Life at LAMDA

On this page you’ll find videos and case studies to give you an insight into what the LAMDA student journey is really like, from the inside. You’ll also find links to our gallery of images, information on how to apply, student finance and our course descriptions.

You can view our 2017-18 prospectus online here. You can also request a free hard copy prospectus by emailing enquiries@lamda.org.uk or calling 020 8834 0500.

Feeling inspired? Check out all of our Drama School courses to find the one for you.

BA (Hons) Professional Acting, first-year student

Yolanda Ovide

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

I was doing a one-year foundation course at East 15 Acting School, hoping desperately to improve my audition technique and confidence so that I could get into LAMDA!

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

I got into LAMDA the second year that I auditioned. Even though before my first audition I didn’t really understand what drama school was all about, LAMDA still stood out for me. It was more than just a school with amazing alumni but also staff who truly cared and a genuinely warm student body.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

Getting to come in everyday and not needing to pinch myself! Honestly the atmosphere is so welcoming, I feel truly free to express myself and just create.

What do you look forward to the most in a week at LAMDA?

The acting classes. They vary hugely in style, but each teacher has so much passion for what they do, it just radiates out to the students. The classes at LAMDA have helped me to create my own personal process towards developing characters using the best techniques from all practitioners I have studied with.

Do you live in London or at home?

I live in London with other LAMDA students.

How has living where you do affected your experience of training at LAMDA?

It’s been great! I have truly lived and breathed ‘the LAMDA experience’. It’s lovely coming home to your classmates and chatting about theatre and work. Living with classmates has also been a great way to develop connections with the people I’m going to be working with for three years, and beyond.

Tell us about a time at LAMDA that you’ll never forget.

The very first day. The graduating year welcomed us with a song, jazz hands and all! It was so sweet. We also had a great party afterwards. Everyone was so kind and friendly and interested in getting to know each other. I felt like I belonged. Like this was my family, my home.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Unforgettable. Exhausting. Exhilarating.

BA (Hons) Professional Acting, second-year student

Rosa Hesmondhalgh

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

Before LAMDA, I was working at PizzaExpress full time and living at home with my parents. I found out I got into LAMDA five minutes before my shift started and having to contain that excitement was probably harder than anything I've ever had to do.

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

I’d heard some really great things from people I knew who studied here. After looking into it properly and meeting some LAMDA students at the auditions I realised it was full of people (teachers and students alike) I wanted to surround myself with – lovely, open, friendly people who care for each other and the work they're doing.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

The people. The teachers make such an effort to know you personally and to be there for you whatever you may need, and in my classmates I’ve made friends for life. It's not easy moving away from home for the first time but you never feel alone.

What do you look forward to the most in a week at LAMDA?

Our timetable is so varied term by term but I always look forward to our 'project days'. This is where we dedicate the whole day to working on whatever play or project we're doing at the time and can put all the amazing knowledge we've absorbed in the other days of the week into practice.

Do you live in London or at home?

At the start of the first year I made the move from Leeds to London.

How has living where you do affected your experience of training at LAMDA?

In terms of proximity, I couldn't be more lucky (I currently live an eight minute walk from LAMDA). However, London is an expensive place, and sometimes money troubles and thinking about rent can be worrying. It is quite hard to afford to live in west London, but LAMDA provide job opportunities for students which has been so helpful.

Tell us about a time at LAMDA that you’ll never forget.

I will never forget Poetry Night. I'd never really read any of my poems out loud before but people were so lovely about it, and listening to other people's amazing work was a bit mind-blowing. The amount of talent and passion you're surrounded by at all times is overwhelming.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Happiest I've been. (Ever).

BA (Hons) Professional Acting, final-year student

Peter Losasso

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

I applied to LAMDA three times before I got in! I was shortlisted on my second application and offered a place on my third. Between leaving school and starting at LAMDA I spent a couple of years working and travelling and, in retrospect, I’m really glad I had this time out. It meant that when I did begin my training at LAMDA, I felt really ready for it.

