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What to expect at your audition

What to expect at your audition


The Junior Conservatoire Contemporary Performance Practice programme is a practical course so entry is dependent upon a practical, performance-based audition and workshop observation. These notes are intended to give you some helpful information and advice. Please read them carefully.


The Selection Process

The selection process has two stages; the workshop and the interview. Both stages are concerned with gathering information which will give us the best possible indication of your suitability for the class. It also gives you time to discover whether we are right for you.

The timetable for the day is as follows:

  • Two hour group workshop and devised performance piece
  • 15 minute individual interview


The Workshop

The workshop will take place at the beginning of the audition. It lasts approximately two hours and involves all candidates. Two lecturers will work with you. We try to make this stage as non-competitive as possible, because we would like the opportunity to see you working with other people. You cannot prepare for this session other than by being determined to participate and enjoy yourself.

The workshop will include exercises and activities, which will allow us to see some of the following:

  • your performance skills
  • your vocal skills
  • your movement skills
  • your listening skills
  • your ability to work co-operatively and collaboratively with others
  • your creativity and imagination.

During the workshop you will be invited to present a short pre-prepared performance piece.

What is the Performance Piece?

  • You will be invited to prepare an original, devised performance piece using your selection from a number of pictures which will be sent to you with your invitation to attend for audition. You may, if you wish, choose elements from any or all of the pictures. They are random pictures but you may see a connection in them and wish to explore that.
  • The piece must last no more than three minutes.
  • It does not have to be naturalistic or ‘tell a ‘story’.
  • The main thing to avoid is performing a ‘talking head’. Don’t just perform a spoken monologue in character without any of the ideas below. Turn your ideas into performed images and live moments.
  • Try to give your piece a structure (even though it’s only 3 minutes) for example, you may begin and end with the same ‘moment’ in time.


Your piece may include one, some, or all of the following:

  • Real objects: e.g. teapot, iron, hat, suitcase, clothing etc.
  • Symbolic objects: e.g. cross, flower, mask, etc.
  • Spoken word: e.g. text you’ve written yourself, text from a play, text from a poem, a newspaper article, a politician’s speech etc.
  • Action and movement: e.g. gestures, everyday activity, found activity (copying the way someone you see in the street walks, an air hostess giving emergency instructions, someone dancing in a club etc.), dance etc.
  • Music: e.g. a song sung live, music and/or sound recorded onto MP3 or CD, music played by you on an instrument etc.

Your piece should not include any flames, candles or burning of items. If you anticipate that your performance will be messy, it is essential that you bring everything that you will need to clear up after yourself quickly and effectively.

Following the workshop you will be given time to have a well-earned a break. A selection will be made at this point and candidates may be asked back to the interview element of the audition.


The Interview

The interview will take place after the break and will be conducted by CPP lecturers. The interview will look for, amongst other things:

  • your ability to communicate your ideas about performance
  • your understanding of contemporary performance work
  • what you want to do in performance in the future
  • what your previous experiences of performance have been
  • why you think performance matters in the world today

You will also be given the opportunity to present a portfolio or other evidence of your experience and interests, although this is not essential. In the interview don’t try to give the replies that you think we want or think will impress us. Be yourself, and answer honestly. This is also your opportunity to see if this programme suits you, so please ask us questions.