Group of acting students in drama studio rehearsing

Short Courses for Adults

Acting For Classical Text – Beginner

Key Information
  • Suitable for

    Beginners, age 18+

  • Dates

    Friday 5 – Sunday 7 April 2024

  • Tuition


  • Location

    Downside Road, Bristol

  • Cost

    £320 Save 10% when you book on World Theatre Day, 27 March!

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This immersive, three-day course provides an accessible introduction to performing classical texts with a focus on the works of Shakespeare. Over the duration of the course, you will gain a practical understanding of the nuances of classical text, including language, verse, historical context and body language, with ample opportunities to engage in hands-on scene work. This course is suitable if you are completely new to acting, act as a hobby or are considering full-time conservatoire training as a next step.

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School offers a fun and nurturing environment in which to pursue your creative ambitions. The support and feedback available from your tutor will help you develop your natural talents and confidence in theatre acting.


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Students in Nicholas Nickleby rehearsals

Key highlights

On this course, you will:

> Learn how to navigate the language of classical texts – heightened language, verse, iambic pentameter and poetic forms;
> Understand the meaning and historical context of classical text and use it to inform your character portrayal;
> Hone skills in using body language and movement to convey emotion and enhance character dynamics;
> Apply these skills in hands-on scene work from classical plays, focusing on interaction, pacing and conveying emotional depth.

You will have the opportunity to practise and showcase your skills in a supportive and collaborative environment with constructive feedback from your tutor and peers.

This is a full-time, Friday-Sunday course. Sessions run from 09:30 to 17:00. This course is taught in our rehearsal studios at Downside Road.

Your tutor

Ali is the Theatre School’s Director of Drama, with strategic oversight for the School’s artistic programme including responsibility for overseeing the realisation of BOVTS theatrical and media productions, appointing visiting practitioners, and enhancing the School’s reputation as a world-leading training provider.

Prior to his appointment at BOVTS, Ali was Associate Head of Acting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he taught Shakespeare, screen acting, and professional practice for actors between 2009 and 2022. He was also previously Programme Leader for the BA Acting and Performance course at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.

Ali completed an MA in Psychology at the University of Dundee, before taking a one-year postgraduate diploma in acting at BOVTS, graduating in 1993. He later completed an MFA in Screen Directing (Queen Margaret University, 2001) and holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in the Arts (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, 2014).

More about the course

One of my favourite parts about BOVTS is that it feels ‘homegrown’. From the set to the costume, lighting, acting and sound, every single aspect of a theatre production or film is down to the students. The location of Clifton is so serene and the School being so small everyone knows each other and it feels so personal and special. Violet Morris, BA Professional Acting Student