Make theatre/make mischief in Nottingham with the Rapscallion Cage theatre company.



Duration: 2 years full time*

Start date: September 2023

Location: Nonsuch Studios Studios

  • Work and train as part of a professional theatre ensemble.
  • A conservatoire-style
    training with an average of 30 hours a week of contact time.
  • Collaborate with industry
  • Based in Nottingham,
    a vibrant and thriving hub for artists and creative professionals.


To keep our process inclusive and accessible, we believe that money shouldn’t prevent anyone from auditioning.

Please note you can do your first round audition with us prior to submitting your UCAS via the button below. 

Work, train and experiment as a member of the Rapscallion Cage theatre company ensemble. Our ethos is that theatre-making should be innovative, collaborative, supportive and a little mischievous.

This conservatoire-style BA (Hons) in Acting for Contemporary Theatre is an intensive two-year experience in which you will collaborate with experienced passionate theatre makers to create your own original works of theatre-mischief. Beginning with an exploration of the key, fundamental approaches to devising and working with text, you will reimagine the classics, experience immersive world-building, produce your own festival, and create a full-scale performance
in partnership with a professional theatre company.

As well as your varied and diverse theatre projects, you will also undertake regular core skills training in voice, movement, and acting, as well as advanced skills and techniques in stage combat, speaking verse, mime, mask and more. These bespoke skills classes are linked to support your theatre projects throughout the course. As a member of the Rapscallion Cage ensemble, we will prepare you for establishing and maintaining a successful career in the theatre industry. This includes generating marketing materials, setting-up and operating a theatre company, Arts Council funding, and auditions for actors. You’ll also take part in numerous live theatre performances throughout your course, with additional opportunities to engage in directing and playwriting projects too.

The BA (Hons) Acting for Contemporary Theatre is an accelerated degree taught over two years with 40 weeks of teaching per year. You receive the same number of weeks teaching as you would on a three-year course, but save several thousand pounds in tuition fees and a year’s living costs. The course is limited to 20 students to ensure that you receive individual attention and has an average of 30 hours per week of direct teaching time.

*course subject to validation

The BA (Hons) in Acting for Contemporary Theatre is centred on performing and making theatre as a highly creative, innovative, collaborative and supportive process. A core defining aspect of the course is its two-year intensive model, whereby students train, study and experiment as members of the Rapscallion Cage Theatre Company ensemble.

The first year is focussed on building core skills and developing fundamental approaches to devising and working with text. Year two builds towards consolidating professional practice through collaborative, festival and solo projects for public audiences. Course modules cover approaches to devising and text, performance skills, theatre companies and artists, acting, directing and dramaturgy, critical perspectives, physical theatre, early modern theatre, immersive theatre, applied theatre, collaborative performance, industry preparation, festival performance and solo projects.

You will perform in at least 5 professionally produced productions as members of the Rapscallion Cage Theatre Company ensemble in Nottingham.



The first year of the course is focussed on developing your fundamental acting and theatre-making skills. As an ensemble, you will develop an ethos of ‘theatre-mischief’ through highly imaginative and supportive practices. You will explore innovative approaches to devising performance and working with theatrical texts, alongside ongoing regular skills training in voice, movement and acting techniques. This highly practical training is supported through an investigation of critical and theoretical perspectives that influence and impact on contemporary theatre practices. You will explore the work of theatre companies and artists as well as acting and dramaturgical principles as a basis for creating your own work.

At the end of year one, you will undertake your first public performance projects: ensemble physical theatre and early modern theatre by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Both projects are supported through advanced specialist skills such as stage combat, speaking verse, mime and mask.


In year two, the focus shifts towards industry preparation and performance. You will start by exploring performance outside of traditional theatre environments, such as site-specific, immersive, world-building experiences and applied theatre which seeks to make positive changes to society.

Following this you will collaborate in partnership with a professional theatre company or director in the creation of an original full-scale production. Alongside this project you will learn about and prepare professional marketing materials including headshots, CVs and showreels. Industry preparation also includes learning about the structures and management of theatre companies, Arts Council funding, production techniques and publicity.

At the end of the year you will produce and perform your own piece of theatre and a
solo project (performance, directing, playwriting, workshop or research) within a festival.


The degree is delivered in partnership with Plymouth Marjon University. To apply, you will need to register with UCAS by visiting and apply using the course details below.

As well as applying to UCAS, you will also need to audition with us (see below for details about our audition process) to be offered a place on this course. You can book your audition by visiting the Rapscallion Cage website here.

In both cases, for lots of reasons, we strongly recommend applying to UCAS and auditioning with us as soon as you can. The UCAS deadline is 6pm, 25 January 2023. You must apply by this date to be guaranteed consideration for an audition. We may still be able to consider applications received after this date, but this may not be possible, particularly for our most popular courses.

UCAS course code: ACT1

Institution code: P63

Campus name: Bristol School of Acting

Campus code: A


Entry onto the course is by audition and you can book yours here.

First round auditions will take place via Zoom with a course leader from The Rapscallion Cage theatre company.

You will be asked to prepare two monologues: one classical (Shakespeare or his contemporaries) and one contemporary (written after 1970) that last no longer than 2 minutes each and are contrasting in tone. You will then have a short interview with the tutor.


If you are successful in getting through the first round you will be invited to a recall audition. Recall auditions take place in person in Nottingham over the course of a day. Your day will start with an introduction to the course, followed by a series of skills-based group workshops. The workshops are an opportunity for us to see your approach, creative choices and how you collaborate with your peers. It will also be a chance for you to see how we work.

In the afternoon, you will have an interview where we will ask you questions, based on what we have seen throughout the audition stages.

Please see the PDF document for specific details about the recall audition.

Download PDF


Applicants are considered on an individual basis, taking into account any skills and experience that may not be reflected in A-Level scores. The most important consideration is that you have the qualities and potential to succeed. However, there are minimum academic entry requirements. We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to the course. The main ones are listed below:

  • 3 A-Levels at grades CCC or above
  • Level 3 BTEC/UAL/RSL triple grade MMM or above

Continuous assessment, practical skills assessment, written assessment and self-assessment.


£11,100 tuition fee per year (subject to annual inflationary increases). For more information, click here.

4th Sept 2023 – 8 Dec 2023

3 January – 22 March 2024

15 April – 5 July 2024


If you’d like to talk to us or ask any questions about the course you can email us at