Ken's latest book, The Outstanding Actor: Seven Keys to Success explains how actors can do more exciting work and have a better career.

Drawing on Ken Rea's 35 years' teaching experience and research, as well as interviews with top actors and directors, The Outstanding Actor identifies seven key qualities that the most successful actors manifest, along with practical exercises that help nurture those qualities and videos to demonstrate them.

Featuring contributions and insights from Ewan McGregor, Jude Law, Judi Dench, Al Pacino, Lily James, Rufus Norris and many more, The Outstanding Actor gives you techniques that you can immediately put into practice in rehearsals, classes or private preparation. It also shows you how to increase the chances of having a more successful career.

This new edition covers topical issues such as the #MeToo movement, gender balance and race issues, and how these affect working conditions and careers. There are also brand new links to video resources that bring the valuable exercises to life.

The book also includes forewords by Damian Lewis and Lily James.

"Ken’s lessons, were like a treasure chest full of knowledge, provocations and challenges to be met. His dedication and passion to discover what it is to be ‘outstanding’ to be brave and generous, to be ‘present’ and to succeed as an actor is his life’s work. It seems to me if anyone has conquered this elusive quest, if anyone has found the key values, the tools and teachings to master this... it is Ken Rea. Throughout this wonderful book we have been given the map to the treasure and the keys to what lies within." Lily James - Student 2007-2010

The Outstanding Actor: Seven Keys to Success is published by Bloomsbury. NEW EDITION

The Outstanding Actor: Seven Keys to Success is published by Bloomsbury. ISBN: 9781472572998


What the actors say about Ken:

"Ken's classes were some of the most interesting and diverse that I was lucky enough to attend in drama school. He opened the mind to what acting could be. There seemed no end to the possibilities, to the depth, only how far you were prepared to go."
Ewan McGregor

"Ken is one of the few truly great teachers I have ever had the pleasure of working with. As timeless as they are unique, his techniques for accessing character and unlocking performance are phenomenally effective."
Freddie Fox

"The classes with Ken at Guildhall, I consider to be the most important part of the acting training. They are exercises in patience, unpredictability and encouraging students to make utter fools of themselves...Vital for any actor embarking on a life in the profession."
Michelle Dockery

L’attore extraordinario

An international bestseller, translated into Italian. Between anecdotes, stories and tales of great actors such as Ewan McGregor, Jude Law, Judi Dench and Al Pacino, the extra ordinary actor offers techniques to be put into practice immediately in the rehearsal room, in the classroom or in private preparation, suggesting strategies to put the foundations of a long-lived career.

Other Books:

A Better Direction examines the training of directors in the UK. It is based on evidence collected from thousands of theatre and film professionals. Featuring interviews with top directors such as Sir Peter Hall, Peter Brook and Trevor Nunn, and actors such as Dame Judi Dench, Dame Peggy Ashcroft and Glenda Jackson, this book explores what constitutes good direction and lays out the range of skills a director needs and how these might be taught. It is still used as a text book by universities including London University's Birkbeck College.

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, London, 1989. Available from Amazon.

What Makes an Audience Laugh?
A chapter contributed to The Reflective Conservatoire
Ed. Odam & Bannan, Ashgate, 2005


Voyagers - Produced by Jet Theatre

The Deceived (translation) - Produced by Jet Theatre

Pippi Longstocking (translation) - First produced by Guildhall School of Music & Drama

The Brave Magicians of Mangalore - Produced by Polka Theatre

The Last Circus - Produced by Guildhall School of Music & Drama

The Frankenstein Case - Produced by The Living Theatre Troupe

Bluebeard - Produced by The Living Theatre Troupe

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