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Course overview

Challenge yourself with the penultimate Shakespeare Award level: present two speeches and a sonnet, on sight, with 15 minutes preparation time.

The assessment includes discussion time between you and your RADA tutor before you perform each speech. This will focus on the plays your chosen speeches are from; the nature of the characters involved; and in more general terms, Shakespeare and his works.

Feedback will be given before you have the opportunity to present each speech again.

You should aim to have some awareness of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, a collection of 154 sonnets written by Shakespeare when preparing for your Award. We particularly recommend the Penguin Shakespeare’s Sonnets edited by John Kerrigan but the sequence is readily available in most Complete Works and in many separate editions.

To gain the Gold Award requires an achievement of 85 marks out of 140 marks.

During the assessment

  1. 15 minutes before your assessment you will be given a sonnet to read and work on for the sight reading element of your Award.
  2. The assessment begins with a discussion between you and your RADA tutor.
  3. You perform a speech from section one. Pairs will present a scene.
  4. You will then be given some suggestions of things to try out to explore the text.
  5. You deliver your speech or scene again.
  6. You will then deliver a second speech. Pairs will present a scene.
  7. You will then be given some suggestions of things to try out to explore the text.
  8. You deliver your speech or scene again.
  9. You present your sonnet for the sight reading element (you are not expected to be ''off book'' for this part).
  10. You will be given some suggestions of things to try out to explore the text before delivering your sonnet again.

After the assessment

You will receive your results and any feedback by post within one month.

Shakespeare Awards Prologues Workshop Learn more

Further details

  • Assessment time: 45 minutes or 90 minutes for a pair
  • Designed for candidates 15+, however the assessment is suitable for adults of all ages
  • You may choose any of the speeches, regardless of gender
  • You must act from memory to gain your Award (without reading a script)
  • The next level to gain after completing the Gold Award is the Platinum Award

Award dates

  • Saturday 6 April 2019
  • Saturday 4 May 2019
  • Saturday 1 June 2019
  • Saturday 6 July 2019

FAQs

    What should I wear?

    The main thing is to feel comfortable: and feel free to wear something that helps you feel a little “in character”. But avoid any conscious attempt at decorative costuming or dressing-up, as this is bound to waste time and be distracting.

    What should I bring with me?

    It may help to take notes, but we strongly recommend that you do so immediately following the assessment, rather than during it. In order to progress, and to gain the fullest value from the assessment, it is important you reflect on the suggestions and pointers you were given by the assessor; and likewise to consider - and record - your own feelings afterwards. Do remember to bring a bottle of water, of course, as it’s important that you don’t dry out!

    Should I supply props?

    Very simple props, yes – a letter, perhaps - but only supply props that are strictly needed for the speech or scene.

    Will I be able to 'warm up' before my assessment?

    There may not always be an appropriate space to ‘warm up’, and so you should prepare carefully beforehand. Remember, some gentle, deep breathing - in through the nose and out through the mouth - can help with nerves (gently sip your water as well). There will be no time for a warm-up in the assessment space itself: but you should take a moment for a little shake-out, a brrrrrr-ing of the lips, perhaps: things that you know can help relax and “bring you back to yourself”. And remember, the assessors are on your side: they want to help you get the most out of your experience.

    Should I use a different voice to my normal one?

    If you have an “accent” (and who doesn’t?), do not feel you have to play it down or “posh it up” for the assessment: the assessor will be looking, above all, for clarity and good, natural projection – in short, a confident use of your normal voice. (In any case, the sound made by the actors in Shakespeare’s time would be nothing like what we know nowadays as “standard English”).

    Do I need to memorise the speeches and scenes?

    Yes. Apart for the sight-reading element of the Gold Award, adequate performance from memory is part of the Award assessment. The assessors will be patient with you, of course: and let you begin again, or repeat a passage, if need be.

    Should I speak to the assessor as if they were the other character in the scene?

    Better not to. But do choose an eye-line that, while not in direct contact with the assessor, still gives her or him a full-face view of you. In a speech, avoid acting side-on to the assessor too much: in a scene, try to ensure you face the assessor for some of the time.

    What happens if I fail?

    The assessor will report on your efforts to the Awards Director; and he or she will then write to you with some encouraging feedback. Beyond that, RADA Awards staff cannot undertake to advise you. It is important to remember that a failure to meet the requirements of an award is not the end! You will, we hope, feel encouraged to try again; incorporating the feedback you have been given.

    Will I know how many marks I got?

    Following assessment, you will find out if you gained the Award; or failed: but we don’t release marks with the results, as the RADA Shakespeare Awards are about much more than marks and numbers. We encourage you to focus more on the process than the result, since engaging fully with the in-the-room feedback, taking time to reflect, making notes and discussing your assessment will help you learn and grow in a deeper way. The focus of the Awards is your growth as a person and as a performer. We want to encourage you to think of this less as an exam - with marks or points - and more like a rehearsal which will challenge, inspire and develop you.

