Acting - The Play

Focusing on a single modern text, this course practically introduces you to the skills needed by an actor for the full cycle of a production from rehearsal to staged performance.

Acting Play student in action

    Course fee

    £550 (for 16 sessions)

    Concessionary Rate

    £450 (see Course Detail).

Due to the ongoing COVID-19/Coronavirus situation, our in-person short courses have sadly been suspended for the foreseeable future. 

In the meantime, you may be interested in one of our online courses instead. 

Course Overview 

This is an exciting opportunity to work with a director over the whole term to rehearse and then perform a contemporary play.  

You will:-

  • gain a practical understanding of the rehearsal process
  • be cast in a speaking role
  • explore text analysis, character development, taking direction and ensemble storytelling
  • give a semi-staged performance in one of Central’s spaces in the final session for an invited audience

This is an excellent opportunity to work on an entire play from start to finish and to gain a wide-ranging practical understanding of the rehearsal and performance process.

Please consult the Frequently Asked Questions section below for further information.

The course is for.....

  • people who have completed our other evening courses Acting - An Introduction and Acting – Working with Text and want to move to the next level
  • for those who have some experience in acting on stage, and want to put the scene-study skills that they have learned into practice on a single, extended piece of work.

Our recent students say.....

'The whole journey was amazing. The opportunity to work as a member of a diverse and creative team, through the guidance and support of such a talented director, was invaluable!' - Yasiliki, 2019 participant

'This has been my 3rd course at Central and, as for the others, I loved it. It gave me the change to put into practice what I had learned in my previous classes.' - Alice, 2019 participant

'I had taken a few short courses, however, I wanted to gain the ability to feel confident in front of an audience in a play from start to finish. This course provided exactly that.' - Marcus, 2019 participant

Course Detail

Times: Mondays and Wednesdays from 7.00pm - 9.30pm for 8 weeks. The course consists of 16 sessions in total. 

Location: Central's main campus in Swiss Cottage, London.

General: Applicants must be confident speaking and reading English to a conversational level (IELTS score of 7.0 or equivalent). Please note, you will be expected to read texts/scripts that may have advanced vocabulary in them on this course. 

Age: Minimum age is 18 on the first day of the course. No upper age limit. 

Maximum class size: 14

Attendance: Please note, due to the nature of this course and the casting process, it is a requirement that students attend every single class. Poor time-keeping and/or non-attendance will result in parts being recast and students being asked to leave the course with no refund being available.

Concessionary rate: Available to those that are in receipt of UK benefits for either disability or unemployment.

Upcoming Dates

This course is currently on-hold until further notice. 


Our courses are available on a first come, first served basis in order of payment. To secure a place, please take the following steps:-

1. Read through our Terms and Conditions by clicking on the link on the left-hand side of this webpage. 

2. Click on "Book Here" on the left-hand side of this screen. Please make sure you are booking for the correct course and option (ie. Mon/Wed or Tue/Thu if available)

3. Click on 'Tickets' on our Eventbrite booking page and follow the instructions



Can you let me know what play we'll be studying?

We are unable to announce in advance what play we'll be studying as this will be decided by the director after the first lesson on the basis of numbers, gender and other casting considerations.

Can you give some guidance about what kind of play it might be?

The play may be, or be similar to, one of the following:

Things I Know to be True by Andrew Bovell

stoning mary by debbie tucker green

Pool (No Water) by Mark Ravenhill

Attempts on Her Life by Martin Crimp

Pornography by Simon Stephens

Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again by Alice Birch

Blank by Alice Birch

buckets by Adam Barnard

Love and Information by Caryl Churchill

Pigs and Dogs by Caryl Churchill

The Wonderful World of Dissocia by Anthony Neilson

Crave by Sarah Kane

4:48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane

Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker

i.e. a play with a flexible number of characters.

We may also commission work from contemporary playwrights.

Will everyone get a reasonable part?

As per the above potential play texts, the parts can be adjusted so that every student has a part which is roughly the same size.

What do you mean by ‘semi-staged’ final lesson performance?

You will perform in a studio space in Central. The lighting effects, sets and costume will not be at performance standard (otherwise the course cost would have to be considerably higher). The focus of the performance is on the acting craft rather than creating a show for a paying public audience.

Can I invite agents/industry professionals to the final lesson performance?

Unfortunately not - the final performance will be private, for a select audience of non-paying, invited friends and family. It should not be regarded as a showcase-style performance.



Do I have to audition/apply for an evening course?

All of our evening courses are available on a first-come, first-served basis. No auditions, no need for a lengthy application process and no need to submit a CV/resumé. You just need to register and then pay! For further information on how to secure your place, please see the Booking section above.

Are your courses suitable for complete beginners?

Many of our courses are perfect for complete beginners. Please see the course information above for more details on the amount of experience required for your preferred course.

I’m a bit older – will everyone be 18 years old on your evening courses?

Absolutely not! Our evening courses are open to everybody over the age of 18, with no upper age limit. Whilst we do attract a lot of people in their 20s and 30s to our courses, it’s not unusual for us to also have people in their 40s and beyond on our courses too. We believe that a varied and diverse class of students makes for a much more interesting learning experience, so we encourage people of all ages to apply.

