James Kerr - Professional Teaching

Hayley Atwell

" James gave me my first professional role out of drama school and it remains the most creatively liberating experience of my professional life to date. His has great skill at making actors feel at ease in the rehearsal room and I could not recommend him highly enough. What makes him stand out as a teacher is his ability to instil trust and respect for the story at hand and to inspire the individual to find their voice within that. He is a wonderful teacher."

Hayley Atwell, Actress
Most recently, ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’, also Woody Allen’s film ‘Cassandra’s Dream’ and the recent film adaptation of ‘Brideshead Revisted’.

Benedict Cumberbatch

" As a pupil of his I thrived under his guidance. To be set free by not getting in the way of yourself and to be given the confidence that you are enough is one of the greatest gifts a teacher can give. I can't recommend James highly enough. I am proud of my profession when I remember at heart we are messengers and storytellers. I owe that core value to a great teacher, James. And besides which he is an incredibly smart, hardworking and witty gentleman who is a pleasure to be around."

Benedict Cumberbatch, Actor
Most recently, on TV ‘Sherlock’, and on film ‘Tinker, Tailor, Solider Spy' , War Horse, and now in the new 'Star Trek ' film - 'Into Darkness'.

David Oyelowo

" I've had the pleasure of being taught by James Kerr both as a student at LAMDA and several times as a professional actor when he has directed me in shows. James in fact gave me my very first professional role. His grasp of the English language, classical texts and the art of theatrical performance helped me form the foundation on which I have built my career. As an actor you are always looking for individuals into whose hands you can entrust yourself. The main reason I have been directed by James Kerr five separate times in my life, more times than with any other director, is because I always emerge a better, more rounded and more educated actor.."

David Oyelowo, Actor
Most recently 'The Butler' previously in ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ and 'Martin Luther King in the biopic movie 'Selma’.

Teaching Review

When James first taught me on the audition technique course at LAMDA in 2011 I was blown away by the vast progress that I recognised in myself as actor and observed in my fellow classmates. He has an ability to enable people to trust themselves to make their own decisions and encourages a more honest response that cannot be forced. James provided solid support over a two year period of preparation for drama school auditions, encouraging me to have patience, self confidence and perseverance as well as developing a constant education in acting. His intuitive approach means that he celebrates what is truly individual in each person and always gives plenty to think about after sessions. James' humorous, philosophical attitude works as brilliantly with groups as it does with one to one.
By Polly Misch.


Learning about acting is a process which involves removing what is inauthentic about who we are. It is a revelation of who we are, and a discarding of the untruths that we use to play hide and seek with the world. Often the things about ourselves that we consider ordinary, or that we hide turn out to be the very stuff of our creativity.

My teaching requires significant discipline and trust. It is about listening, feeling and believing that at our most simple we are more than enough.

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