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

I did LAMDA exams as a kid so it was always on my radar as a school with an amazing reputation. When I came to audition here it had a really nice feel about it; a lack of pretentiousness. The year I got into LAMDA I got offers from a couple of other schools too but I knew straight away that LAMDA was the one for me.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

The sheer mass of experience that you get! You may come to LAMDA with certain notions of why you want to be an actor and what that means, but your ideas of acting and the world are challenged and tested from day one. You’re given so much space to play and to get things wrong and to learn.

What did you look forward to the most in a week at LAMDA?

There are things I had a chance to do at LAMDA that I know I’ll probably never get to do again! Things like mask class, clowning, movement, physical theatre. That kind of work gave me a really in-depth knowledge of the tools of the acting trade – it’s the type of learning that is rare but so important.

Do you live in London or at home?

I’m from Buckinghamshire but I live in London.

How has living where you do affected your experience of training at LAMDA?

I literally met a group of my classmates for the first time at our induction day and we got on so well we decided to find a house together! Living with people that are doing the course was great, but very intense. You have to remember to talk about other things outside of LAMDA and your training!

Tell us about a time at LAMDA that you’ll never forget.

The opening night of the first play I was in in my final year. All the training and work we had done over the past two years led to this one night. Somehow it all slotted into place. It was just easy and fun and exactly what it should be.

What will you do after graduation?

I’ve signed with a lovely agent and go straight into rehearsals for a play that I’ve been cast in; The Wipers Times at The Watermill, Newbury. The show opens in late September for a one month run, followed by three weeks on tour.

Do you think your training at LAMDA has prepared you for a career in the industry? If so, how?

LAMDA gives you a massive head start with the preparation they give you for life after drama school. They do all they can to prepare you for the industry while acknowledging that the journey is going to be different for everybody. You’re able to just enjoy the fun bits and stop worrying about the rest.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Mad. Illuminating. Joyous.

BA (Hons) Professional Acting, final-year student

Leah Harvey

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

I was at college doing a BTEC Extended Diploma in Performing Arts.

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

My drama teacher told me about LAMDA and after doing some research, I decided to apply. I knew LAMDA offered a wide range of classes like dance and stage combat and that was exactly what I needed.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

The wonderful people you meet and work with. The focus on the ensemble is so central to LAMDA's training. With a class of such wonderful people, it was easy to put my focus on them rather than on myself.

What did you look forward to the most in a week at LAMDA?

I looked forward to pushing my boundaries, discovering I could do something I didn't think was possible. Those moments of revelation were invaluable.

Where did you live while you were at LAMDA?

I moved from east London to west London. Compared to some of my peers it wasn't a big move, but for me it was life changing! I had to become independent very quickly. Managing my time and emotions took a bit of practice! But once I settled into LAMDA, I felt much more at ease.

Tell us about a time at LAMDA that you’ll never forget.

Winning Fight Night in my final year with my partner, Albert. When our names were announced I knew it was a special moment I would never forget. The hard work was worth it!

What do you hope to do now you have graduated?

I have two weeks off until I start rehearsals for the Shakespeare Trilogy at the Donmar Warehouse, which I'm very excited about! So, thankfully, I'll be very busy doing what I love.

Do you think your training at LAMDA has prepared you for a career in the industry? If so, how?

I came to LAMDA with a couple of things in my toolbox but now, thanks to the training, I have so much more in there. I'm ready and excited to go out into the professional world and continue adding to my box!

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Happy. Crazy. Unforgettable.

Foundation Degree Professional Acting, first-year student

Angus Imrie

Angus Imrie

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

Before I came to LAMDA, I had just completed a degree in English Literature and Theatre Studies at Warwick University. The summer before starting the course, I was lucky enough to have a job at the Globe, playing Bagot in Richard II and Ned Spiggett in Nell Gwynn.

