Actor and Honorary Doctorate John Nettles directing students in his new radio play

Actor and Honorary Doctorate John Nettles directing students in his new radio play

The University of Plymouth and Theatre Royal Plymouth have joined forces to offer professional performing arts training opportunities in the heart of the South West.

The new Plymouth Conservatoire results from a formal partnership between the region’s largest university and the largest regional producing theatre in the UK.

It will teach acting, dance and theatre and performance at undergraduate level, as well as offering a range of postgraduate opportunities in dance, choreography and performance training.

It aims to expand opportunities for those wanting to pursue a professional career in the performing arts sector, and will enhance the cultural life of both the city and region.

Professor Dafydd Moore, Executive Dean of Arts and Humanities at the University of Plymouth, said:

“The Plymouth Conservatoire is a very exciting initiative that draws together two organisations committed to inspiring and educating future generations of performance professionals. We believe that the opportunity to work simultaneously with leading academics and outstanding theatre professionals in outstanding facilities makes The Plymouth Conservatoire a distinctive and compelling proposition.”

The Plymouth Conservatoire will welcome its first intake of new students when the academic term gets underway later this month.

Through its vocational-style programmes, students will receive a very high level of contact time with expert teaching staff from both the Theatre and the University.

Students will divide their time between The House – the University’s own state-of-the-art performing arts centre – and the Theatre Royal Plymouth, in the heart of the city centre.

Adrian Vinken OBE, Chief Executive of Theatre Royal Plymouth, said:

“The decision for Plymouth’s Theatre Royal and University to come together to create the conservatoire didn't really need a lot of thought. It wasn't difficult simply because, at heart, we're both after exactly the same thing – finding and developing new talent. Together we will offer clear pathways for emerging theatre artists and makers to hone their craft. In the years to come Plymouth Conservatoire will both help to grow the arts in our region whilst playing a leading role in shaping the UK’s theatre of tomorrow.”

The new Plymouth Conservatoire was launched during an event at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, attended by leading figures from both the city and the performance industry.

It included a live performance by students alongside actor John Nettles, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by the University in 2012, of his new radio play about the life of Sir Walter Raleigh. Another Honorary Doctorate, Thelma Holt CBE, also addressed invited guests about the potential of the new collaboration.

Thelma Holt CBE, Honorary Doctorate of Arts at the University, said:

For me, this is a marriage made in heaven and as a student, if you can work with a theatre while you are still studying it gives you a great advantage in your professional career

Watch a short interview with Thelma Holt at the launch of the Plymouth Conservatoire

Plymouth Conservatoire

Plymouth Conservatoire enlists the expertise of those who make the Theatre Royal Plymouth such a success – their strengths, teaching experience, reputation and professionalism – and makes it available to students from the start of their studies.

Learn more about Plymouth Conservatoire
Esme Appleton in Theatre Royal Plymouth’s Golem. Photograph: Bernhard Mueller.   

Esme Appleton in Theatre Royal Plymouth’s Golem. Photograph: Bernhard Mueller.