Bristol Old Vic Theatre School is one of the most successful and well-respected conservatoire drama schools in the UK. We attract the very best talent in students and staff, and our courses are recognized nationally and internationally as a benchmark of quality in professional drama training.
Notable alumni include Daniel Day-Lewis, Sir Patrick Stewart, Jeremy Irons, Pete Postlethwaite, Tim Pigott-Smith, Alex Jennings, Gene Wilder, Mark Strong, Adrian Scarborough, Theo James, Naomie Harris, Stephanie Cole, Miranda Richardson, Samantha Bond, Amanda Redman, Olivia Colman, Sophie Thompson, Helen Baxendale, Pearl Mackie and Faye Marsay.
It has been a centre of excellence for world-leading vocational training in the arts and entertainment industry since its launch in 1946. In recognition of its achievements, in 2003 the Theatre School was one of just three drama schools invited to join the prestigious Conservatoire for Dance and Drama. A student’s first day at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School is regarded as the first day of their professional career.
Entry is highly competitive: in acting, for instance, over 1,700 applicants audition for the 28 places available each year. Applications are made online and not through UCAS.
All applicants are auditioned / interviewed.
Students are selected on talent alone, and this is nurtured in small groups by a dedicated team of professional staff. The resulting graduates from all courses have the skills to achieve sustained, successful careers. With only 160 students across 11 courses, group numbers are kept deliberately low, to reflect realistically the employment market in each area of specialism.
Training is offered at undergraduate or postgraduate level in Acting (including Acting Technique, Text Interpretation, Voice, Singing, Acting for Camera, Movement and Dance), Stage Management (including Lighting, Sound, Prop-making, Scenic Construction and Film & TV production), Costume, Theatre Design, Scenic Art, Theatre Production Management and Drama Directing. A specialist Masters in Acting is available for International students. The graduate employment record from all courses is outstanding.
There is no one Theatre School style or guru; the training takes an holistic and wide-ranging approach, developing the individual’s potential and skills in an environment of professionalism and rigour that is universally acknowledged within the industry. The Theatre School is immensely proud of all its graduates, seeing their careers thrive, not only as screen, stage and radio drama actors, but also in some of the most high-profile production, technical and management roles in the UK’s cultural industries and on the global stage.
The Theatre School plays a major role in the region’s arts scene, with over 150 performances in professional venues in Bristol – Bristol Old Vic, Tobacco Factory Theatres, The Alma Tavern Theatre, Cicomedia and the Redgrave Theatre. In addition, seven weeks’ touring to local primary schools, reaching over 10,000 schoolchildren and a 20 date tour of the West Country bring the Theatre School’s work to new audiences in the wider and varied communities.
Short courses are run for those wanting to develop their stage or screen acting, whilst the Theatre School’s thriving youth theatre, Activ8, runs throughout the year to engage with school age young people. These activities build self-confidence and team working as well as instilling a lifelong love of drama.
The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School is an exciting creative community in the DNA of UK culture. 1946-2016: 70 YEARS OF WORLD CLASS TRAINING - MADE IN BRISTOL.