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

I remember first applying several years ago because of the calibre of LAMDA’s alumni. It seemed that all the actors I admired had trained here. The only fan mail I've ever written was to Tom Brooke after seeing him in The Kitchen at the National Theatre, he was just extraordinary. I looked into his training at LAMDA and I remember what stood out was its detailed mask work and very physical content – it sounded thrilling and it was a real dream of mine to go to LAMDA.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

The quality and diversity of the teaching. I never expected to have such a meaningful and personal relationship with teachers on a training course. They are unique, eclectic, and truly care about your development as an artist and as a person.

What do you look forward to the most in a week at LAMDA?

A new chance to scare myself.

Do you live in London or at home?

I'm really lucky to be able to live at home in London.

How has living where you do affected your experience of training at LAMDA?

It has been brilliant to be forty minutes walking distance from the school. You spend so much time at LAMDA that where you live is just for eating and sleeping.

Tell us about a time at LAMDA that you’ll never forget.

The first class with the Head of Movement, John Baxter. I felt like my calves would never recover.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Transformative. Challenging. Beautiful.

Foundation Degree Professional Acting, final-year student

Lucinda Turner

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

Before I came to LAMDA I was studying at Leeds University where I did a degree in English Literature and Theatre Studies.

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

I’ve always wanted to train at a top drama school and applied to quite a few in my last year of university. LAMDA has an incredible reputation and I really liked the vibe here when I came for the audition. The two-year course really appealed to me and LAMDA is one of the only schools that offer it. LAMDA was definitely my preference so I was delighted when I actually got in.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

The people, and the depth and range of the training here. The great thing about LAMDA is that the training really celebrates the individuality and unique talent of its students. It acknowledges the fact that we are all different and all have our own ‘truths’ to be unleashed - no actor is the same. This for me was extremely liberating - I always felt positively challenged by the training here but at the same time strangely nurtured by it.

What do you look forward to the most in a week at LAMDA?

A hard question to answer as there were a lot of things! I really enjoy the movement side of things, especially classes like show dance and stage combat - they were always fun! I also really enjoyed screen when I got over the concept of watching myself. But I guess what I enjoyed the most was actually getting the chance to create and show work within the classes we had.

Do you live in London or at home?

I live in London.

How has living where you do affected your experience of training at LAMDA?

I chose to live very close to LAMDA as I didn’t want to spend hours commuting every day. This definitely gave me more time to rest which is essential when doing such an intense course.

Tell us about a time at LAMDA that you’ll never forget.

This is a hard one as there have been lots of good times. Probably one of the most surreal moments for me was performing Dracula in Paris to large audiences whilst getting covered in litres of blood and screaming and climbing up the walls of the set! Other than that, Fight Night, the Schools Tour and the Make Your Own Films have been some of the most fun, memorable things I've done at LAMDA.

What will you do after graduation?

I will continue to live in London and go to auditions here. In between jobs I plan to do some tutoring and bar work just to keep the money coming in. I would also like to think about creating my own work along with my fellow LAMDites and maybe even setting up drama workshops for children.

Do you think your training at LAMDA has prepared you for a career in the industry? If so, how?

Yes it definitely has. LAMDA not only teaches you to act, but it teaches you to learn and to fail which in some ways is more important. So I feel ready now to enter a new, more intimidating environment with less fear and an open mind. The professional preparation we did in our final year was very helpful and gave us a lot of insight into the industry. We also were given great opportunities auditioning for the RSC etc. which were invaluable. This industry is an extremely tough one to be a part of but perseverance is key. And I feel ready to persevere.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Enlightening. Intense. Stimulating.

MA Classical Acting for the Professional Theatre student

Miranda Rizzolo

Miranda Rizzolo
 

How did you hear about LAMDA?

I did my undergraduate degree in English and Theatre Studies at Yale, and the summer before my final year I was in London to do a Shakespeare short course. While I was here, I heard about the LAMDA MA Classical Acting. I was looking for a program that would give me a really intensive blast of conservatoire training and a good foundation in the classics. And of course I already knew that the UK was training incredible actors, and I was aware of the calibre of LAMDA graduates.

