Acting is a passion for many kids growing up, and it’s usually the parents who need to put on their researcher’s hat and find the best acting classes for kids in London or any other city. We have previously mentioned some great acting schools for kids in the UK, but this time we’ll focus on London alone.
For a full list of available acting training options – adult, kids, teenagers, evening classes, full day training, weekends, etc – I recommend you take a look at our Acting London Training Directory that contains absolutely ALL available acting training options in and around London, including their details, descriptions, phones, addresses, courses and more.
However, if you’re looking specifically for the best acting classes for kids in London and you’d be satisfied with a few options of where to send your child to start his drama training, this article should be more than enough.
“Don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington.”
For those who don’t, can’t, or won’t heed the advice given in the Noël Coward song, here’s a selection of eleven best acting classes for kids in London. These places are great for drama training particularly for children aged around 8-12 but many drama groups on the list offer classes for younger and older kids.
As far as possible, the selections exclude any offered in the more formal surroundings of drama schools, academies, or colleges.
11 Best Acting Classes for Kids in London
1. Act Drama
Founded by Jane Cameron, a professional actor, Act Drama offers two Saturday-morning drama classes for 5-15 year-olds at Streatham and Clapham High School in south-west London. Ms Cameron and her team also run drama clubs in local schools, as well as holiday workshops and drama parties.
The class curriculum includes theatre games, movement, role-play, improvisation, stagecraft, and performance technique.
Classes for 5-9 year-olds start at 9.00, last an hour, and cost £110 ($167) for ten classes, while 10-15 year-olds get 90 minutes at 10.00, for which a fee of £165 ($250) also provides ten sessions.
2. Actors Alive
- Website: http://omnibus-clapham.org/actors-alive-omnibus-youth-theatre/
- Address: Find it on Google Maps
Provided by Omnibus, a not-for-profit arts, music, and theatre education and training facility in a disused Victorian public library in Clapham, south-west London, Actors Alive offers classes for children every Saturday morning during school terms (semesters).
Classes for 8-15-year-olds are held at 10.00 and run for 60 minutes, with a curriculum that includes theatre games, acting exercises, character development, “and lots of fun”. The teacher claims extensive experience at various London theatres and, at the end of each term, the students mount a show of their work for parents and friends.
The first class is free and the entire term, comprising nine classes and the final show, costs £90 ($136).
3. Allsorts Drama
Two-hour weekly classes for 7-11 year-olds are held in three school locations in west and north-west London, either on Friday evenings or Saturday mornings. They cover the usual topics: improvisation, characterisation, games, and vocal training, but also include mime and working with masks. The fully-accredited teachers work with their pupils to create original plays for performance at term-end.
The fee for a full term of 10 classes is a relatively steep £190 ($289). The first class can be used as a free taster, the £20 fee being refunded if your child doesn’t continue to the full course. Summer-holiday workshops are also offered at £180 ($274) for a five-day week.
4. Barnes Musical Theatre Club
Although the club’s primary focus is musical theatre, reflecting the background of Catherine Loveless, its founder, the curriculum also includes drama techniques, voice training, and drama games. The club is based in Barnes in south-west London.
The club caters for children only and classes are split into two age groups, the Senior course, for ages 8-14, being the one that qualifies for inclusion in this list. The weekly class is on Monday evenings, lasts 75 minutes, and takes place at a good-sized church hall with its own stage.
The website has no information on fees or membership, so use the Contact Us page to get the e-mail address and ‘phone number.
5. LOST HARTS Young Company
- Website: http://www.hartstheatrecompany.co.uk/drama-classes
- Address: Find it on Google Maps
Founded in 1979 as the London Oratory School Theatre, an after-school theatre club, LOST Theatre joined up with HARTS Theatre Company in 2011 to offer weekly term-time drama classes for children at two London locations, one in Stockwell, in the south-east, and the other in Brent, in the north-west.
The focus with these acting classes for kids is usually on games, team-building, confidence boosting, and exploring creative techniques.
Classes run for 60 minutes on weekday evenings, with 5-10 year-olds at 5.30 and 11-15 year-olds at 6.30. The fees are £5-6 ($7.50-$9) per class and there are 12 classes per term. It’s advisable to ring or e-mail HARTS Theatre for details, as the website is confusing about locations, ages, and times.
6. Group 64
A theatre group exclusively for youngsters. Group 64 was founded in 1964 and is a registered charity. It’s based at the Putney Arts Theatre in south-west London, enabling it to mount its classes on a real stage, and has a considerable reputation for the quality of its work.
