Acting graduates from The Arden School of Theatre have given their course top marks in the recent National Student Survey. The students rated the overall satisfaction of their course 100% along with the teaching and learning on the course.
Last year only two other drama schools in the UK received a 100% overall rating, with the average receiving 87%, showing that the quality of training available for actors is comparable, if not better, than that some of the UK’s most famous drama schools.
The Arden School of Theatre is located in central Manchester which has seen a boost from the BBC’s £877 million relocation to Salford and the development of HOME. It’s aims are to provide quality training outside of London and has reinvented itself in recent years to give equal measure to stage, screen and audio acting techniques.
The graduates were part of the inaugural Arden Fringe, a short plays event created by actor and acting teacher Marie Critchley (The Secret Agent, Casual Vacancy, In The Flesh) to capitalise on the excellent industry links in Manchester. With writing from award winning local writers from radio, TV and stage, the plays were directed by well-known actors from film and TV including Sally Carman (Shameless, Tyrannosaur), Mark Womack (Hillsborough, Route Irish The Good Cop) and Jake Abraham (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels).
The event was a tremendous success and plans are now underway for the next Arden Fringe in November. Already high profile actors, such as John Henshaw and Sally Carman, are onboard to direct.
While London is an appealing move for those interested in actor training, it can often be expensive for young actors. The Arden is proving that high-quality, affordable training is possible without the high living costs. Not by replicating the training offered in typical conservertoires but with a curriculum that is innovative and progressive. As Tony Wilson once said: ‘this is Manchester, we do things differently here’, and with the recent National Student Survey results the students seem to approve.