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Charles Dance: ‘Opportunities dwindling for state-educated actors’

Charles Dance. Photo: Shutterstock Charles Dance. Photo: Shutterstock
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Charles Dance has claimed that state-educated actors are now being given fewer opportunities than performers who attend private schools.

The actor, who went to a state school in Plymouth, said that when he began his career in the 1970s there were more chances for young people educated in the state system to develop acting careers.

He told Radio Times: “There are fewer opportunities now for people who come through the state education system. I didn’t go to a public school but I know from people who did that there is a great drama department at Eton.”

“There are more opportunities than in the state system, if there is talent there to be developed at that stage. Old Etonians have enormous charm: Dominic West, Eddie Redmayne… they’re all delightful guys,” he added.

Dance’s comments follow similar criticisms made by other performers, including Julie Walters and David Morrissey, who have both argued that acting has become less accessible to working-class people.

Last year, a survey analysing social mobility within the performing arts sector found that 77% of people working in the industry come from middle-class backgrounds.

It also labelled the arts a “closed shop” to the working classes.

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