Get our free email newsletter with just one click

The Poor School in London to close after 32 years

Drama training centre the Poor School in London
by -

London drama training centre the Poor School has announced it is to close its doors for good after three decades.

The school, which runs a two-year acting course, is no longer taking on new students and is expected to close after its final term in July 2018.

It was founded by actor and director Paul Caister in 1986 as a lower-cost alternative to accredited drama schools, holding classes at evenings and weekends to enable students to train around their jobs.

The two-year course costs £2,190 per term for six terms, while the school runs shorter, four-day courses.

When contacted by The Stage, Caister declined to comment on why the school was closing.

A statement on the school’s website reads: “The Poor School started in 1986, funded by a £2,000 overdraft. We currently have a full complement of students, first and second year, due to graduate in 2017 and 2018 respectively.”

It continues: “It has been decided that we will not have a new intake of students next year and the school will thus close, after 32 splendid years, in 2018.”

Royal Exchange artistic director Sarah Frankcom is among the school’s alumni, as is EastEnders star Jessie Wallace, comedian Zoe Lyons and actor James Holmes.

In 2011, the school was forced to close temporarily after a fire that was treated as “suspicious” by the police.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.