Academy of Live and Recorded Arts

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The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, London Acting & Drama School
ALRA South
TypeDrama school
FounderSorrel Carson and Caryll Ziegler
PrincipalsAdrian Hall
SW18 3SX
AffiliationsTrinity College London, CDET, Federation of Drama Schools, St Mary's University, Twickenham
ALRA - The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts - logo.png

The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) is a British drama school situated on Wandsworth Common, South West London and in Wigan, Greater Manchester making it the only Federation of Drama Schools (FDS) drama school to offer identical training at two separate institutions across the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1979 by director and actor Sorrel Carson who then directed the school as its Principal until 2001. The Principal of the school is Adrian Hall. ALRA was the first drama school to offer training which included all media; live theatre, film, TV and Radio. ALRA claims to still be the only FDS/CDET drama school to offer all four media forms throughout the entire three years of training to its acting students.[1][2]

ALRA was a member of Drama UK, formerly the Conference of Drama Schools, and National Council for Drama Training, both organizations since dissolved, and receives funding from the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA). It is one of only twenty-one schools approved to offer government funded Dance and Drama Awards, a scheme established to subsidise the cost of professional dance and drama training for the most talented students, at leading institutions.

It is one of the twenty conservatoire-style drama schools in the UK part of the Federation of Drama Schools.[3]

Locations and origins[edit]

ALRA South, is located within the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building, a Victorian Gothic Grade 2 listed building on the edge of Wandsworth Common, South West London.[4] The Drama School was originally located in a converted church hall in East Finchley, North London, before relocating to Wandsworth Common in 1982/3. A founding staff member at both locations was Peter Eadie (Stage Manager and Film Tutor )

The second location, named ALRA North, is located in Wigan, Greater Manchester in a newly refurbished complex. ALRA North accepted its first group of students in September 2010. The curriculum and teaching methods are the same as ALRA South's and as such all courses at ALRA North are still accredited by Drama UK, formerly the NCDT and CDS. The degrees are awarded by the St Mary's University, Twickenham and diplomas awarded by Trinity College London.


ALRA offers the following courses:

  • Three year Acting course – leading to BA (Hons) Acting/National Diploma in Professional Acting[5]
  • 15 Month Acting course – leading to MA Professional Acting/National Certificate in Professional Acting[6]
  • MA in Directing[7]
  • Foundation Acting[8]
  • Various short courses throughout the year, see website.[9]


Admission to the school is based on three rounds of auditions and finally an interview with The Directors of The School, The Registrar and The Audition Panel. The audition is held over the course of a single day.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Drama Schools based in London & Manchester | ALRA". Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  2. ^ "The History & Mission of ALRA | Drama Academy since '79". Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  3. ^ Granger, Rachel. "Rapid Scoping Study on Leicester Drama School" (PDF). De Montfort University Leicester. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  4. ^ "ALRA South, Wandsworth, Royal Victoria Patriotic Building". Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  5. ^ "BA Hons Acting, acting BA, 3 Year, Vocational, Professional course". Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Master in acting, MA professional acting course | PG Acting | Full-Time". Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  7. ^ "MA Directing, MA Theatre Directing | Postgrad course | ALRA". Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Foundation Acting Course (Full Time) | ALRA". Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Short Courses & Workshops". ALRA. Retrieved 28 September 2015.

External links[edit]

Media related to Academy of Live and Recorded Arts at Wikimedia Commons