Across London there are many schemes available to students and young performers providing opportunities to experience theatre in a variety of ways. ‘Masterclass’ is run by the Theatre Royal Haymarket and brings in many celebrated performers in the theatre industry to host inspiring talks and performance workshops. The scheme is free to anyone between the ages of 17-30 and those not qualifying for free admission can pay a small sum of £10 per class or £55 for the year. A few of the many past masters include: Jeremy Irons, Joanna Lumley, James McAvoy, Ewan McGregor, and Rufus Noris.
‘Theatrecraft’ was set up by Masterclass to give people aged 16-25 a chance to gain experience in the non-performance side of theatre. There are workshops on offer to try every role available in the industry: stage management, production, playwriting, directing, design roles including stage make-up, costume, lighting and sound, wig-making, and admin roles like theatre journalism and marketing. There are also sessions giving information on financial management in the industry, the casting process and theatre tours.
Another scheme available to those keen to pursue a career in theatre or simply to enjoy it as a spectator, is the National Theatre’s Entry Pass. This is a free membership scheme which gives 16-25 year olds £5 tickets to all the National Theatre’s productions, various discounts and access to many workshops and events that they hold. Some of the past workshops included stage combat, devising, characterisation, verse speaking and set and costume design. The National Theatre hosts some of the most excellent productions in the theatre world and Entry Pass will have a number of £5 tickets allocated for every production.
The Almeida Theatre in Islington also runs a scheme encouraging people between the ages of 15-25 to get involved in theatre. It costs £5 per year to have unlimited access to every project the theatre offers. For example LAB, which provides an opportunity to work on a unique show for one year and perform on the Almeida stage, script-writing projects, masterclasses with professionals, devising projects, and reduced tickets for performances at the theatre.