Cygnet Theatre UK

A unique Drama School & Theatre, all encompassed under the same roof. Spotlight & Equity recognised actor training. Patron Peter Brook.

A unique Drama School & Theatre, all encompassed under the same roof. Spotlight & Equity recognised actor training. Patron Peter Brook.

“The Cygnet Theatre is unique in its training of actors. At some drama schools there is an emphasis on theory with actual performance being the end in view rather than a regular process. When I saw “The Long Mirror”, it was a joy to see J.B. Priestley’s little-known play, performed by young actors learning on the job, guided by an expert, their director Richard Digby-Day, once director of the professionals at Exeter’s Northcott Theatre .

The Cygnet’s method is eminently practical and reminded me of my own early invaluable experience as an actor in regional repertory companies, tackling play after play through the year. Audiences taught me more than any academic class could.

In future, when I am asked what an inspiring actor can do to advance their hopes for a career in live theatre, I shall recommend applying for a place at The Cygnet.” Sir Ian McKellen, Feb 2018

Cygnet Theatre has thirty years’ experience of helping young actors to develop their individual qualities. Actors joining Cygnet’s unique full-time professional training:

– work as part of an ensemble (Cygnet Company), committed to public performances from day one.
– learn from expert professionals, their peers and their audiences

Cygnet graduates have gone on to work successfully for stage, film TV and Radio, form their own companies and found theatres.

Our Three Year Professional Acting course is an on-going developmental process. Student actors learn technical skills and key approaches whilst playing increasingly demanding roles in front of a paying public. Students gain practical experience of various theatrical styles from Ancient Greek theatre to classical and modern works including devising and new writing.

Our One Year Foundation course in acting gives actors experience in a university-style teaching, allowing them to specialise in their chosen field and fill any gaps in knowledge between high school and university. All with the opportunity to continue directly into a second year here with us.

Cygnet Theatre plays a key role in the region’s arts scene, supporting local artists to present their own work at our venue and with over 60 performances in professional venues in Exeter and on tour: Exeter Northcott, Poltimore House and The Actors Centre, London. In addition, touring to local communities with summer tours of the West Country bring the Theatre School’s work to new audiences in the wider and varied communities.

Short courses and workshops are run for those wanting to develop their stage or screen acting, whilst the Theatre School’s thriving youth theatre, Cygnet Youth Theatre, runs throughout the year to engage with school age young people. These activities build self-confidence and team working as well as instilling a lifelong love of drama.

‘So rehearsal, listening to the others, getting closer and closer to the partner, improvisation and then the presence of an audience are all the tools for sharpening the actor’s inbuilt sensitivity. This is method without method.’


Cygnet Theatre Live: The Isle of Slaves | Trailer

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Our trailer for THE ISLE OF SLAVES has landed! Watch it here >>> TRAILER Join the Cygnet Company this summer for a classic role-reversal comedy by the great C18th dramatist Pierre Marivaux. Heading out on an open air tour of gardens around Devon – see link below for full info:

More info (opens external website)