What was the application process with Marshall like?

I heard about the Marshall Scholarship whilst researching fellowships and the application process was similar to others I had seen; writing short essays, providing recommendations from teachers, that kind of thing. I did a first interview to get my university’s endorsement before submitting my application on the national level. Then, a selection committee in each of the eight regions across the US chooses finalists for a last round of interviews. I began the application process in August and found out that I had been successful in November, so it all happened pretty quickly.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

The teachers and the training are incredible. The course offers a total immersion in the craft, which is so exciting and rewarding. For me, the highlight was the voice and movement work we did—coming from a liberal arts background, I’d never really gotten that kind of rigorous, technical training, and it was completely transformative for my work.

How have you enjoyed living in London?

I’ve loved it! The history, the culture, the arts – it’s all amazing. There’s such a great community of actors and artists in the city, and I really felt like a part of that community while at LAMDA. Plus I got to see so much great theatre!

Tell us about a time at LAMDA that you’ll never forget.

There are many! Performing Shakespeare scenes onstage at the Globe. The time our meeting with the Principal turned out to be a Q&A with Benedict Cumberbatch. Our final movement project; a collaborative 30-minute movement piece that we created together as an entire company. And the curtain call closing night of our all-female Measure for Measure, my last time sharing the stage with an incredible group of women.

What will you do after you finish your MA?

As soon as we finish our public productions, I’ll be prepping to go to the US for the LAMDA industry showcases in New York and LA. After that, I’ve booked a job! I’ll be moving to Washington DC to perform in Miss Bennet, a new sequel to Pride and Prejudice at the Round House Theatre.

Do you think your training at LAMDA has prepared you for a career in the industry in the US?

I think the quality of the training at LAMDA has given me the best preparation possible for a career in the US – it’s given me the confidence and skills to put myself out there. Of course our professional prep classes and the US Showcases are really helpful with getting a foot in the door, but I think it’s ultimately the strength of the training that makes me feel ready to start working.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Intense. Liberating. Community.

MA Directing student

Lars Harald Maggero

Lars Harald Maggero
 

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

Before I came to LAMDA I did a BA in Theatre Studies at the University of Bergen, Norway, including a one year exchange at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I then did an MA in Shakespeare at King’s College London and the Globe. I also worked within the theatre industry, both in professional settings and amateur groups, as a director, actor and in other positions.

Why did you decide to apply to the MA Directing course?

I really wanted to do a course that focused on theatre work, and specifically directing in practice. My education up to that point had been mostly theoretical and, while I enjoy theoretical studies, I knew that one of my dreams was to work practically with theatre. I felt that the course at LAMDA would give me both the skills and the network to do this.

What has been the highlight of your time at LAMDA?

Firstly, the opportunity to work with such talented and engaged actors on both my devised piece and my showcase production. The actors were so generous and they let me try and fail and try again and achieve, always bringing a combination of openness and critical thinking to the room.

Secondly, the MA Directing course gives you the chance to work alongside professional directors, something which I found incredibly valuable. Directing is a subject that is largely taught through observing and doing and this course is designed to focus on that.

In what way has your training enhanced your skills and abilities?

LAMDA gives you the space to test your own creativity among highly skilled individuals, both students and staff. As a result, I now have a greater belief in my own ability to be creative. I have learnt a lot about how to work with my collaborators and I have a much clearer sense of how to work with and talk to all the people involved in theatrical production, from actors to stage managers to designers, in a way that facilitates the best working environment possible.

What will you do after graduation?

I am currently writing my PhD on Contemporary Directors’ Theatre at the University of Kent, and have several directing jobs back home in Norway, including assisting on a production at the Opera in Oslo this winter and on a production at The National Stage in Bergen in the spring. I am also directing an outdoor production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream next summer.