How to book

Download individual application form

Download duologue application form

Complete and send the application form, along with a cheque or card payment details to RADA:

RADA, 62-64 Gower Street, London, WC1E 6ED

Alternatively, you can scan the application form and email it to awards@rada.ac.uk

Once we have processed your application, we will be in touch with you to confirm your place on the assessment day.

Terms and conditions

    Read here

    This document sets out the terms and conditions between the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (“RADA”) and any individuals participating in the RADA Awards (“Awards”). You should read these terms and conditions carefully as it contains important information. These terms become binding on you when RADA receives your application for assessment under the Awards.These terms and conditions are binding as and when RADA receives your application for assessment under any level of the Awards. As part of your contract you agree to be bound by these terms, including the Regulations for the conduct of the Award listed below.Where the Awards are taking place at a host centre, you have a right to expect that the room will be suitable for purpose, with adequate space for movement and appropriate lighting, in accordance with RADA’s regulations. If suitable space is not provided, then this is a matter between you and the host venue and RADA will not be held liable for the host venue’s failure to provide you with appropriate space for assessment.RADA will provide assessors who meet its requirements for delivering the Awards and will provide assessment, feedback and tuition with reasonable care and skill.RADA may, on occasion, be compelled to change syllabus material, but it will not do so for individuals already booked for assessments.The result of the Assessment will be provided to candidates on the day. The Assessor’s decision is final and RADA will only consider an appeal (in accordance with the Award regulations) if the proper process has not been followed, not on the grounds of the Assessor’s professional judgment of your performance.RADA may from time to time revise the terms and conditions of the contract including the rules and regulations referred to in these terms and conditions in the following circumstances:

    • 6.1 where RADA reasonably considers this to be necessary for the enhancement of its provision in the best interests of participants.
    • 6.2 in circumstances which are caused by matters outside our control; and/or
    • 6.3 in circumstances which reflect changes in relevant laws


    All Award fees must be paid in full prior to any scheduled assessment. If fees have not been received at least 14 days prior to the assessment, it will not take place, but you may still be liable for costs associated with the assessment.Fees paid for Workshops and Assessments are non-refundable as a result of cancellation (subject to the provisions of clause 9 below)You have the right to cancel this contract under the Consumer Contract (Information, Cancellation and Additional Payments) Regulations 2013 within 14 days without giving any reason.The cancellation period will expire after 14 days from the day of the conclusion of this contract.10.1 The contract is governed by English law and subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts. However, if you are a resident of Northern Ireland you may also bring proceedings in Northern Ireland; if you are a resident of Scotland, you may also bring proceedings in Scotland; and, if you are a resident of any country in the EU, you may also bring proceedings in that country which is your national country.

    RADA Awards: Regulations

    These regulations apply to all candidates taking RADA Awards and any Centres offering the Awards.The RADA Awards are progressive and candidates must be followed in order. There is no limit on the number of times an individual candidate may take each level of Award, including repeating passed levels.Candidates must arrive on time for your Award assessment. Failure to arrive at the appropriate time, may lead to the assessment being cancelled, and the candidate will still be liable for the Award fees.Where the Awards take place outside of RADA’s premises, the Centre hosting the Award must provide an appropriate rehearsal space. This must include adequate space for movement (including a suitable flooring), sufficient lighting for both practical work and for the Assessor to produce written notes, a table and chair, and water for the Assessor and candidates.Candidates should be suitably dressed for the assessment: wearing comfortable clothes and shoes, suitable for the practical style of the Award assessment, which give the candidate freedom to move and breathe without restriction. Though candidates may wear items that help them to “feel” their way into character, there should be no attempt at literal costuming.RADA expects candidates to behave towards the Assessor in a polite and respectful manner. Threatening or abusive behaviour will lead to the Assessment being terminated and no refund will be made.Right of Appeal: Unsuccessful candidates may only appeal against the outcome of an Assessment if they believe that:

    • 6.1 that the candidate’s performance was affected through extenuating circumstances that could not have been reasonably reported at the time of Assessment.
    • 6.2 The Assessment was not conducted in accordance with the prescribed guidance.

    Appeals against the decision of an Assessor should be made, in writing to the RADA Awards office awards@rada.ac.uk within fourteen days of the date of the assessment.The appeal will be investigated by a member of the Awards team not connected to the delivery of that particular Award or Assessment and the result communicated to the candidate. The Academy’s decision in relation to this appeal will be final and there is no further right of appeal.

    Further information for Candidates

    RADA welcomes applications for Awards from people of all backgrounds. We encourage disabled people to make us aware of any particular access needs so that we can make reasonable adjustments and ensure you have everything you need to get the most out of your Award assessment and experience. Dyslexic applicants must submit a full report from a chartered educational psychologist with their application.Candidates should note that the RADA Awards are a developmental teaching tool stemming from the Academy’s decades of offering drama training and not a formal qualification regulated by Ofqual. The Awards are not offered by RADA as preparation for or a requirement of entry to its full-time acting programmes: obtaining a RADA Award is in no way a qualification for RADA’s 3-year acting degree course, as the processes of assessment are entirely unrelated; and admission to RADA’s Foundation Course in Acting and BA (Hons) Acting is by audition.