Adam McShane, who is enrolled at the Theatre Royal's actor training course, Project A.
Matthew Neville

In conversation with a student of the arts: Can the Newcastle Theatre Royal’s actor training course put local talent in the limelight?

As part of Bdaily’s latest feature week, The Business of Creativity, I sat down with Adam McShane, who is enrolled in the Newcastle Theatre Royal’s actor training course, to see just what such initiatives can bring about for local business and culture.

What is the actor training course?

Firstly, Adam explained what his course is all about: “The course I am on, Project A, is a one year intensive actor training course where a small cohort of young actors are being trained in different fields of performance. The overall goal of the course is to make the actor self-sufficient and to prepare them for the industry.”

What resources and benefits are available as part of Project A?

It is apparent that the course offers no lack of resources and benefits for those who have chosen to enrol. Adam said: “There are many benefits whilst on the course. One is that you tackle different forms of theatre; from Konstantin Stanislavsky’s work, to Steven Berkoff’s work and more.

“Another benefit is that you meet several practitioners who study different fields whether it be about your voice, or about Shakespeare. There is also an extensive list of books and literature to choose from, so you can expand your frame of reference and gain useful information.

How can courses such as this support the local economy and its businesses?

“I believe courses like these can really help develop local talent and bring something new to the region. If more initiatives like Project A started across the North East, it would allow companies to put on more shows and allow local talent that might be unable to perform, due to particular reasons, the chance to perform.”

“This, in turn, would benefit investors from an increased number of shows with more ticket sales.” Simply put, these kinds of initiatives are said to draw investment and promote growth for the local theatre industry.

Does the Theatre Royal hold cultural significance on the national stage?

“I believe the Theatre Royal has major cultural significance as the plays that are shown are always to a high standard. With it being one of the largest theatres in the North East, it means that large-scale touring plays can be held there.

“Just a few weeks ago, the Theatre Royal was home to the first ever showing of “The Drifter’s Girl” which is now currently playing at the West End in London.”

Any highlights you would like to share with our readers?

“There are many highlights that I have experienced on the course so far. One of which was being able to work with the incredible dance company Ballet Lorent where we studied different forms of dance.

“We have also just finished a Zoom week with the amazing Michael Corbidge, a Voice and Text specialist who has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company. One of my personal favourites, though, was learning Stage Combat. Obviously in a safe environment, it was really fun to be able to throw and react to punches.”

That’s a wrap…

Ultimately, it appears, to this writer, as though such initiatives truly can shine a spotlight on the North East as both a cultural and economic hub for the UK. With a demonstration of local talent and drive, courses such as the Theatre Royal’s acting course are a valuable asset which could be expanded into other creative industries to achieve similarly impressive results.

I would like to graciously thank Adam for his candidness and expertise on the matter. If you have experiences in the creative industry you would like to share with our editorial team, you can contact us at editor@bdaily.co.uk

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