Their names are now known around the world, topping cast lists on both screen and stage. But Tom Conti and Robert Carlyle, Alan Cumming and David Hayman have more than just fame in common. As fresh-faced hopefuls, they all cut their teeth at Glasgow's Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Founded in 1847 as the Glasgow Athenaeum, the embryonic RSAMD originally offered self-betterment lectures for working men. It was only a century later, in 1950, that a dedicated College of Drama was opened.

But in just half a century it has already established itself as one of the world's foremost breeding grounds for showbiz talent, producing names including John Hannah, Sheena Easton and even Ruby Wax.


DAVID Tennant was only 16 when he took his audition for the RSAMD. But he had lofty aspirations. Choosing a Hamlet monologue and a scene from Death of a Salesman - which required him to play a 64-year-old man - to perform for his entrance exam, Tennant secured himself a place against the odds.

"I have to admit that I was very green when I first started there," he admits. "I hadn't really done anything in life and I was surrounded by all these people who were much older and had much more professional experience. I remember spending most of the first couple of years just trying to bluff it."

But it wasn't all bad. "The older students managed to corrupt me, which was great," he laughs. "Instead of doing double maths at school, I was doing something I really loved and partying in between."
Source: The Scotsman