LAMDA will offer actors special classes in voicing audiobooks to meet the surge in demand

Budding actors at the drama school where Benedict Cumberbatch learned his craft will be given special lessons in how to voice podcasts and audiobooks.

The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA), the UK’s oldest drama school, said the next generation of acting talent would need to develop the specialist skills to voice podcast dramas and audio stories.

Audible Partnership

LAMDA, whose alumni includes Cumberbatch, now the school’s President, has formed a creative partnership with Audible UK, the Amazon-owned audiobook company, to create a £150,000 scholarship.

The classes, held at Audible’s state-of-the-art studios, will include tutorials on the microphone technique required for voicing audiobooks and podcasts.

New drama collaborations

Students will be given assistance in creating voice-reels they can send to audio producers. LAMDA students and Audible will develop new dramas, targeted at young audiences, which could then be staged as theatrical productions.

Audiobooks are a booming industry–sales increased by 25% to £31 million last year, the Publishers Association said.

Star names narrating books

LAMDA graduates who have turned their skills to narrating audio stories include Nikki Amuka-Bird Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rose Leslie, and David Suchet, the Poirot actor.

Mr. Suchet said: “Today, we are now witnessing an explosion in the public’s demand for Audio. Books and other works that are published are now automatically recorded for the audio market.”

“Podcasts, on all subjects, are becoming increasingly popular for a population with limited time and constantly ‘on the move.’”

Actors need podcast skills

Mr. Suchet added: “Actors leaving drama schools have to be fully trained and technically equipped and fully fluent in the (joyful) demands of recording works of all genres for the audio market. Not just plays for the radio. I applaud LAMDA’s new partnership with Audible and wish it every possible success.”

Audible will fund a scholarship to support an undergraduate student on LAMDA’s BA (Hons) Professional Acting course, who has a specialized interest in audio recording and requires financial assistance, covering the full three years of tuition fees.

This article first appeared in Inews on September 6, 2018, and has been reposted with permission.

This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.

This post was written by Adam Sherwin.

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