The Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts is one of those schools that has always had a solid reputation – especially for training musical theatre talent. Originally it was an amateur production company and theatre in 1945 that then began offering lessons to students in the late 50’s. The current president is none other than Dame Judi Dench and they have a great breadth of different courses as you can see them listed below.
What’s great about Mountview is that it’s not a stuffy school. I’ve met many alumni from their actor-musician courses, their musical theatre graduates and people that know them within the industry and they are great ambassadors for the school.
Strengths of Mountview
Casting directors and agents look to Mountview in order to provide some of the top-tier musical theatre talents in the UK. However, recently their acting courses and professional qualifications have been gaining traction in other areas as well. They’ve also got a particularly strong actor-musician bachelor’s course which fills a gaping hole in the market of performance training at the moment.
The school placed on our top ten drama schools of 2020 because of their high student satisfaction and because their alumni go out to work after graduation: https://howtodrama.com/top-ten-drama-schools-of-2020/
- Foundation Musical Theatre (part-time)
- Foundation Musical Theatre (full time)
- Foundation in Acting for Stage and Screen Performance (full time)
- Foundation Acting (part-time)
- BA (Hons) Performance – Actor Musicianship / Diploma in Professional Acting
- BA (Hons) Performance – Musical Theatre / Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre
- BA (Hons) Performance – Acting / Diploma in Professional Acting
- MA Theatre for Community and Education
- MA Site-Specific Theatre Practice
- MA Performance – Musical Theatre
- MA Performance – Acting
What the audition is like
Mountview changed its premises in 2018 and the school is now based in Peckham. If you’re already based in London then it is quite easy to get to if you change to the overground. If you’re coming from outside of London you’ll probably have to get a train to Euston station and then bus it from there.
You’ll need to prepare:
- A monologue from a play written after 1997 – a modern piece.
- A classical speech written before 1800.
Both of these speeches need to be under 2 minutes and on the day you’ll have a movement-based workshop so you’ll need to bring comfortable clothes.
Mountview’s first audition is a full-day workshop at a major UK city depending on where you are auditioning. As long as you’ve prepared the speeches in advance, brought the right clothes and it’s best to prepare one song for drama school auditions then you’re all set.
Things to consider
Mountview has a fantastic set of courses for those people who are studying for a musical theatre degree as well as other professional qualifications.
One thing to bear in mind is that the school is based in Peckham. Although the school isn’t as centrally located as schools like RADA, Guildhall or LAMDA it is still firmly a London drama school.
It’s a strength of Mountview that the school is on the periphery of London in Peckham. It’s not too centrally located to mean a grueling morning commute but it’s not so far into the countryside that you miss out on the student nightlife.
Where to apply
Mountview is another drama school where you must apply directly. They have a page on their website where you can choose your course, upload your information and apply:
The fee to apply is £45 unless you are looking to apply for some of their “free application” courses. Mountview has lower auditioning fees than most of the other UK drama schools and they do offer an “early-bird” rate of £35.
Mountview is a school that is going through a lot of change, much like many of the other UK drama schools. It moved to Peckham in September of 2018 after there were some issues with the redevelopment of its original grade II listed building.
It’s a member of the Federation of Drama Schools and seems to be one of the elite schools in the UK that is going from strength to strength.
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