Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Thursday, 11 September 2008 13:41 UK

UK's first Bollywood school opens


Bollywood school opens in UK

The UK's first Bollywood acting school has opened in west London, training performers to become the next generation of movie stars.

The school, based in Ealing, is a spin-off from the prestigious Actor Prepares academy in Mumbai, India.

Bollywood star Anupam Kher is among actors and film-makers teaching the intensive three-month course. He said: "To me anybody who lies can act."

Student Anu Singh said: "He has already got somebody crying, it was amazing."

London's Actor Prepares school aims to teach 100 students per year, all from the UK or US. The course costs 4,000.

Acting styles

Each student who takes part in the rolling three months programme will be tutored in acting, dance, yoga, stage combat and vocal technique.

They will also make a visit to a Bollywood film set in Mumbai in India.

Mr Kher, who has performed in 376 movies including Bend It Like Beckham, said he would encourage students to avoid the Bollywood cliche of over-acting.

"Acting styles have changed in India and abroad," he said.

Acting is universal it has no languages and no barriers
Student Ranjit Singh Shubh

"Today I think the audience is much more different because of the onslaught of satellite channels, we have 134 channels, we have malls, we have multiplexes.

"The audience is no longer sitting at the edge of the seat and looking at Indian movies. They are relaxed and they say, 'let's see what you have done'."

New student Ranjit Singh Shubh, 22, from London said: "I believe that the biggest failure in life is the failure to try so I'm going to give this a go and see what happens."

He said that he had always wanted to act right and loved Indian cinema.

But he said that the course would prepare him for other roles as well, not just Bollywood roles.

"Acting is universal, it has no languages and no barriers."

The school is a partnership between Actor Prepares, regeneration agency Heathrow City Partnership and the Ealing Institute of Media at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College.

Mr Kher said he would like it to become a "springboard" to starting similar schools around the world, with schools in Durban and Sydney also planned.

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