Drama classes for 7-10 year-olds are held on Saturday mornings and Monday evenings, running for 90 minutes. Membership is required and costs £95 ($145) for one child, including fees for 10 classes, with significant discounts for siblings. The website has a straightforward form for joining, course selection, and payment.
Although Perform bills itself as a drama school and shouldn’t, on the face of it, be included here, it is aimed only at children. Moreover, with over 300 venues across London, it’s just too significant to ignore.
Founded in 2000 and claiming a high teacher/ pupil ratio, Perform employs experienced teachers who use songs and scripts written in-house. Free introductory sessions are available and SEN classes, specifically designed for children with disabilities, are also offered.
One-hour classes for 7-12 year-olds are held on weekday evenings, as well as 90-minute sessions on Saturday mornings and afternoons. However, the attractive but somewhat non-specific website doesn’t divulge the class fees. You need to contact Perform for those.
8. Pop School & Stage Academy
Again, this is a school, not a stand-alone series of classes, but it’s different and, therefore, interesting.
Founded in 2003 by two sisters, one a former pop singer, the other a performer in London stage musicals and TV productions, PSSA claims to offer “pure enjoyment”, combined with discipline, as a route to furthering a child’s talent in singing, dancing, or acting. It operates from four UK venues, two of them in London.
On Saturdays during school term-times, PSSA hosts its three-hour Junior Stage Academy for 7-18 year-olds in the quaintly-named Royal Victoria Patriotic Building in Clapham, south-west London. A complimentary trial session can be booked before committing.
The apparent leaning of the school is towards musical performance, especially in pop music. However, if that’s where your child wants to go, this could be a great introduction, especially as PSSA has a tie-up with a London agency that can place students in movies, theatre, TV, commercials, music videos, and so forth.
Like Perform’s, the PSSA website is long an airy self-congratulation, but conspicuously short on details of its curricula, teachers, fees, indeed, on anything you really need to know. You’ll have to get in touch with them to find out.
9. South London Theatre Company
Founded in 1967, SLT is a repertory-style non-professional theatre group, operated as a members’ club. Its youth group hosts Saturday-morning classes for 7-11 year-olds during school term-times. The curriculum includes movement, story-telling, script reading, and improvisation, culminating in a showcase performance at a professional theatre.
Each class is of 90 minutes’ duration, from 10.30 to noon, tutored by named professionals, and held at St Luke’s church in South Norwood, an area almost off the map of Greater London. However, transport links are varied and plentiful, helping to make the classes popular and, at present, fully-subscribed.
As with many other providers of children’s classes, SLT doesn’t disclose fees on its website. Instead, you can e-mail a form, requesting details. More engagingly, the group has an open invitation to its bar on any Wednesday during a show’s run, when you can chat to one of the membership team.
10. The Drama Group
Established by her in 2014 in Balham, south London, The Drama Group is led by Marnie Baxter, an experienced actor in film, TV, and theatre. From time to time, she co-opts a variety of other professionals to facilitate classes.
Classes for 7-11 year-olds are held from 2.00 – 3.30 on Saturday afternoons during term-time at the Capoeira School in Streatham, an area next to Balham. The fee is £102 ($155) for 12 classes. I recommend the website: descriptive, attractive, informative (and, therefore, saving me the effort of digging around elsewhere to bring the necessary information to you here).
11. Young Actors’ Theatre
YAT is in Islington, just north of central London. It’s a community-based theatre group offering drama classes, workshops, and productions. It includes an agency whose scouts regularly visit classes to seek new talent.
Classes are divided into Juniors (ages 6-11) and Seniors 1 (ages 11-14). They are held in three different locations at a variety of day and evening times over the week and at weekends, enabling parents to select those that suit either term-times or holidays, including a summer school. Free taster classes are available.
Fees range from £90-£106 ($137-$161) per term, generally comprising 10 or 12 weekly classes, and there is a one-off joining fee of £10 ($15.20).
This is no more than a fairly small selection of what’s available in terms of the best acting classes for kids in London. However, note that most London-based drama classes for children are offered through full-time drama schools and colleges. If independence and specialisation are what you’re after, this list is as good as any.
The downside with those mentioned as the best acting classes for kids in London is that, being small organisations in many cases, operators tend to come and go with little warning. So, you may find that some online listings of these kids London acting classes include offerings that no longer exist, although I’ve made sure those included here are still in action.
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