Graduate Shows

The Diary of Anne Frank

Dramatised by Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett

Directed by Chris Dunham

23rd November - 3rd December

Shows start at 7.30

No performances on Mondays or Tuesdays

Book now

The Cherry Orchard

By Anton Chekhov

Directed by Trudi Rees

14th - 23rd December

Shows start at 7.30

No performance on Mondays

Book now

Lady Windemere's Fan

By Oscar Wilde

Directed by Clare Davidson

18th - 28th January

Shows start at 7.30

No performances on Mondays or Tuesdays

Book now

The Poor School

Abby Wilson

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 9737-0199-5041

Abi McLoughlin

The Poor School aims to make high quality acting training available to all at the lowest possible cost. 

Paul Caister interviewed

Read more on Paul's Blog

The Poor School was founded in 1986 by Paul Caister, who continues to run the school to this day. 26 years of graduates have gone on to enjoy successful careers in theatre, film, comedy and radio. Some ex-students have founded their own companies, others have become producers, directors, casting directors and agents.

The school offers a well-renowned two year training, scheduled in evenings and at weekends. It begins each autumn and entrance is by audition or via a short course.

As a school that has never relied on subsidy our fees are not subject to the large increases that most other vocational or academic courses are now charging.

In addition to the two year training, we also offer four day courses, which are daytime courses that run through the year. There is no audition for our short courses; entrance is by enrolment.

Dominic Cavendish, drama critic at The Daily Telegraph, attended a Four Day Course in June 2010. Here is his review. And there are more Poor School reviews on Hot Courses.

Director Paul Caister visits Peterborough, New Hampshire - the inspiration for Thornton Wilder's play Our Town.

We are now accepting applications for audition for the training beginning in October 2017


Acting Training

in London's Kings Cross


Two Year Training | Four Day Course

Adam Forrester

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 1250-0164-7188

Adam Luzon

Alex Pitcher

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 6297-8946-8505

Stage Combat


Alison was Britain's first female Fight Director. She has worked extensively in the West End for the main subsidised companies, in regional repertory, on the London Fringe, in film and for the major opera companies. She was Fight Master at Webber Douglas for ten years. She is a fencing coach and an ex-national longbow champion.

Alistair Stoneman

Anna Cornish

The following does not define an acting training, nor do we mean to suggest that aspects of the training are isolated from each other. At The Poor School voice involves movement and vice-versa; all work relates to the rest of the work.



An actor needs a relaxed, expressive and responsive body with an awareness of self, a feeling for space, a response to rhythm and music and a vivid physical imagination. Exercises attempt to reveal the extent of any inhibition and to demonstrate the means of freeing the body.



The aim is to make the voice as free, versatile and responsive as possible, provided always that it remains an honest expression of a desire to communicate. Exercises aim to show the relationship of breath to sound, to cultivate power and resonance, to eliminate tension and to increase range and colour.


Acting Study

A series of structured improvisations that aim to reveal the dramatic power of honesty and economy, the deadly influence of self-conscious acting or over-acting, and to demonstrate the dramatic force of the individual imagination.


Verse & Text

Character and situation are often absent from this less complicated but vital area of training. A reader rarely speaks from within an already created dramatic situation and thus different problems are encountered from those which arise when playing a role.



In the first four terms all work is internal, with showings seen by the staff and your colleagues only. This gives the opportunity for creative mis-casting, for exploring and discovering dramatic texts of many kinds in an environment where there is freedom to fail.

Students at the end of the fourth term will have worked on a modern, colloquial play, a tightly written comedy (by, for example, Wilde, Orton or Shaw), an Ibsen, a Chekhov, a play demanding the use of dialect (usually American) and a Shakespeare.

There will have also been the opportunity to work on various scenes, with some autonomy given to the students in terms of choice.

Dance and singing are introduced in the second term. It makes sense that these applications of physical and vocal training should be attempted with bodies and voices that are already partly trained.


Animal Study

Animal study is, in effect, third term acting study. Students observe and then recreate the physical and vocal behaviour of animals.


The Preview

The Preview precedes the Public Season. In January, students who are due to graduate in the summer perform short scenes in front of an invited audience from the profession.

Any interest from a casting director, agent or producer in a particular student can be followed up by seeing their work in the season and the Evening of Scenes.


Public Season

In the final two terms of the training students in a given year resemble a repertory company. There is no Easter break and demands are made on your weekday daytime; your actual commitments will depend on your casting. The profession (agents, casting directors etc.) are invited to these shows.

During the final two terms second year students must expect some stage management duties or similar. All students are rostered for bar and front of house duties.


