With drama school auditions in full swing, it can be tricky knowing where to start in selecting monologue’s which will showcase your acting skills in their best light.
As working actors who have experienced drama school auditions themselves and seen thousands of auditions for MonologueSlam, who better to share their monologue suggestions and tips than the TriForce team, Jimmy, Fraser and Minnie.
Jimmy: I would recommend Hamlet or Macbeth, Lago and Titus because I feel they are good for most male actors between 20 – 30 trying to get into drama school and aren’t too hard to relate to.
Minnie: Phoebe from As You Like It, Emilia’s speech in Othello (Act 4, Scene 3) – it’s a great contemporary feeling speech, focusing on the fact women and men are not so different, and that what is acceptable for the men, is too for women.
Fraser: Remember there’s more than just Shakespeare! Marlowe, Johnson, Ibsen. Many writers themes and messages speak to a modern audience. Don’t be afraid to shop around as hearing something different is always a joy.
“When performing, don’t think about how they would like you to do it, do your version!”
Jimmy: I would recommend any monologues from writers such as Che Walker, Roy Williams, Joe Penhall and Debbie Tucker Green. They are writers that are current and their characters are challenging for the actor. If you do it right you will impress the drama school, plus they have so many plays to choose from, so schools won’t think ‘we have heard this speech millions of times.’
Minnie: For great female characters, look to modern female playwrights like April de Angelis, Polly Stenham and Chloe Moss. I’d also recommend Duncan Macmillan‘s play ‘Lungs’ for great female monologues.
Fraser: If you’re looking to make an impression then look at the works of Philip Ridley. Very few writers can convey as much depth and feeling as he does.
General Do’s and Don’ts
Jimmy: Don’t pick a piece if it’s so far away from your own age. When performing, don’t think about how they would like you to do it, do your version! That’s what will make you stand out.
Minnie: Do learn it properly. The writer has written those words and punctuation for a reason. However, don’t beat yourself up if you go wrong in the audition, it’s how you recover from a mistake that matters.
Don’t just learn the words – its got to sound like it’s the first time anyone has said these words, not like you’re reciting something you’ve learnt. Learn it so well it’s just ingrained in you, and you can think about the feelings behind it, rather than what comes next.
Fraser: Don’t stare into an imaginary spot behind your audience’s head. Engage your audience (without staring them down!) and be sure to tell a story. Unless it’s a soliloquy, monologues are always written directed at a person. See your audience as that person and give it to them!