Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Michael Blakemore: Young actors are neglecting vocal training

Michael Blakemore. Photo: Catherine Ashmore Michael Blakemore. Photo: Catherine Ashmore
by -

Director Michael Blakemore has expressed concerns that younger actors are neglecting training in traditional acting skills, such as projection.

Speaking at a rehearsal for the UK premiere of Cy Coleman’s musical The Life, starring Sharon D Clarke, Blakemore said: “A lot of the old Olivier-type skills are being neglected now, like voice and projection. All the things that Maggie Smith and Judi Dench can do so well, they’re not being passed on.”

Blakemore directed Smith in the original production of Peter Shaffer’s Lettice and Lovage in 1987, and is the only person to have won the Tony award for best director of a play and a musical in the same year.

He also noted that the industry is “much, much tougher” for actors starting out now than it has been in the past.

The Life opens at Southwark Playhouse, London, on March 25.

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.