An Evening Of Scenes

The final two nights of the training. Students perform scenes in front of an invited audience from the profession: agents, casting directors, producers ... anyone, in fact, who is or may be in a position to offer work or representation.


Directing Students

Up to one directing student will be accepted each year. Entrance is based on an acting audition and interview. The training, in the first four terms, is largely the same as for an acting student. After that time, or indeed before it, the directing student may be invited to work with current students on various projects. This, however, is not guaranteed and depends on progress.

Beckie Hackney

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 7610-7864-2816

Bella Rokhlin

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  • Spotlight PIN 1333-3421-5576

Belles Berry

Ben Moos-Golding

Benjamin Amson

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  • Spotlight PIN 7417-3494-0805

Benjamin Isherwood

Blake Aidan

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  • Spotlight PIN 4212-1273-4801

Callum Yardley

Cassie Bancroft

Cavan J Holsgrove

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  • Spotlight PIN 8418-5618-8160

Charlotte Peach

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 7656-8976-5503

Chloe Hardy



Christian trained initially as a classical singer at Trinity College of Music, London and privately in Moscow. He subsequently trained as a voice teacher at the Central School of Speech and Drama and has been coaching and teaching voice for over fifteen years, working with both singers and speakers. As a performer, he has worked in opera and concert and continues to perform regularly as a recitalist. His has sung in Russia, Israel, Austria and Greece and given several recitals at Oxford University.


Chris Dunham was the Artistic Director of the Palace Theatre, Westcliffe for 24 years until 1999. He trained at The Bristol Old Vic and worked extensively as an actor for 10 years. He joined The Poor School in 2002.

Voice, Acting

Clare trained as an actress at LAMDA, where she also received a certificate in Voice and Speech. She taught at LAMDA (Head of Voice 1965-72), as well as at NYU, BADA (Dean 1988-89), and the College of Santa Fe (Professor, Head of Acting and Directing 1999-2008). Clare has coached many actors including Pierce Brosnan, Sting, Dudley Moore and Orlando Bloom. She has directed for the last 40 years and her credits include LITTLE EYOLF and MISS JULIE in London's West End, WAITING FOR GODOT and CANDIDA off-Broadway in New York, A DOLL'S HOUSE in Holland and HEDDA GABLER in Norway.

Clare Gillman

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 6212-4539-0726

Clare Joseph

The Poor School is located within easy reach of several London Underground and British Rail stations (Kings Cross, Kings Cross Thameslink, St. Pancras, Euston Square, Russell Square, Angel, Farringdon). Bus routes 10, 17, 30, 45, 46, 63, 73 and 214 stop at King's Cross station.

The Poor School

242 Pentonville Road
King's Cross
N1 9JY

020 7837 6030

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Registered Charity 1084706, Registered in England 4143176

Cora Burke

Corinna Jane

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 6774-8979-5345

Dale Hayes

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 9738-1278-0745

Damian Escayg

Dan Cavendish

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  • Spotlight PIN 6013-3497-9842

David Liam

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 6855-8945-8811

Dean Ross

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 8419-6721-5411

Eddie Chamberlin

Eden McDougall

Eleanor Robey

Ellen Hobson

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 3579-8978-7368

Elodie Tweedie

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  • Spotlight PIN 2217-5646-8450

Eloise Dixon

Emma Feeney

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 8736-8973-7622

Fearon McElroy

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 6855-8944-3841

The Poor School is designed to enable students without grants or parental support to pay for themselves by holding a daytime job. Most get through the training in that way. Parental support is, of course, a great advantage.

Local authority grants are very rare. More common are contributions from charitable trusts. It is necessary to do your own research, since your eligibility for a particular charity may depend on your region, your background and your ethnic origin. In addition, there is a publication: The Guide to Grants for Individuals in Need, available at most Citizens' Advice Bureaux.


Fees are £2190 per term. They must be paid termly, one month in advance of the term starting. The final two terms' fees must be paid together (less deposit, see below) at the end of the fourth term.


A deposit of £600 is required from each new student soon after they accept a place at the school. This is then credited to the student at Christmas in the second year (i.e. it is deducted from the amount they have to pay).

The deposit, and all money paid to the school, is returnable at our discretion. The payment of a deposit we take as an indication of your honest intent to attend, subject to any conditions you may attach. We will accept the deposit on your terms, perhaps after negotiation, but, once paid, it is not returnable on demand.


For those who leave before the scheduled end of the training refunds are often due. Fees paid in advance, including the deposit, will be refunded except fees paid for a term which is in progress, and provided that the circumstances of the leaving and the behaviour of the student have been reasonable and not disruptive. A term is deemed to be in progress once the due date for payment has passed. All refunds are made in the autumn.