How many students are there per class?

This varies by course - it will be a maximum of 20 people in Acting - An Introduction and 16 people for most other evening courses.

Where does the course take place?

All of our evening courses take place at our purpose-built, main campus at Swiss Cottage. It’s in Zone 2, right next to Swiss Cottage tube station on the Jubilee Line.

How are the classes structured?

All of our courses are interactive and participatory and we hope you’ll arrive ready to get stuck in. In common with our degree and graduate courses, the evening courses are all about learning by experience – you’ll be up on your feet in a rehearsal room rather than sitting still looking at a Powerpoint presentation in a classroom.

Expect lots of practical exercises, working in groups, pairs and sometimes solo to practise and implement the new skills you’ll be learning in a welcoming, respectful environment.

Please be aware that, by its nature, acting and voice training may be physical and mentally demanding (but also highly rewarding!)

Will there be homework?

Depending on the course, you may be given some work to do outside of the class. This can vary from learning lines to reading a script to making some notes about characterisation. It shouldn’t take up too much of your time, and will greatly enhance your learning experience.

How important is it that I’m available for every session?

Very important! Our courses give you the chance to experience conservatoire-style training and as such we take attendance and punctuality very seriously. All of our courses are collaborative in nature and if you’re missing from class it impacts on your fellow students’ learning, as well as your own.

Who will my tutor be?

All of our courses are run by professional actors, acting coaches and directors and as such it may not be possible to confirm the name of your tutor until just before the course begins. Rest assured that we only work with the best of the best – all of our tutors have a background in working as professional actors and directors as well as being fantastic, highly experienced, much sought after teachers! See our Visiting Lecturer page to find out more.

Can I have my tutor’s contact details?

We’re unable to give out the direct contact details for your tutor, but we’re happy to pass on an email on your behalf if you send it to the Short Courses team.

Is there an order you would you recommend taking your courses in?

If you are new to acting, we would recommend taking our evening courses in the following order:

First, Acting - An Introduction

Then Acting - Working with Text

Then either Acting - Further Work with Text or Acting - The Play, or both

Then we suggest picking one of our standalone acting courses: Acting - For CameraActing - Through Song or Acting - Shakespeare, which will appeal to students with interests in particular specialisms.

Our Audition Techniques course is ideal if you are thinking of taking your acting to the next level and auditioning for a Diploma, BA, MA or MFA programme at any drama school.

Our other standalone courses, suitable for non-actors as well as actors, are Voice for Performance - An Introduction, Directing - An Introduction and Playwriting - An Introduction, which can be taken at any point.

How often do you run each course?

We run three terms of our evening courses each year – Autumn, Spring and Summer. Dates for the courses that we currently have on sale are listed above. In general, the Autumn term starts at the beginning of October, the Spring term in January and the Summer term towards the end of April.

Do you hold Open Evenings for the evening courses? Or offer taster sessions?

Not at the current time. If you would like more information about a course ahead of booking, please get in touch with our Short Courses team.

Do I get a certificate?

As these are short, non-accredited courses, we don’t offer a certificate as standard. Once the course has finished, we can supply a Certificate of Attendance on request, provided that you have attended at least 85% of the course. Please email the Short Courses team to request the certificate with the name you would like on it and the address where you would like the hard copy sent. Please note, it may take up to four weeks for your certificate to reach you.

Will this course help me get a Spotlight pin?

Spotlight, the industry directory, does not currently accept part-time, non-accredited courses as a way to get a pin. If you already have a pin, however, you’ll be able to list that you took one of our courses under the Education section of your Spotlight page.

Who is eligible for the concessionary fee?

Central offers a concessionary rate for some evening courses and you may be eligible if you can submit proof with your registration form of being an EU citizen in receipt of benefits for unemployment and/or disability within the UK.

Can I pay in instalments?

Unfortunately not. We need to receive payment in full to confirm your place on the course.

I have paid but can no longer attend – can I get a refund or defer to another term?

You can receive a full refund up until 7 days before the course begins. After this point all fees paid are fully non-refundable. 

If you would like a refund, you can log into your Eventbrite account that you used to book the course and do this yourself. 

We are unable to defer places to future courses. 

I have more questions – whom can I contact?

Please get in touch with our Short Courses team if you have any further questions.

International Students

Do you accept International Students on the evening courses?

Yes we do, however, you will need to ensure you have the correct visa.

If you are not from an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you will need to obtain a Visa prior to entry to the UK (if you are a visa national) or upon entry to the UK (if you are a non-visa national). It is each student's responsibility to have the right documentation for study when they arrive at Central.

Please note that you cannot enter the UK on a Visitor's Visa if your primary reason for travel is to study on this course. If you do not have a valid visa you will not be allowed to study at Central.

As our evening courses are classed as part-time, non-accredited short courses they are not eligible for a Tier 4 Student Visa however you may be eligible for a Short Term Study Visa.

Please see this website for more information.