Who says you have to go to London? From casual to committed, we’ve rounded up Leeds’ best acting classes…
Fancy yourself as the next star of stage and screen? No drama. Leeds has an ensemble of classes, courses and workshops to get you behind the camera (or curtain) in no time. If John Simm can do it, so can you.
Headed up by experienced coach and casting agent Matt Zina, The Yorkshire School Of Acting runs courses across Leeds, Halifax, Bradford and York. Places are highly sought after, but not impossible to bag, and participants are a welcoming bunch that span many ages and abilities. Billed as ‘affordable actor’s training’, the school also automatically signs students up to their casting agency so you could be on set before you know it. Recent guest audition mentors include Shameless’ Philip Hill-Pearson, and Strictly’s Jo Clifton.
Yorkshire School of Acting, Millennium Square, 3 Calverley St, LS2 3AD (standard classes £12 weekly or £40 monthly)
Even if you’re stuck in an endless jam down Kirkstall Road, YAFTA is easy to miss. It’s well worth seeking out, however, with graduates starring in everything from Happy Valley to Emmerdale (whose studios it sits opposite). YAFTA offers Film & TV Production and Screenwriting diplomas, alongside a host of acting courses and masterclasses. If practical training and opportunities to network with industry pros sound up your street, head to its social media to see when the next round of auditions is.
YAFTA, 101-103 Kirkstall Road, LS3 1JL (classes from £15)
ActUp North admits students for twelve-week terms, each spilt into three modules. You’ll cover character work, acting for soaps, period dramas, HD cameras and breaking down scripts. Operating in Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool, classes are often observed by top casting directors looking for fresh talent to add to their pool, and they’ve racked up an impressive list of alumni. The requirement is a serious commitment to a career in this field, and the minimum length of study is one term
ActUp North, 71 Kirkstall Rd, LS3 1LH (from £18 per 2-hour class)
Leeds Playhouse has a solid outreach programme and, as one of our National Portfolio Organisations, is all about professional development, learning and participation. Those aged five to nineteen can get involved with its youth theatre, while the Furnace social club is a community of local adult artists and Heydays offers longstanding creative sessions for over 55s. If you’re needing any inspiration, catch one of its fantastic rep company productions: next up, it’s Around the World in 80 Days.
Leeds Playhouse, Playhouse Square, Leeds LS2 7UP (prices from as little as £2)
Red Grit isn’t as intense as it sounds. Spread over eight weeks, lead by Red Ladder’s Artistic Director Rod Dixon, it’s a popular training course exploring the actor’s voice and body - influenced very much by the physical work of companies like Gecko and Kneehigh, who adopt the methods of of lauded practitioners Lecoq and Laban. Rod is a fantastic facilitator who clearly knows his craft, creating a supportive environment without the thespian jargon. Held currently at Open Source Arts, each week’s class is a just fiver a go.
Classes currently held at Open Source Arts, 1A, Aire Place Mills, Kirkstall Rd, LS3 1JL (£5 per class)
So, embrace awkward intimacy with people you’ve only just met in the corridor, bring on the clammy palms and get acting.