The Stage Scholarships 2018: Liverpool Theatre School
Liverpool Theatre School hit the news recently when its principal Maxine Ellis announced it was eliminating all audition fees to encourage more working-class young people to apply. This initiative has garnered support from both the industry and government, with Ellis receiving encouragement from actors including Anita Dobson and Julie Hesmondhalgh.
Talking about life at LTS, Ellis explains: “We are a small school and class sizes are no bigger than 16. This way, we get to know each other as individuals. The school was founded in 1939. Its aim was partly to give people from disadvantaged backgrounds access to training and we have a similar ethos today.”
Encouraging applications from all over the UK, LTS is offering a place on its popular diploma in professional acting course through The Stage Scholarships.
“When I was young,” Ellis explains, “The Stage newspaper was like the theatrical bible. It has maintained that prestige and certainly now, with the website and social media feed, even more young people access it.”
The successful applicant will train at the LTS facility in South Liverpool for three years for the diploma – the only acting course in Merseyside validated by Trinity College London. The school is based near Sefton Park, a stone’s throw from the vibrant city centre. The city has a rich theatrical heritage and the legacy of the Beatles is a constant reminder of the city’s status as a global music hub. The LTS building has five bright, modern dance studios plus rehearsal spaces and a theatre space for performances, as well as a well-appointed library and rest areas.
Ellis says: “Our students all live within walking distance of the building in shared local houses. We’re only about 15 minutes from the city centre and the students quite often go out together, because they are close. It’s very much like a family.”
Aimed at over-18s, the diploma course provides professional training in acting for stage, TV and film work. Lessons are designed to equip the student with a robust and highly flexible structure in which to work, and to develop their skills and approach to acting both practically and philosophically. As well as acting classes, students take classes in singing, dancing and stage combat, while there are plenty of chances to perform during term time.
“We perform at the Unity Theatre and we also use the Everyman Theatre, with which we have strong links. In the final year, there is also the showcase. Students will have the opportunity to showcase their talent to agents both in London and here in our North West Showcase at LTS,” Ellis says.
And what is LTS looking for in an applicant? Head of acting Alan Pattison says: “At the audition stage, it’s very much about who they are and if they have the will and potential to learn and be challenged.
“When I wrote the course, I wanted to synthesise the best of traditional actor training with the absolute here and now of industry developments in theatre and film. So I think for someone who is really serious about acting, the course at LTS would be challenging and incredibly rewarding.”
Course: Three-year diploma in professional acting
Educational level: Post-school
Number of scholarships offered: One
Value of scholarship: £31,500
What costs are covered? Fees
Where is the school: Liverpool
Audition date: April 22
Audition requirements: You will need to have prepared a two-minute Shakespeare or Jacobean speech and a two-minute, post-1950 monologue suitable for your playing age. You must be prepared to discuss the play it comes from and take direction. Then you will be invited to an interview with the principal.
How to apply: Via the website. Quote ‘The Stage’ when applying.