We find out about the LAMDA courses at the School of Speech and Dramatic Arts
What is LAMDA and SSDA?
LAMDA stands for The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, a prestigious arts university which offers a range of courses and examinations in drama. LAMDA exams are accredited by the UK Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) and are graded in the same way as music exams, progressing from Grade 1 to Grade 8. Exam grades six, seven and eight (bronze, silver and gold medals) are awarded UCAS points towards university applications. LAMDA has a reputation for excellence, and these qualifications are well known throughout the field of drama and theatre studies.
The School of Speech and Dramatic Arts (SSDA) works in association with St Christopher’s school (but students can come from anywhere) and offers drama lessons working towards the LAMDA examinations. Lessons are held weekly, during which students prepare examination pieces and work on developing performance skills. LAMDA offers a wide range of examinations and the SSDA tries to offer most of them to students. These include: speaking verse and prose, public speaking, devising drama and acting solo.
Candidates are assessed by an external LAMDA examiner, who comes from the UK. In the examination the candidate is required to perform monologues to the examiner and then, through discussion, demonstrate understanding of the plays, characters and staging. The examination lasts between ten and 25 minutes depending on the level.
What is the age range covered?
Students in Year 2 (age six to seven) to adults! The greatest thing about LAMDA and the courses is that there is no age limit.
Can complete beginners get involved?
Absolutely! We take students from different educational backgrounds, different schools and of different levels. As long as they have a passion for and interest in the theatre and literature they are welcome to join the programme.
Is it just for aspiring actors and actresses or do you run other courses and what are the benefits of taking a LAMDA course?
It’s for anyone with an interest in performance, public speaking, theatre, poetry and literature in general. Our courses include acting, devising drama (for those who like to create their own scripts), speaking verse and prose (for those who enjoy poetry) and public speaking for those who really want to improve their presentation and speaking skills.
There are many benefits to taking part in LAMDA classes. Participants develop their vocal and performance skills, expand their knowledge of plays, unlock imagination and creative thinking, build confidence and self-esteem, develop communication skills, make friends, gain qualifications… the list is endless! For the highest three levels, the bronze, silver and gold medals, there is also the benefit of gaining UCAS points.
Who are the teachers and what are their qualifications?
We have tripled our LAMDA team to meet demand since the inception of the programme in 2011, and our current team includes a range of teachers with different specialties and backgrounds. All LAMDA teachers have been through a rigorous and practical teacher training programme, and - crucially - have a passion for and commitment to theatre arts and helping others develop character and life skills.
What do the students learn and what’s the learning process?
The learning process in LAMDA is full immersion – from day one our students participate in theatre games and activities targeted at developing technique, expanding knowledge and developing discipline.
We also structure our activities to cover a range of interpersonal skills – communication, confidence, collaborating in a group, leading a group, and self-expression.
Do the students put on productions and, if so, when?
This year will be our first year to put on a production and we are definitely aiming for it to become an annual thing. The performance will hit the stage on March 21 and 22 and we are inviting all aspiring actors in Bahrain to audition!
We try our best to give our students a rich education in drama; every year we find opportunities for our students to be involved in acting outside of the classroom. Our Awards Night, held at the Royal Golf Club last year, allowed students to perform to a large audience. We also found several opportunities for students to audition for local film and commercial projects, and a few of our students have enjoyed the experience of being on a film set.
This year we have decided to bring to the stage Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ so our students get the opportunity of being involved in a full production and working in an ensemble; the process of putting on a play will be extremely exciting and a fantastic learning opportunity for students.
What are the next course dates/enrolment procedure and costs?
Enrollment for our next term (February to May) is underway (hurry as classes start early February) and we have already opened up waiting lists for full classes. The first thing students need to do is email us on email@example.com. Once they do so, we will explain availability and timings. They can also visit our website www.ssdabahrain.com for further information.
The fees for a 13-session term depend on the level ranging from BD90 for years two-five to BD165 for years 11-13 and adults.