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Leicester College News

Leicester College partners ALRA (Academy of Live & Recorded Arts)


Leicester College and ALRA (The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts) are to launch a ground-breaking, two-year fast track degree course: BA in Acting (Creative Performance Practice).

This is incredibly exciting news for the Midlands. ALRA currently has conservatoire’s in West London and ALRA North in Wigan.

Founded in 1979, by Sorrel Carson and Caryll Ziegler, ALRA was the first drama school to offer a training which encompassed all media: live theatre, TV & film and radio. ALRA is still the only school to offer acting for camera from the first week of study.

Adrian Hall, Principal at ALRA said:

“This collaboration continues our mission to reach out to diverse communities on a national agenda and provide an inclusive regional platform for talent. ALRA has always searched for talent from communities that have not found it easy to engage with drama schools and this venture marks another stage on that journey. We look forward to working with Leicester College to ensure the best talent finds a pathway into the business.”

Currently subject to validation by De Montfort University, the degree will provide accessible training from highly skilled professional practitioners enabling Midlands based students to cut the cost of travel and accommodation, as well as get professional training at university prices.

Kieran Sheehan, Vice Principal of ALRA (Curriculum & Quality Assurance) said:

“At ALRA, we are really pleased to be collaborating with Leicester College and DMU on this new fast track degree. We have ensured an innovative curriculum that will deliver conservatoire style skills in parallel to entrepreneurial modules. By empowering the students to create their own opportunities in the performing arts industry and opening pathways into further study at Masters level, we are confident that diverse talent will be brought to light.”

The courses will be based at the fully equipped Sue Townsend Theatre in the heart of historic Leicester and is a potential pathway to a master’s degree programme at ALRA.

Some of ALRA Alumni include; Denise Gough, who won an Olivier Award for Best Actress due to her stellar performance in People, Places and Things, BAFTA nominee and South Bank Show Award winner Tanya Franks, who has starred in popular British TV productions such as Eastenders and Broadchurch and Jeremy Ang Jones who featured in the original cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which received a record breaking 11 Olivier Award nominations, and this is only naming a few.

Andrew Cookson, Director of Creative and Performing Arts at Leicester College said:

“This innovative programme in terms of design and delivery represents an exciting collaborative practice between three very different institutions – an acting conservatoire, a University renowned for excellent partnership work and an FE College recognised for excellence in the delivery of undergraduate programmes through the award of TEF Gold in 2017. The proposed course will draw on this rich collaboration to foster new forms of knowledge and practice and encourage innovative delivery, learning and teaching strategies.”

For full course details.

About ALRA:

ALRA (The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts) was founded in 1979, by Sorrel Carson and Caryll Ziegler. It was the first drama school to offer a training which encompassed all media: live theatre, TV/film and radio and there remains a marked paucity in this style of training at ALRA today.

ALRA moved into the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building, originally a Victorian orphanage built on Wandsworth Common, in 1981 where it has a number of rehearsal studios, workshops and a theatre.

ALRA is a CDET Accredited School and a member of FDS (the Federation of Drama Schools). In 2000 ALRA began to receive DaDA funding from the then Learning and Skills Council, now the EFA and BIS through Trinity College, London (the Diploma in Professional Acting level 6 (three year) and Diploma in MA in Professional Acting Level 5).

In 2013 ALRA became a partner college with St Mary’s University Twickenham London who validate their three year BA (Hons) Acting and the Post Graduate MA Professional Acting and MA Directing (subject to validation) degrees. ALRA also runs foundation courses which have exceptional results in progression to all the top drama and musical theatre schools.

In September 2010 ALRA North, placed in the heart of the Northwest in Wigan, opened and began training actors for the many regional and touring theatres, TV, film and radio companies which are centred there, allowing students to train at regional costs.

In October 2012 a unique collaboration with Wigan Borough Council saw ALRA take up residence in The Mill at the Pier at Trencherfield Mill. Built in 1907, Trencherfield Mill is probably the most iconic building in Wigan.

ALRA uses professional actors, directors and drama practitioners to deliver the curriculum. All third year public production work is directed by professionals to give students directly relevant experience and the beginnings of a network.

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