A new era begins for The Drama Student

A group of actors got together in 2008 and decided to launch the first ever printed magazine dedicated to drama students. The aim was to give a voice to those seriously pursuing a career in the industry through training, dispel the countless clichés, and to convey the very best advice and guidance. The Drama Student Magazine quickly became a key resource.

It is no secret that the acting profession can be a tough old industry, and with some fifteen thousand applicants applying to drama schools each year, it’s certainly competitive. The Drama Student Magazine’s editorial policy was clear: ‘To be entertaining, informative, motivating, and to report on training and the industry positively, but honestly’. It turned out to be an inspired mix.

We’ll be maintaining the vibrancy we’re renowned for and building on our achievements

Phil Matthews launched the magazine as Publishing Editor in January 2009. “We managed to quickly establish The Drama Student as an important industry journal used by current and prospective drama students everywhere,” he says.

“Professional actors and creatives would often say how they wished it was available when they were in training. We regularly received emails and letters praising our fresh perspective. We still do.”

By the end of year one, Matthews (pictured right) discovered that the magazine’s niche audience intuitively widened to include actors, directors, producers, writers and production crew emerging in the industry. The eclectic editorial mix was both entertaining and educational, and assisted all emerging artists.

The team were immensely proud to launch Fourthwall incorporating The Drama Student two years later. The magazine will continue to be the voice of the artist as they take their first difficult steps into a highly competitive but intensely rewarding industry.

“By combining Fourthwall and The Drama Student into one publication, we are now better positioned to serve our entire readership of emerging artists who are establishing and maintaining their career,” explains Matthews. “We’re confident that our plans are going to enable us to go further and deliver a truly significant publication.

“We’ll be maintaining the vibrancy we’re renowned for and building on our achievements, offering a greater mix of entertaining interviews, articles and news, as well as all of the regular valuable advice from industry professionals.”

Matthews has now taken on the role of Editorial Director and has welcomed Josh Boyd-Rochford as the newly appointed Editor, with some fresh additions to the crew.

“It’s exciting that everyone who works on the publication are working actors or creatives, and are very much part of the industry. I just know this passionate group is going to make the experience an even more stimulating one,” adds Matthews.

JBR is looking forward to the challenge ahead. “Having worked on The Drama Student since Issue 2, I’m really excited to be joining Fourthwall as Editor. There’s an extraordinary journey ahead of us and I’m very proud to be at the helm of such a thrilling ship.  I truly believe in Fourthwall‘s role as the voice of the emerging artist and I hope that, together with Phil, and the rest of the team, we can create a valuable resource for the industry.”


The Fourth Wall. Whether we’re bursting through it or respecting it, sat in front of it or working behind it, it is one of the fundamental tenets of theatre. The goal is for Fourthwall Magazine to also become a fundamental resource for the profession.

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  1. I sincerely hope that fourthwall will guide drama students through the proper routes, and explain to them that there is no instant coffe-fame without training, training and more training. I constantly find myself looking to Romania, Poland, Germany and other EU countries for actors who actually deliver performances. Why? Because they spent years training. Please don’t become just another stack of printed matter. Make it easy to read, and full of proper information. As a director currently working on a large feature, I am saddened at the infantile and non-sensical nature of some of the so-called mags on offer to drama students. We have no middle sector players coming through anymore, which is a disaster. A lot of hopefuls don’t even possess a decent a 10×8 or CV, and those who do, all appear to ride horses and speak 12 languages which – come audition time- they don’t.

  2. Thank you for your message Michael. I agree. We started The Drama Student Magazine 2 years ago because there was not a journal in the market guiding those young actors through the proper routes. Our editorial policy has always been to have a positive, yet honest approach. The quick path to ‘stardom’ or ‘fame’ as you describe should always be avoided. Besides, our core readership, I suspect, are not interested in the frivolities of the ‘fame game’ – we seem to have attracted an audience steadfast in their approach to training which culminates in them working as genuine artists. The advice we offer, from top industry professionals, is aimed to dispel the myths, encourage good practise and to encourage ways of making and sustaining this as a career, not just a fad. Fourthwall incorporating The Drama Student will continue with this style and will also be very entertaining as well, which certainly helps.
    All the best,
    Phil Matthews

  3. Glad to see a voice for the young.

    Could you do an article about the new uptake of minimum wage in the arts and for creative sector entrants. It is a major issue for Equity and BECTU. And was mentioned at this year’s TUC.

    This autumn the HMRC is planning on increasing enforcement in our sector, and government guidance has made it clear that even actors in short films are due minimum wage. http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?itemId=1096874898&type=RESOURCES

    A new era indeed for drama students. Potential fewer opportunities after graduation, but potentially more paid work. Discuss.

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