Daniel Day-Lewis Talks About Retirement From Acting

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Daniel Day-Lewis is arguably one of the most influential and inspiring actors of his time. He’s well known for the incredible lengths he goes to in order to get into character for each of his roles, and the memorable performances that ensue.

Given that he’s won three of the five Oscars he’s been nominated for in his time, you can’t deny his talent. He may even have inspired people to sign up to drama classes in Liverpool. So it was a great surprise to many when he announced his retirement from the profession in June this year, stating that Phantom Thread would be his final movie.

In an exclusive interview with W Magazine, he said that he didn’t know he was going to give up acting when he started working on the movie with Paul Thomas Anderson, the writer and director.

He said that the two of them “laughed a lot” before they made the movie. “But then we stopped laughing because we were both overwhelmed by a sense of sadness. That took us by surprise,” Day-Lewis revealed.

He also said that he has a “great sadness” about leaving acting behind, but added that this is “the right way to feel” given that he’s been interested in acting since he was 12. “Back then, everything other than the theatre – that box of light – was cast in shadow,” he explained.

Now though, he feels differently and wants to discover the world in a new way.

There’s no doubt that he’ll be missed on the big screen. Earlier this month, a poll conducted by Gold Derby named Day-Lewis as the top Best Actor Oscar Winner of the 2010s, for Lincoln.

How To Cope With Stage Fright

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It doesn’t matter if you’re Dame Judi Dench or an extra just making up numbers in a smaller production – stage fright is very real and can affect anyone from the most to the least experienced of actors.

Taking acting courses for adults will help you combat your nerves but here are a few top tips to get you going the next time you find yourself treading the boards.

Centre your thoughts

Try not to think about what might go wrong – you’ll only send yourself into a panic and then it’s more likely that what you don’t want to happen actually will. Instead, think calming happy thoughts, take deep soothing breaths and perhaps try relaxation exercises like yoga, meditation and mindfulness.

Be prepared

If you don’t rehearse or know your lines, then it’s no surprise you might be feeling a bit anxious about opening night. Rehearse as much as you can and make sure you know your lines backwards so you know that if something does go awry it won’t be down to you.

Avoid caffeine and sugar

You don’t want a bad case of the jitters just before you go on stage as you’ll probably be feeling nervous anyway. Steer clear of coffee and sugary food and drink to help keep as calm as possible.


Before you go on stage, do a bit of limbering up to keep your muscles nice and loose. You’ll feel instantly more relaxed and this will translate once you’re on stage.

Go with it

Don’t try and fight against the nerves – it’ll only make them worse. Instead, acknowledge how you’re feeling and it’ll soon pass.

4 Christmas Theatre Shows To Put In Your Diary

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When it comes to getting festive and celebrating all things Christmas, there’s not much better than a trip to the theatre to see an incredible show with friends and family (apart from eating all that yummy turkey and Christmas pudding on December 25th, of course!)… so with that in mind, here are just a few of the many Christmas theatre shows taking place this year. Enjoy!

Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella

Sadler’s Wells

This wartime interpretation of the classic fairy tale is a must-see, not least for the incredible costume and sets designed by Lez Brotherston (who won an Olivier Award for his trouble). It’s on from December 10th to January 18th, so there’s plenty of time to see it.

The Nutcracker

Royal Opera House

This Royal Ballet production of The Nutcracker is the perfect way to mark the start of the festive season and it’s something the entire family will enjoy – no matter how many times you go to see it. A brilliant Christmas tradition to start!

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

West Yorkshire Playhouse

We love this idea as a Christmas production! The classic novel is surely one of everyone’s favourite books to read and with set designs by Rae Smith of War Horse fame, it’s definitely one not to be missed this year.

Peter Pan – Christmas In Neverland

Arena Birmingham

This new arena production is festive, funny and perfect for all the family. Apparently, there’s a team of BMX stunt riders, aerial mermaids, a life-size Jolly Roger galleon, trapeze artists, custard pie slapstick specialists… it sounds amazing to us!

Want to book acting courses for adults? Get in touch with us today.

BBC Drama

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Our very talented Manchester Student Amey Woodhall has been busy filming for a new BBC Drama – Watch this Space !!

New Generation Of Actors ‘Not Learning Lines’!

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If you’re taking acting classes in Manchester or elsewhere, you’d better make sure you learn your lines – or you might end up incurring the wrath of Bafta-winning actor Bill Nighy!

Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, the 67-year-old actor explained that it’s now become something of a trend for film and theatre thespians alike to refuse to learn their lines on purpose because they think – mistakenly – that it’ll improve their performance on the day.

Bill was quoted by the Daily Telegraph as saying: “If you’re doing anything, whether it’s a play or a film, learn every single word that you have to say backwards forwards and sideways before you go into a rehearsal room and before you go on a film set.

“That might sound like an obvious thing, but it’s not currently: there is a fashion for not knowing your lines. It’s been invented by people who don’t want to do their homework, even as a creative choice.”

Learning lines can be difficult and it can be a chore, but it’s an absolutely vital skill if you’re going to make it as an actor. Read through them to yourself a few times but then start reading them aloud as this will really help them stick.

Reading them with a friend can also be helpful (and a lot of fun), since they’ll be able to correct mistakes, give you cues and help you with any tricky parts. Moving about while you read them out loud can also be beneficial as a memory aid – try to feel the emotions of the part you’re playing so you can gain a greater understanding of the meaning of the words.

Theatre & Virtual Reality: Are You Ready?

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If you’ve been enjoying acting classes in Leeds with a view to one day being involved with the stage, whether it’s in a lead role or perhaps behind the scenes as a director perhaps, you might want to think about how you can upskill with regards to virtual reality (VR) as well.

There’s a growing trend for the use of technology in theatre so even if you don’t end up using your new skills, having an idea of how the industry is changing and becoming more innovative in this regard could certainly prove to be beneficial.

A new immersive lab has just opened up in Brighton, for example, that will allow theatre companies to experiment with VR. It’s being run by Digital Catapult, which has plans in place to open up a network of labs around the UK that will be available to businesses of all sizes.

“The UK has a rich heritage in sectors where immersive technologies are likely to have the largest and most immediate impact: the creative industries, manufacturing and health. So, establishing immersive labs in key regions across the country like this one in Brighton will further benefit the development of the industry,” head of immersive at Digital Catapult Aurelian Simon was quoted by The Stage as saying.

As an example of VR in action in theatre, take a look at this article also on The Stage website detailing how theatre-goers used VR headsets as part of a companion piece to an adaptation of Paul Auster’s City of Glass.

Apparently, the headsets were used to help people establish a deeper connection with the characters in the play and encourage them to really be intrigued by the play itself.

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