Manchester School of Theatre

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Manchester School of Theatre
ABC Weekend TV studios in Didsbury Manchester.jpg
Capitol Theatre, East Didsbury
Address
Arts and Humanities Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, Cavendish St, Manchester M15 6BG [1]

, ,
M1 5NH

CoordinatesCoordinates: 53°28′12″N 2°14′13″W / 53.470°N 2.237°W / 53.470; -2.237
Information
TypeDrama school
Established1970
FounderManchester College of Art and Design and Manchester Polytechnic
Director of School of TheatreDavid Salter
Programme LeaderDavid Salter
Validating UniversityManchester Metropolitan University
WebsiteOfficial website

The Manchester School of Theatre also known as The Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre (originally the Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre) is a drama school situated in the city of Manchester UK founded in 1970.[2] It is a member of the Federation of Drama Schools.[3]

History[edit]

Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre evolved out of an early training course for drama teachers that was introduced by the Manchester College of Art and Design between 1964 and 1966. The theatre school was officially established in 1970 as part of Manchester Polytechnic under its charismatic Head of School Edward Argent and Senior Lecturer John Cargill Thompson. It was established to provide a professional training for actors that went beyond the rather staid traditions of the established drama schools: at the time, the Central School of Speech and Drama would examine prospective students' teeth, like a horse, to see if they had the teeth of a professional actor. Argent and his team believed that the authentic spirit of an actor, even if contained within a less-than-conventionally-perfect body, was more important.[4]

Based initially at the former Congregational Church on Cavendish Street (now demolished) and the adjacent former Righton's Haberdashery (which survives), in 1971 the School of Theatre moved to the Capitol Theatre, Didsbury (also now demolished), a former cinema from where in the Sixties ABC Television's influential Armchair Theatre series had been broadcast. The School established an outstanding national and international reputation due largely to the authenticity and disparate talents of its alumni, actors such as Richard Griffiths, Bernard Hill, David Threlfall and Julie Walters. Later students have included John Thomson, Amanda Burton, Steve Coogan, Jenny Eclair and John Hannah.[5]

In 1992 Manchester Polytechnic changed its name to Manchester Metropolitan University and in 1998, the School relocated to the MMU All Saints campus in Chorlton on Medlock, Manchester, bringing it into closer contact with the city and Manchester School of Art, of which it is a part.[6] The move increased access to central Manchester which served to further strengthen the School’s links with many of the region’s key employers – including the BBC, The Royal Exchange Theatre and Contact Theatre.[7]

Academic programme[edit]

According to The Complete University Guide, the school has a ratio of over 50:1 applicants for each place on the BA(Hons) Acting course.[8] The September 2012 intake of twenty-eight students were chosen from over 1,700 people who auditioned for a place on the course. It is part of The Manchester Metropolitan University. The school trains students to become professional actors in the stage, television and radio industry. The course offered is BA(Hons) Acting,[9] which lasts three years. Students who complete the three year BA are eligible for Equity status.

The third-year students perform to the public at HOME Theatre. Third-year productions are open to the public, tickets can be booked through the HOME Theatre website. All third-year students take part in an annual showcase which takes place both at HOME Theatre, and the Soho Theatre in London in the spring term.

Partnerships[edit]

The drama school has partnerships with the Hallé Orchestra, RNCM, HOME and Chetham’s School of Music.[10]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable graduates from the school of theatre include:[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.mmu.ac.uk/contact-us#ai-1776-0
  2. ^ N Ashdown (Web Officer, Manchester School of Art. "About the Manchester School of Theatre". theatre.mmu.ac.uk. Manchester Metropolitan University, 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  3. ^ Granger, Rachel. "Rapid Scoping Study on Leicester Drama School" (PDF). De Montfort University Leicester. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  4. ^ N Ashdown (Web Officer, Manchester School of. "About the Manchester School of Theatre". theatre.mmu.ac.uk. Manchester Metropolitan University, 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  5. ^ N Ashdown (Web Officer, Manchester School of. "About the Manchester School of Theatre". theatre.mmu.ac.uk. Manchester Metropolitan University, 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  6. ^ N Ashdown (Web Officer, Manchester School of. "About the Manchester School of Theatre". theatre.mmu.ac.uk. Manchester Metropolitan University, 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  7. ^ N Ashdown (Web Officer, Manchester School of. "About the Manchester School of Theatre". theatre.mmu.ac.uk. Manchester Metropolitan University, 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Manchester Metropolitan University". Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  9. ^ "Manchester Metropolitan University".
  10. ^ "About the Manchester School of Theatre". www.theatre.mmu.ac.uk. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  11. ^ "Notable Alumni".

External links[edit]