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Leading theatre practitioner Brian Astbury is launching a one-year practical theatre course - The Forge Initiative - this September 2015 at The Academy of Performance Training (APT) based in Guildford, Surrey.

The Forge Initiative is a unique course that, unlike standard drama training, gives actors, directors and writers the tools to take control of their own careers. They will learn how to set up their own theatre companies, devise their own work, market themselves, and leave with a fully-fledged production to take to Edinburgh Festival and on tour.

In 1990 Brian set up 'Arts Threshold' with graduating LAMDA students including Julie Hesmondhalgh (Coronation Street), Stephen Moyer (True Blood), and RADA graduate, Rufus Norris (Director of the National Theatre). The company gave graduating students an important stepping stone into the industry and helped them establish themselves as employable actors, writers and directors. Now, fourteen years later, Brian has finally fulfilled his dream of setting up a full-time one-year course with 35 contact hours per week that, unlike standard drama training, specifically gives actors the practical skills to set up their own companies. All course tutors will be professionals with real-life experience and good track records in these fields.

Stephen Moyer, star of True Blood, says "If you think this course is just about acting you would be very wrong. Brian Astbury could easily have titled the course - Everything you will ever need to know about Acting - and even then not have come close to describing its worth...I cannot recommend it highly enough."

Historically, full-time drama school training is expensive, potentially alienating highly-gifted students with an aptitude for brilliance. The Forge Initiative is therefore set £3,000-£4,000 less than the average course costs elsewhere, without compromising on quality of training or contact time.

The next audition will be held on Saturday 18th April 2015 at its home The Guildford Institute. Applications can be made through the APT website.


Notes to Editors

About Brian Astbury

Brian Astbury is the Forge Initiative Course Leader and former Head of Acting & Directing (Mountview). Astbury founded and ran South Africa's first non-racial theatre/arts venue, The Space, where he worked with playwrights such as Athol Fugard and Pieter-Dirk Uys. He then went on to teach at LAMDA, became Head of Acting, Directing and Musical Theatre Courses at Mountview and established the Contemporary Theatre Practice Course at East 15 Acting School. He has also conducted workshops throughout the UK including the Young Vic and National Theatre Studio.

About Academy of Performance Training

Academy of Performance Training (APT) is an innovative vocational school at the forefront of performing arts training. It is located at The Guildford Institute, just a 35-minute commute from Central London.
For more information visit its website:

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