Filius Mihail

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 1617-8945-7827

Fiona Mulvaney

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 1931-7863-6140

7 weeks: March 27 – May 13, 2017 (no calls on Good Friday or Easter Monday)

Intensive daytime: 10.00 am-5.00 pm Monday-Friday

Cost: £2590 (no VAT to add)

This is a course for anyone. It is superb preparation for a person who wants to train as an actor, but an astonishing experience for someone who simply wants a sustained period of time living as a student professional actor. The exercises that actors do, everyone should do. They are life changing.

The Four Day Course began in 2007. Since then we have seen nearly 3000 people. Some wanted to be actors, others just wanted to spend a week in a different world.

Frankie Hyde-Peace

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 5652-1206-6948

Gareth Wildig

Gary Francis Roche

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  • Spotlight PIN 9735-8941-4112

George Carter

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  • Spotlight PIN 8613-1278-2348

Georgina Baillie

Gina Barter

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  • Spotlight PIN 4136-7864-3003

Gloria Garcia

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  • Spotlight PIN 1412-0192-1301



Grantley was Head of Musical Theatre at the Urdang Academy in Covent Garden for seven years. He has worked for Arts Educational, The Roundhouse, the Globe Centre and spent two years as a principal in the West End production of GREASE. He obtained a BA (Hons) in Music from Leeds University and began teaching at The Poor School in May, 2004.

Hannah Atwood

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  • Spotlight PIN 9176-7862-8245

Hannah Dale

Harry Austin

Helen Percival

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  • Spotlight PIN 3514-6750-9365

Hilary Barnes

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  • Spotlight PIN 4939-9081-8807

Hollie Murten

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  • Spotlight PIN 0850-6752-5863
Saturday, 16 November 2013 00:00


Written by

Honoria Morgan

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  • Spotlight PIN 7414-9086-7691

There are three terms a year. From early October to mid or late December, from late January to early April, and from mid-April to early July.

Huw Spencer

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 6618-5615-4937

Ira Kormind

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  • Spotlight PIN 2512-3423-5846

Ismail Kamara

Isobel Scanlan

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  • Spotlight PIN 6294-5647-5187

Jack Loy

Jake Botterell

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  • Spotlight PIN 6535-3491-4133

James David Shears

James Glyn

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  • Spotlight PIN 4211-0163-2016

Jamie O'Neill

Jamie Pearson

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  • Spotlight PIN 2372-7839-8412

Jane MacFarlane

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  • Spotlight PIN 9417-5640-3055



Jenni trained at The BRIT School, Dartington College of Arts and Central School of Speech and Drama, where she gained a 1st Class MA in the teaching of movement for actors. Movement teaching includes Middlesex University, Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, London Bubble Theatre Company, University of East London, and The Poor School. Movement Direction includes Richard III (Love And Madness Productions) and The Ghost Train (Lost Theatre). Performances include ʻAmphibiansʼ (NT Studio, Offstage Theatre), nominated for six Off West End Awards, and Movement Director Lucy Cullingford's ʻRenaissance Body Projectʼ (RSC/Warwick University).

Jeremy Small

Jessica Flood

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 5812-9083-7181

Jillian Atkin

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  • Spotlight PIN 7652-4536-7822

John Slade

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  • Spotlight PIN 9330-8942-5201

Joseph Granata

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  • Spotlight PIN 0534-5611-7463

Joseph Holloway

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  • Spotlight PIN 1111-6722-0529

Joseph Storkes

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  • Spotlight PIN 4772-4509-6858

Josephine Myrette

Josh Booker

Joshua Sklar

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  • Spotlight PIN 9977-7837-3647

Joy Brenugat

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  • Spotlight PIN 1410-8972-9462

Karl Best

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  • Spotlight PIN 5091-8948-5048

Kate Barry

Kate Somerton

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  • Spotlight PIN 1170-1205-0369

Katja Ewald

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  • Spotlight PIN 6771-5644-2682

Kelvin Giles

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  • Spotlight PIN 6619-6728-0392

Kim Simone

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  • Spotlight PIN 2210-7862-9046
Thursday, 12 October 2017 08:30

Lady Windemere's Fan

Written by

By Oscar Wilde

Directed by Clare Davidson

18th - 28th January

Shows start at 7.30

No performances on Mondays or Tuesdays

Lara Gallagher

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 3331-3420-7098

Laura Shipler Chico

Additional Info

  • Spotlight PIN 5018-7868-0828

Laurie Sherry

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