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Musical Theatre

Box Office: 0208 987 6623

Reception: 0208 987 6666


Making an Application

This information outlines the application and audition process.

Am I Eligible to Apply?

Applicants must be aged 18 or due to have turned 18 by the time the course commences. 

In addition the following qualifications are normally required:

  • Passes in two subjects at A-level or a BTEC National Diploma
  • Candidates whose first language is not English must provide proof of their English proficiency by having achieved a TOEFL score of 6 or higher

When the School is satisfied that an applicant from an unconventional academic background without formal qualifications nevertheless fulfils the audition criteria, the academic requirements may be waived, although good spoken English is a requirement for all our courses.

How Do I Apply?

Applications for 2020 course entry will open at the end of September 2019.

Audition Process

Auditions are held from October to April at ArtsEd in West London. On audition day you will have an opportunity to see the school in action, meet current students and ask questions, so you should expect to be at the School for most of the afternoon.

All BA (Hons)/Level 6 Diploma candidates will also be considered for the full-time Foundation Course on the same audition day.

There are two stages to the audition, as follows:

Stage One - The first stage consists of a group jazz dance audition and a short individual singing audition.

Dance Audition
Candidates are required to participate in a jazz class led by a senior member of dance staff and overseen by the Head of Dance or Director of Musical Theatre. All applicants are required to dress appropriately in fitted dance/ sports attire with either soft jazz shoes, foot thong or bare feet. All jewellery must be removed for safety reasons.

Don’t worry if you haven't danced before.  Prior to the audition, prepare yourself with daily stretches.  All movements will be explained and demonstrated on the day, but it would help you to familiarise yourself in advance with basic dance terminology such as plié and jété.

We are looking for candidates who are right for training at ArtsEd: we encourage applicants from sports backgrounds, and we excel at training students with limited dance experience.

What are we looking for?
We will be looking closely at:

  • how you learn – how you listen and respond to instructions
  • how well you can apply the technique you are taught to the choreography
  • your acting through dance – the characterisation, expressiveness and creativity you bring to the routine.

Singing Audition
Candidates should prepare two musical theatre songs in full. One should be a 'legit' ballad written no later than 1965 (e.g. ‘If I Loved You’ from Carousel), and the other should provide a contrast and be something you enjoy singing. For stage one you should prepare a section from each of the two songs, each lasting no longer than one minute. The audition panel will choose to hear one or both of these sections. Sheet music in the right key must be brought for both songs. Please avoid songs which demand an extreme 'character' voice, such as ‘Adelaide’s Lament’ (Guys and Dolls) or ‘My Girlfriend Who Lives in Canada’ (Avenue Q). We need to hear YOUR voice – if you are invited to continue to Stage Two you may be asked to perform the same two songs in full.

Stage Two - Some candidates may be required to dance again. All candidates will have their songs as previously prepared for the first stage of the audition.

You should also prepare and learn two monologues (one Shakespeare and one contemporary), both of which you will present for the Acting Department. Neither should be longer than three minutes. Your Shakespeare speech must be chosen from the lists supplied which will have been sent to you via email once your audition date was confirmed. Your choice of contemporary speech is up to you. It must, however, be from a British playwright and have been written after 1990. You will be expected to have read the play fully and to perform the monologue within the context of the piece. You should use your own accent regardless of where the play is set. Please choose material you can relate to personally and which you find exciting. The speeches will be preceded by a short group workshop involving all the candidates who have progressed to Stage Two. The workshop will reflect the kind of work taking place each day at ArtsEd, so be ready to listen, focus and be playful. The workshop may include movement and gameplay. Please choose your clothing accordingly, so that you are comfortable and able to take part effectively. 

Each candidate selected for Stage Two will also have an interview with senior tutors and a physical check, for which top and shorts should be worn. Stage Two will finish late in the afternoon – we hope to finish by 5.30pm but please be prepared to stay later if necessary.

You may find information in our Auditions Policy document helpful.

Students from Outside the UK

The School welcomes applications from eligible candidates across the globe. The working language of the training is English, so you must be able to show evidence at the audition of an excellent command of spoken and written English.


Although our building is fully accessible for public performances, at present many of the teaching areas are not easily accessible for disabled users. We are working to improve this and intend to have a fully accessible building in the near future. If you are a disabled applicant and are successful at audition, we will do our best to meet your access requirements and before offering you a place we will discuss how we might best support you during training. If after discussion the college regretfully feels it cannot provide adequate support and, therefore, is unable to offer a place, we will explain why, and advise you on alternative opportunities.