether to include the RADA Acting Shakespeare course as part of their students' accreditation process.

If you have any questions regarding this course or further enquiries regarding the content please email

What is the cancellation policy?

Once you are accepted onto the course - you will receive full details of our cancellation policy.

Once payment has been made, it is strongly recommended that all students insure themselves to cover the loss of fees in the event of illness, for which the Academy cannot accept any liability.

Rules and regulations of the Academy

By participating in the course you undertake to conform to the general rules and regulations of the Academy.

All students must undertake to adhere to the General Rules and Regulations of the Academy. The Academy’s Director or Course Director shall, at their absolute discretion, have the right to terminate the course in respect of any student whose presence or conduct is in contravention of the same.

Friends or other persons who are not officially enrolled are not permitted to sit in on classes, rehearsals or presentations.

Students must understand, conform and adhere to the Academy’s Health and Safety Procedures and Policies.

All students are expected to wear the correct and appropriate clothing for each class.

Students are expected to maintain a professional standard of dress and hygiene at all times.

Fees are non-returnable once a student has started a course.

Photography or recording of any kind is strictly prohibited in the classroom areas without permission from the Academy’s staff.

RADA does not discriminate against applicants on the grounds of sex, disability, ethnicity or sexuality. We welcome applicants from disabled people and offer places solely on the basis of potential and suitability for the course. The school is mainly housed in a newly-refurbished building which provides good access for wheelchair users.

Decisions made by the Academy regarding the selection of instructors, the allocation of students to study groups, the material for that study group and any roles allocated are final and not open to negotiation.

It is strongly recommended that students insure themselves to cover any medical or transport costs and loss of fees in the event of illness or accident for which the Academy cannot accept any liability.

If, for reason of epidemic or national crisis, the Academy is compelled to close during the course, no fees can be returned or compensation be made for any period of tuition that may have been lost through the Academy’s inability to carry on its work.

It is important to note that the Academy does not accept responsibility for students beyond the scheduled teaching hours on the RADA premises. These are Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. Parents are therefore advised to ensure that adequate supervision of activities undertaken in the evening and at weekends is provided, as appropriate, during the duration of the course.