Life in the Actors Company: Charles Adey

City Academy production of Buckets at Courtyard Theatre.
Charles Adey City Academy production of Buckets at Courtyard Theatre.

Charles Adey is a member of the City Academy Actors Company, and he is playing the spirit Ariel in the company’s upcoming production of The Tempest. We caught up with Charles to talk to him about his journey into acting and his future goals.

How did you get into acting?

I started acting around the age of 17 and did Performing Arts at A-level. I also acted in school shows, as you do, but I never did any of the big roles. Then I went to Liverpool to study music. They had a drama society, but in my first year I was too nervous to audition. In my second year though I started auditioning for everything, and did 4 shows a year! Afterwards I went back home to Wolverhampton and did some amateur shows, before moving to London. I work as a steward for the Royal Albert Hall.

Why did you join the City Academy Actors Company?

When I came to London I was looking for theatre companies to join. When I came across City Academy it was 2am in the morning and I decided on the spot to audition for Grimm Tales (the Actors Company production, December 2017). The audition was fun and relaxed and it was held in a workshop style. I got to know everyone and we did some exercises, as well as scenes from Grimm Tales as a group to get to know the play. It was a very different experience to the Drama Society auditions, where you are picked to perform with someone and given 30 minutes to prepare an excerpt from the play to perform in front of a panel.

For the Actors Company audition there wasn’t much to prepare, I actually didn’t even know the show, so I went in quite blind! Of course, if you do have a monologue to prepare for an audition you need ensure you know your lines really well. Then you need to forget about it the night before and just relax. Trust yourself, forget it’s an audition. If you get in it’s a bonus, but have no expectations and just meet new people. If you don’t get in, give yourself half an hour to be sad and then let go of it and pick yourself up. It’s not always about your performance. There are so many factors. You could have just gotten out on the wrong side of the bed that morning. Don’t overthink it and learn from your feedback.

Who inspires you in acting? Are there any interesting actors to watch?

Ben Whishaw is great. He played Ariel in the 2010 film based on The Tempest. Rory Kinnear is great as well, and he pops up in loads of things. He was in Young Marx, where he was excellent. It was unexpected and really funny.  I love when you get lost in their characters, and you see the character rather than the actor.

What is the most daunting or challenging role you have played?

I played identical twins in a play called Ring Around the Moon in Wolverhampton. It was only my second play and I had both the leading roles! I just remember having pages and pages of script to learn, which was really daunting. I had to run off stage and back in on the other side as the other twin. There was a change of hats and mannerisms when I went from playing one character to the other.

There was a scene with a cup and a ball, where I came on stage to do the trick as one twin, then I had to go off stage and give the ball and cup to someone else and run back as the other twin. They had to use a prop to portray both twins on stage. I was quite new to acting, it was only my second play, so that made it pretty scary. Now that I have a number of shows under my belt I would revel in this type of challenge, but back then it was mainly scary.

Where do you see yourself going from here and what are your future aspirations?

I aspire to perform professionally in stage productions. I would like to look at Screen Acting and give that a go too. I’ll stay in London for the next few years as there are lots of opportunities. I have only been in London a year and a bit, so I’m still getting to know the London scene.

Do you have any advice for aspiring actors, perhaps for those who would love to try acting but are nervous to start?

If you have any doubts just block them out and don’t overthink it. I used to be too nervous and the day before an audition I would convince myself not to go. The next day I would regret not going. If you have even the tiniest inkling about going to an audition or class, just go for it. Just get to that audition or that class, suppress the doubt, meet new people, and the fear will go away.

City Academy is a great place to start because the people are so friendly and welcoming. You will meet lots of people in the same boat as you. If they are not, they may be just a bit ahead of you and you can learn from them. You will get there.

Even if there is the inkling of ‘what if’... just go for it!


The Actors Company hold 3 auditions a year. Book onto their next audition here.

Want to perform on stage without auditioning? Our Foreword and Assemble theatre companies both perform 3 times a year.

Completely new to acting? Our Debut theatre company is a performance group for complete beginners. Or try one of our acting classes to brush up on skills or start your acting journey.