LAMDA, short for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, is the oldest drama school in the UK. Located in Hammersmith, the school is renowned for its exceptional acting courses and facilities, and I was lucky enough to speak with Anu Sofuyi, a recent graduate of the speaking in public and reading for performance courses (alongside others).

How did you first get involved with LAMDA, and what were your first impressions?

A: “I got involved by my parents finding out about the course through a tutor. The classes were meant to just be for my sister, but we would get a better deal if the both of us did it, so I went for it, too. I was intrigued by what was on offer, as it was so different from the regular extracurricular activities people were doing around me at the time. Also, I was always interested in acting and the art of make-believe, so it complimented my interests well.”

Of course, trying something new, especially with an activity that requires you to put yourself out there, is nerve wracking for everyone. Anu was no exception, and she describes her first experiences at LAMDA as such:

A: “I was nervous, but I soon warmed up to it. Soon enough, I began to always look forward to the classes every Thursday evening!”

Did you have any reservations later on?

A: “Not really! It was something to do on a school night, so I thought, “Why not?”

As you moved through school years, did you find it difficult to balance the classes with your studies?

A: “My tutor was fantastic and always communicated with us about the workload! We had to make time for writing and editing our speeches, whilst learning prose and verse at the same time. The knowledge section was a big obstacle, but my sister and I supported each other (despite being different grades for the most part), and we had fun. Everything was based on our own ideas, and the support from our tutor definitely lessened the burden.”

Anu continued with her LAMDA classes throughout her school life, meaning that public exams were soon to become a pressing concern. However, Anu managed to strike a balance between LAMDA and her studies:

A: “GCSEs came along, as well as other exams, but we made sure to plan ahead so that Thursday evenings wouldn't become a homework death day…”

What doors has LAMDA opened up for you? Are you considering a career in acting?

A: “LAMDA has made me a more confident speaker and person. From Year 9 English speeches to GCSE English Literature exams, LAMDA has enabled me to tackle them with the skills I have acquired, and it has been invaluable! When I step on the stage every November for our school’s House Drama, the ease LAMDA has given me to act and perform in front of masses of people is such a great feeling. The knowledge I gained about voice projection and staging has really shaped my performances, and has made me into a better actor."

Anu is currently not considering a career in acting. However, when asked about the prospect, she did say this:

A: “During my last class with my tutor, she told me I should join the drama team at uni, and I fully intend to!

LAMDA not only prepares budding actors for their future careers, but also people considering other careers for opportunities elsewhere - a prospect that Anu intends to grab with both hands.

What was the most rewarding part about completing the process?

A: “Most rewarding part? Everything. I used to stumble over my words in class and avoid reading out loud, but now I can give presentations with absolute ease, as I have realised that public speaking is what everyone does every day. It’s all about the performance!”

Finally, any advice you would give to someone considering a course?

A: “Do it! Have no regrets and prepare to make mistakes. Be embarrassed. Forget lines and feel overwhelmed. But just immerse yourself in the themes, the literature and the drama. The skills will be with you for life!”

You can visit LAMDA’s official website here.