Strengths of Guildhall
Guildhall joins Bristol Old Vic, RADA and LAMDA as well as other prestigious drama schools as having one of the lowest teachers to student ratios in the industry. That’s a good thing because it means they can give more attention to each student. The process in which they choose their students is very selective and they certainly have a “type” which they gravitate towards. This changes on a yearly basis but whatever they are doing it’s working as their reputation is world-class. The quality of their training is particularly high with their two flagship courses in Acting but also for their musical courses.
The sign of their quality vocational training can be seen in the alumni that come from the school. Notable alumni include Ewan McGreggor, Daniel Craig, Dominic West, Hayley Atwell, Rhys Ifans, and Paapa Essiedu amongst others.
A big strength of Guildhall is the quality of their teachers. A notable example is Patsy Rodenburg who has been the Head of Voice at Guildhall for over 30 years. She has written many books on the subject of using the voice for performance and is regarded as one of, if not the, best vocal coach alive today. Due to the relationship that Guildhall has with the National Theatre they are able to host voice lessons on the Olivier stage – a venue that is notoriously difficult to fill.
Aside from Patsy rodenburg, the Head of Acting – Martin Connor – is a distinguished director and actor in his own right and has been a tutor on the acting programme since 1995.
What the audition is like
The first round of auditions requires you to learn a couple of contemporary speeches as well as a classical speech. None of the monologues can be over two minutes and Guildhall have a reputation for being quite firm with that – they will probably stop you if you go over. You will need to perform these in front of a couple or a panel of judges. This extract is taken from their website as to what to prepare:
- One must be in verse (blank or rhymed) from a play by Shakespeare or another Elizabethan/Jacobean playwright (for example, Jonson, Marlowe, Webster);
- One from a modern play written after 1956;
- One should be a contrasting monologue from a 20th or 21st-century play.
If you get past the first stage then you’ll be invited back to an afternoon or morning workshop. This includes movement, voice, and possibly a repeat of the monologues you had learned for the first audition. The final stage is a one and a half-day workshop which will include working on given text as well as movement workshops.
If you would like more information on picking speeches for drama school then you can check out our article here.
Things to consider
Guildhall is situated right in the center of London which means accommodation, travel and living costs are going to be higher than if you trained outside of London. They do have on-site “digs” which helps with the costs of accommodation and overall their facilities are up to a very high standard.
Where to apply
Guildhall doesn’t use the UCAS or CUCAS system as not all their courses are supported by these platforms. The only way you can apply is through their own proprietary portal which you can access at this link:
Make sure that you pay special attention to the dates that you must apply by and the dates you must be available for. The school is very good at keeping their website up to date so make sure you keep your eye on the audition webpage: https://www.gsmd.ac.uk/drama/auditions/
Guildhall is an exceptionally high-quality training facility with some world-class teachers guiding students through their vocational training. It features on our Top Ten Drama Schools of 2020 and scores highly on student satisfaction and employability of alumni.