In an article in the Independent entitled “My life on stage with Shakespeare”, Rory Kinnear spoke about how crucial the rehearsal process was in creating a character. “It seemed to require identifying the particular conundrums that a play and character threw up, the various forks in the road ahead, examining them thoroughly, and then making a decision. There wasn’t necessarily a right decision – especially, as I discovered to my delight, with Shakespeare – but there had to be a decision.”

Decisions are why people come to Audition Doctor. Unless you are auditioning for new writing, chances are that countless actors will have tackled your part before. For those auditioning for drama school, many find the thought of entering the audition room as the fifth Cressida horrifying. However, it is comforting to read Kinnear’s assertion that “Shakespeare gives his actors quite a lot of open-endedness within which to work: you’re not often given much back-story, and you’re certainly never guided by him to any particular decision. You have to make your own.”

The open-endedness that he talks about is what Audition Doctor sessions focus on. The freedom that Shakespeare affords the actor means that there are endless choices that can be made to make sure that the character you present is wholly different from the one that the next actor performs after you. Kinnear mentioned that he approached parts “initially just by thinking about them, and then afterwards [trying] to figure out what works well in the doing.”

Thinking – you can do on your own. However, the reason why Audition Doctor is so popular is because the “doing” is nigh-on impossible to achieve repeatedly by yourself. Kinnear, speaking of his experience of Hamlet, said “What surprised me most with Hamlet was that, having gone through that rehearsal process, it wasn’t until the first time I performed it in front of an audience that I realised that it’s only in relation to that body of witnesses that Hamlet discovers himself. If you’re rehearsing in a white room, doing those soliloquies to a wall, even though it’s quite self-reflective and leads to a number of important insights, you’re not really getting anything back.” The feedback you get from Tilly is not only helpful artistically, but also crucial in simply understanding how to respond intelligently to direction.

On Newsnight last week, actors such as Simon Callow, Harriet Walter and Helen Mirren spoke of their experience of Shakespeare. Walter said: “I came to Shakespeare late, I was very frightened of him because I thought there was a way to do it and I was told I had a rubbish voice at drama school…Once you stop being frightened of him, once you stop thinking its high-brow, once you let him in, go with it and not worry if you don’t understand every word, it becomes electric.

Above all, Audition Doctor sessions demystify Shakespeare and there is never a prescriptive way of approaching the text. After a certain number of sessions, there comes a point when the language ceases to be unwieldy and it becomes to feel natural to speak in blank verse. The speech is no longer stilted and you begin to inhabit a character that, despite being Shakespearean, is wholly present – in both senses of the word. It’s why students keep coming back.