The Oxford School of Drama

Student Stories

Student Stories: Robbie Curran

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Robbie Curran is known for roles in Doctors, The Ties that Bind (2017), and Island (2013). He has also written and appeared in ‘Thomas’ at VAULT festival in 2019.

He studied Drama and English Literature at Birmingham University, and then went on to train at The Oxford School of Drama, graduating from the one-year course in 2014 and trained at the Soho Theatre Writers’ Lab.

He is based in London and writes plays, short films and sketch comedy.

What made you choose the Oxford School of Drama over other schools:

I felt that the school had the best staff. From the teachers I met during my audition days, I got a real sense of the respect students are treated with and the care taken in how they teach approaching the craft. The location is really nice too. As opposed to the London-centric drama schools, you can have that link to London without getting caught up in the busyness of the capital, and gain a quieter, more focused approach to the work. I feel that is invaluable because that is the thing that is in your control and the more attention you can give to that the better.

What do you think makes the training at the Oxford School of Drama so special?

Everything is guided in the pursuit of genuine human truth and sharing that in the living language of theatre. You are encouraged to bring out your unique qualities and share that with an audience in your acting, rather than reaching for something that’s not yourself at the risk of being ingenuine. You are taught to ease your way into character and ultimately pursue being rooted in reality. The staff know the mark of what it takes to be exceptional and will do everything in their power to guide you to be the best actor you can be.

Can you remember a time at the school that was of particular significance for you?

I remember in my second term I felt I had come across a newfound confidence that I previously felt I didn’t have, and then I felt freer as an actor to make bold choices and really allow myself to be thrown into the vulnerability required of many parts. My teachers at the time clocked onto this and really pushed me further to grow and develop, it was a great period of learning on the whole.

Looking back, what aspects of the training do you particularly value now you are in the profession.

It’s helped me enormously with the technical side of acting in voice and movement classes, which were always great fun, doing contact improvisation was a real boost in terms of helping me learn how to nonverbally act, which was sometimes a real challenge for me. As was singing, learning to sell a story through song which was a real challenge. Naturally I have a mind that automatically overcomplicates things, and the training helped me to keep things simple, and more often than not that has helped me down the road since when I’ve had anxiety around a challenge. I remember the support I received, and I am reminded that I am enough, and am more than capable of breathing truthful life into a character.