skip to main content

National Theatre Blog

Meetings with the National Theatre Casting Department for Recent Graduates

We're holding general meetings with our Casting Department for professional actors who've graduated, or started their careers, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the devastating effect that COVID has had on the rhythm of the last two years for graduates entering the acting industry, the National Theatre casting team will be offering the opportunity of a general meeting to new graduates around the UK. We're also open to applications from those who've started their careers from alternative routes.

As we are aiming to produce a wide variety of work in the next 18 months and because much of the material in new actors’ showcases and showreels is contemporary, we would like to focus this process on Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

There are two groups of professional actors we are open to hearing from:

  • We are offering this opportunity to anyone based in the UK and Ireland who graduated from a Federation of Drama Schools accredited acting course in 2020 or 2021.

  • We are also interested in hearing from people who have started their careers from alternative routes, with or without a classical training, and began working professionally after January 2020 i.e., have had paid speaking roles in at least two professional productions (in either theatre, television, film, short films on the BAFTA short film list, or character driven voice work).  

Please note:

  • If you have already been seen by the National Theatre for an audition or onstage in the last 18 months you are not eligible for this process.  

  • If you have any questions about eligibility, please email the team. 

If you are eligible, we will ask you to prepare a 2–3-minute classical monologue from Shakespeare or one of Shakespeare’s contemporaries. This can be a piece that you love or know well, a role you think you’d be perfect for or a role you feel you would never conventionally be cast in. With this in mind, we would like to hear only from actors who have an interest in stage performance and particularly in performing classical text.

We anticipate a very high level of interest and so our aim is to offer a mix of in-person meetings and Zoom or Self-tapes. We will aim to host days around the UK, in November, but before we commit to dates and location we’d love to gauge the interest in these sessions.  

To apply for a general meeting with the National Theatre casting team email: [email protected] with the headline ‘GENERAL MEETING 2021’.  

Please include: 

  • your name 

  • your agent’s details (if applicable)  

  • details of any access requirements, or anything you’d like us to know before we meet you 

  • your spotlight link (or equivalent)  

  • details of how you meet the above criteria 

  • your preferred meeting location from the below: 









N.B. until we know the extent of interest, we cannot guarantee an in-person session at all these locations so do let us know if you have a second choice.  

The deadline for applications is 18/10/21.  

We actively encourage applications from D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent actors, actors of all ethnicities, gender identities, body types and from all backgrounds.  

We look forward to hearing from you! 

Best wishes, 

NT Casting  


Can I apply if I graduated 2019 or earlier?
We would like to acknowledge the difficulties of sustaining a career in the acting industry during a pandemic, as much as we’d like to meet everyone, we have decided to prioritise people who have graduated into the pandemic at this time.
Can I apply if I didn’t go to Drama School?
Yes, we want to hear from anyone who has started working professionally as an actor in the last 18 months, but you must have had paid speaking roles in at least two professional productions (in either theatre, television, film, short films on the BAFTA short film list, or character driven voice work).
What if I think I should be allowed to audition but don’t quite fit into the above criteria?
Email us and we can discuss with you directly. We anticipate a very high level of interest and do not have the resources to see everyone, but we are happy to discuss with you directly if you feel you should be seen by us.  
I have an agent, should I apply directly? 
We have also put a call out on Spotlight for these meetings, so your agent can submit you via that, do check with them, we want to ensure we’re meeting a range of represented and unrepresented actors, hence the wider call out.  
I don’t currently have an agent, will that count against me?  
No. We are happy to consider all actors who have graduated or started working in the pandemic, regardless of whether you have an agent or not. 
Which monologue should I choose? 
Prepare a 2–3-minute classical monologue from Shakespeare or one of Shakespeare’s contemporaries. This can be a piece that you love or know well, a role you think you’d be perfect for or a role you feel you would never conventionally be cast in. 
Who will be at the meeting? 
A member of the National Theatre casting team and a director, we will give you further details of who when we confirm your meeting. Please let us know when you apply if you would like any additional support in the room (such as BSL interpreter or Creative Enabler), and we can help to arrange this.
Why are you only looking to see a piece by Shakespeare or his contemporaries? 
Much of the work we have seen in the last 18 months from new professional actors is contemporary, so for this Casting Event we would like to see something from the classical repertoire.  
Can you guarantee that everyone who applies will get an audition? 
We cannot guarantee we will be able to meet everyone in person given the numbers we anticipate; however, we can guarantee a meeting to anyone who meets the criteria via zoom or self-tape.