In The Guardian, Nick Asbury wrote: “Being an actor is hard, both in its delivery and its expectancy. Nothing trains you for standing in front of thousands of people and starting a long Shakespeare speech, or having to get the final take of the day right, because if you don’t it’ll cost thousands in overtime. No one can train you for simply waiting for the phone to ring.”

However, far from advocating the doing away with drama schools altogether, he is urging drama schools to rethink the structure of how they teach their students. He suggests “having shorter courses that last a year, maybe two, that offer technique and confidence and place actors in front of the industry people. Then perhaps we need replenishing and reinvigorating courses throughout the ensuing years.”

He acknowledges the indisputable quality of training and valuable connections that drama schools provide, however, he laments that “It’s getting to the point where they’re simply finishing schools for the wealthy – either that or they saddle people with so much debt that following a stop/start formative acting career is unthinkable. This is repugnant, and against everything the new wave of the 1950s and 60s stood for.”

Susan Elkin in The Stage writes of how “given the phenomenal success of National Youth Theatre’s first full training rep company this year, I think we can expect to see an increasing number of viable alternatives to traditional drama school training.” This is a free form of training, with ” all 15 participants [having secured] good agents and many of them are already in professional work.”

Citing Fourth Monkey Rep Company and Cygnet at Exeter, she writes of her prediction that similar companies will mushroom in 2014 as “more and more people are worried about the huge debt which drama school incurs and fretting about whether or not it represents value for money.”

However, while she concedes that emerging rep companies can provide quality training, she still insists that “drama schools – just 18 are now accredited by DramaUK – are still, obviously a major force to be reckoned with…”

Whether or not to go to drama school has been a hotly debated topic, but the necessity of training – in whatever form – has never been questioned. As Nick Asbury said:  “Acting is all about practice and confidence. If you keep working or studying it, you get better. I am a great believer that cream will rise to the top, and if you work hard enough – raise money to do shows, keep on inviting people, get to know people, don’t be an arse and keep your head above water – then you will get jobs and get through doors.”

This is what Audition Doctor offers students – the chance to keep working and studying – whatever stage you are at as an actor. Audition Doctor sessions are hard work but they are opportunities to practice your craft. Furthermore, students have found that the buoying confidence that is engendered from the sessions has led to successful auditions.

However, the gift that Audition Doctor gives is the ability to stop acting. As Olivia Colman said in this week’s Telegraph: “To be honest, I don’t think that much about acting. If you’re genuine and you’re reacting truthfully to what’s being said, you don’t have to do any more. You’re still acting, but really it’s just honesty.”