Audible UK is teaming up with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) to launch a three-year creative partnership worth £150,000.
The two organisations will develop the next generation of acting talent through scholarships and training opportunities in audio entertainment, while original audio plays will also be created in collaboration between Audible and students from LAMDA’s acting courses.
The Amazon-owned audiobook company will fund a scholarship to support an undergraduate student on LAMDA’s BA (Hons) Professional Acting course, covering the full three years of tuition fees. It will go to a student in need of financial assistance who has “a specialised interest” in audio recording.
The partnership will enhance students’ audio skills through workshops held at Audible’s studios, with classes including tutorials on microphone technique, assistance in creating voice reels, and career advice from industry professionals. The firm will also fund new technology for LAMDA’s training facilities while the project will pilot new writing by developing audio plays especially for young people.
Tracey Markham, Alistair Nwachukwu, Joanna Read at the project's launch (© Richard Hubert Smith)
Actor David Suchet CBE, a LAMDA Alumnus and Fellow, commented on the “explosion in the public’s demand for audio”.
“Books and other works that are published are now automatically recorded for the audio market,” he said. “Podcasts, on all subjects, are becoming increasingly popular for a population with limited time and constantly ‘on the move’. 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.”
He added: “I applaud and embrace LAMDA’s new partnership with Audible and wish it every possible success.”
The Academy’s principal Joanna Read said: “Here at LAMDA we are committed to providing students with diverse and varied training which will set them up for a career in an industry which is constantly evolving. This new collaboration will offer our talented students an exciting opportunity to develop skills within an increasingly growing field of performing arts.”
Tracey Markham, country manager at Audible UK, added: “We are hugely excited to partner with LAMDA to support and train young actors.
“At Audible we are honoured to work with the world’s finest actors, and we are passionate about nurturing the next generation of talent. Now we look forward to working with LAMDA to inspire and train today’s most promising young actors and to bring new voices to our global audience of listeners.”
Sales of audiobooks leapt 25% to £31m in 2017, according to the Publishers Association’s Yearbook. While between 2013 and 2017 publisher revenue from consumer e-books fell by a quarter, audiobook download sales more than doubled.