 

Stage Management & Technical Theatre, first-year student

Amanda Bryant

Amanda Bryant

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

I had just completed a 2 year BTEC course in Production Arts at my local college. Before that I was at university training to be a primary school teacher!

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

My college tutor completed the Stage Management & Technical Theatre course at LAMDA a few years ago and recommended I look into it. I did some research and after my interview, I knew LAMDA was the right place for me to continue my training.

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

Personally, I think the best thing is that in first year you are able to spend time working in each department (lighting, sound, construction, etc.) It allows you to discover new things about yourself and decide which areas of work you enjoy the most before you head into second year.

What do you look forward to the most in a week at LAMDA?

That’s a tricky question. Every week is so different! It’s great being able to work on shows with the friends I’ve developed over the last year.

Do you live in London or at home?

I live in London and rent a house in west London with three other students on my course.

How has living where you do affected your experience of training at LAMDA?

It’s been great. It’s lovely to go back to a house where your housemates have been through similar things. They console, laugh with you and offer advice. Living close to LAMDA has been really helpful too. I’d recommend living near and with fellow LAMDA students.

Tell us about a time at LAMDA that you’ll never forget.

There are so many to choose from! The first time I got a report back from a show role was pretty good, knowing I was on the right track and doing something I loved. The Design Exhibition was a great feeling too – I was incredibly proud of myself and my classmates.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Challenging. Rewarding. Memorable.

Stage Management & Technical Theatre, final-year student

Robert Perkins
 

Why did you decide to apply to train at LAMDA?

I left school and worked on stage door at a theatre for two years so I got to see how a theatre is run. I knew I wanted to work backstage, so I applied to LAMDA because of its reputation in the industry. I wanted to train in London to be able to make contacts and take on placements at theatres that would employ me after graduating.

What do you look forward to the most in a week at LAMDA?

No week is the same on the Stage Management & Technical Theatre course. Once the first term is over, you’re straight into the six or seven-week cycle of producing new shows in different technical departments. I always look forward to the first day of rehearsals; getting the cast together for a read through and looking at the designer’s model of the set which lays out the challenge for all the obscure props we have to source!

What’s been the most surprising thing about living in London and training at LAMDA?

Starting the course with the goal of being a stage manager, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed working in the lighting, sound and construction departments. I was never the type to know his way around a power drill but by the end of the first year I was constructing my own furniture for shows.

What’s been the most challenging thing about living in London and training at LAMDA?

London isn’t a cheap place to live so managing finances can be a struggle. I somehow managed to hold down a part-time job alongside the long hours of the course, but the other trick is knowing which places serve the cheapest beer.

Tell us about a time at LAMDA that you’ll never forget.

In my second year, I took a production of As You Like It on a tour of five theatres in Paris. We were moving our set everyday, put it up,  do a performance, take it down and put it back on the truck around midnight. It was an incredible opportunity, but when I arrived back home I slept for about three days straight.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Work/play hard.

BA Stage Management & Technical Theatre student

Graeme Pugh

Graeme Pugh

What were you doing before you came to LAMDA?

I was finishing 6th form and on track to study engineering when I had a huge change of mind and applied for technical training at LAMDA instead! I had worked backstage on school shows for years but had always just thought of it as a hobby. I didn’t realise how much I loved it until I thought I’d have to give it up.

Why did you decide to apply to LAMDA?

The LAMDA course was the broadest one out there. Leaving school I didn’t know enough about technical theatre to pick one field to specialise in. LAMDA gave me the opportunity to train in set construction, lighting, sound and stage management all in one qualification. Learning that I had been accepted to LAMDA was the best news and the most amazing feeling!

What’s the best thing about studying at LAMDA?

The collaboration between cast and crew - you learn so much from each other. It’s the same with the tutors. At LAMDA, they look at you as a complete person, and not just as a technician. The feedback and guidance I got helped me to develop both personally and professionally. People skills are so important – you need them no matter how good a technician you are.

What do you look forward to the most in a week at LAMDA?

It’s hard to say – there are new challenges every day. You’re constantly learning. It really prepares you for the real world where once a show is done you have to immediately get ready for the next one. It’s intense but so rewarding - and a lot of fun!

What’s been the most surprising thing about living in London and training at LAMDA?

I moved to London after my first year and lived with some of my classmates. Although living at home (in Kent) was fine, moving to London made the whole experience of training so much easier – my commute was shorter, I was less tired, I was able to explore London and, most of all, my housemates and I were able to compare experiences and help each other. Having that kind of a support network has been fantastic.

What’s been the most challenging thing about living in London and training at LAMDA?

The Tube delays!

Tell us about a time at LAMDA that you’ll never forget.

For me, there are two things that I'll never forget...

  • In my third year I was able to put some of the theories from my dissertation into practice. I worked with the director on Macbeth to create sounds that I thought would amplify the fear, tension and anxiety of the audience. After the show, when I heard from audience members about how uncomfortable and weird they had felt, I knew I had done my job right! That was a great feeling.
  • My third year placement with the RSC coincided with Shakespeare Live. I thought I would only be shadowing senior crew members but I ended up being a key part of the team and having a really involved role. I’ll never forget the moment the cameras started rolling – the trust those people had in me and being involved in something on that scale, it was amazing.

What did you do after graduation?

I spent my third-year placement with the RSC and, after graduation, I started work there as a Sound Technician.

How has LAMDA prepared you for a career in the industry?

The ability to take criticism and knowing when to ask for help is the difference between thriving and burning in this industry and LAMDA has given me the skills and confidence I need to thrive. I’m comfortable now managing my time, working to tight deadlines and coping with the busy work environment of a theatre. I also feel very well versed in the latest technologies and equipment. All of this came from my training here.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Constructive. Exciting. Incredible.

Shakespeare Summer School student

Max Samuels
 

Why did you decide to apply to train at LAMDA?

I have a number of friends from college in the USA who completed the Shakespeare and his Contemporaries Short Course and they all said it was not to be missed! I knew that I wanted to become a professional actor, but also felt that I was missing ‘proper’ classical training and had little experience performing Elizabethan and Jacobean texts. I was confident that the course would provide a rigorous environment in which to learn and grow in this area; and boy, did it exceed my expectations. 

What did you look forward to the most in a week at LAMDA?

I most looked forward to our weekly Wednesday afternoon master class. Each week was unique and gave us new and interesting perspectives, which we could then take back and incorporate into our core classes.  

What’s been the most surprising thing about living in London and training at LAMDA?

I found a passion for the language of Shakespeare and his contemporaries that I never knew I had. I was unsure what to think about speaking verse at first as I wasn’t sure if it would it be accessible to me and was surprised to find that verse is a gift to the actor, not a burden. The combination of seeing Shakespeare performed in London and training at LAMDA made this very clear.

What’s been the most challenging thing about living in London and training at LAMDA, and how did you overcome this?

My time was too short in London and at LAMDA. While the amount I gained and learned over two months was enormous, I felt myself wanting more by the end. There's a lot to learn about the city, about Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, and about one's self as an actor. I wish we had more time to grow and soak it all in!

Tell us about a time at LAMDA that you’ll never forget.

I'll never forget our first day: the Head of Drama School taught a class in the afternoon that blew my mind. We learned about the history and architecture of Shakespeare's Globe and the subtle differences between a first folio and a modern edition of Shakespeare, and then dove right into working on the opening scene from King Lear. He had a number of students up on their feet, so it was great to get introduced to the work of the other students as well as the passion and energy of the tutors on day one.

Describe your time at LAMDA in three words.

Eye-opening. Rigorous. Supportive.

 


All footage © LAMDA Limited 2014.
Films created and edited by Andrew Nolan in collaboration with LAMDA's Marketing & Communications team.
With thanks to Steve Williams, A J Quinn and all LAMDA staff, students and graduates who participated.

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