Are you a performer wanting to apply for representation with acting agencies in London?
HUGE numbers of people want to be actors in the UK. Thirty years ago, equity membership was difficult to earn and essential for entry into the industry. Today, anyone can try their hand, which means fierce competition for every agency place, audition slot, and acting job.
Meanwhile, talent agencies interested in taking beginners under their wing are routinely scouring the talent showcases of top drama schools. That makes it hard to get your first footing with a reputable talent agent if you’re trying to get into acting without drama school.
So before you send out your resume to every acting agency in London, take the following steps:
- Get your headshots, showreel, CV and Spotlight link ready
- Identify agencies whose roster reflects the same stage of training and experience you have
- Check their application requirements
- Follow them on social media to see the ork their clients get and when their books are open
- Send them ALL the items they request, in the FORMAT they request
- Do not phone, call into the office, or send follow up emails
If you are a beginner and apply to an agency representing household names or only actors who trained at drama school, you are wasting everyone’s time. If you don’t have headshots or showreel, start picking up experience through a casting website. It will quickly show you how tough this profession is.
Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for scam agencies. They’ll often approach you first, and you’ll find it easy to join their books…for a fee, or expensive portfolio.
Co-Operative Acting Agencies
Let’s start with co-operative acting agencies. These are ONLY for Spotlight registered actors who have professionally trained at drama school. As part of the deal is to help run the office and management of the agency, you also need to be permanently resident in London.
Phoenix Actors Management
Not for Beginners
A lot of agencies explicitly state that applicants MUST have various combinations of drama school training, Spotlight membership, and experience. These include:
Agentur Kerstin Neuhaus
All Talent Agency
Althea Screen Actor’s Agency
ART MIX Management
B&M Creative Artists
The Cairns Agency
Gaelforce 10 Management
Marta Rubio Agency
Midwest Talent Management
Morgan The Agency
Nolan Muldoon Agency
O’Sullivan The Actors Agent
Pace Theatre Company
TCA Jed Root
Grantham-Hazeldine Ltd only offers representation after seeing an applicant’s work, and you may find many other talent agencies apply the same criteria. That’s why it’s often a good idea to apply for representation while you’re appearing in a London show, so you can send an invitation to the show along with your application.
In reality, most of london’s reputable acting agencies will expect Spotlight membership, experience, and drama school training from serious applicants, even if they don’t explicitly state it on their websites like the talent agencies above. A highly regarded agency such as Sainou, to give one of many, many examples, will be inundated every day with applications from actors with these backgrounds.
Some agencies only represent students and alumni from their theatre arts and acting schools. Some of these are aimed at children and young people under the age of 21, others concentrate on adults.
Allsorts Drama for Children (via Sasha Leslie Management)
Italia Conti Agency Ltd
I.A.G. (Identity Agency Group) – must attend Identity School of Acting
Esta Charkham Associates, which represents both adults and children, requires all their child actors to attend West London Drama Training.
FEA Management (Ferris Entertainment) takes on actors recommended by the screen acting masterclass instructors.
The Independent Theatre Workshop is a Theatre school in Eire, one of many good options for Irish aspiring actors who don’t want to move to London.
Top London Agencies
Your first instinct to get your acting career underway may be to approach a leading London talent agency with a roster full of household names.
But the Top 10 Acting Agencies will be interested in hearing from you after you have won notable stage and screen awards, appear as a main character in a top TV or West End show, and are constantly working. Even then, they may approach you first.
So when you are looking for an acting agency as a beginner, you can cross the following elite acting agencies in London off your list:
Curtis Brown (part of the Curtis Brown Group)
Markham Froggatt & Irwin (part of the Curtis Brown Group)
Tavistock Wood (part of the Curtis Brown Group)
William Morris Endeavor (WME)
You’ll also see that AHA Talent Ltd, Bloomfields Welch Management, Blue Book Artist Management, and many others, have busy and successful actors on their roster. This tells you the competition for places on their roster will be fierce.
Off The Kerb Productions is a leading comedy agency.
How Old Are You?
Your age matters to talent agencies. Some only accept applicants over 16, 18 or 21.
Others only represent children and young people under 25, or in the case of Allen and Abel between the ages of 4 and 30. For example:
Only a minority of acting agencies choose to represent both adults and children. For example:
Allen & Abel
Brown and Mills (BAM) including BAM Kids
Creative Kidz & Adultz
There can be further restrictions.
Allen and Abel only represent children and youngsters living within an hour of central London. Meanwhile, the adult division at Bonnie and Betty specialises in commercial casting, although it also represents a select number of young performers for TV, Film, Voiceover & Stage.
See also our page on talent agencies for UK child actors and teenage actors.
Members of the PMA
The Personal Managers Association is a membership organisation promoting and maintaining high standards in the talent agency profession. Membership gives you confidence that these are serious businesses with a long term vision.
This is the list of PMA Members in November 2022.
Not all of these agencies represent actors, and not all are in London, so do your homework BEFORE contacting them!
Abi Darling at Brynmoor
Alan Brodie Representation Ltd (writers, directors, composers)
Anita Alraun Representation
Ashrow Talent Management
Audere Talent Management
BC Creative Ltd
Blake Friedmann Literary Agency (not actors)
Blue Book Artist Management (comedy)
Brennan Artists Associates (Scotland)
Byram Hancock Associates (merger of Paul Bryam & Hancock Agency)
Caroline Dawson Associates
Cary Parsons Management (not actors)
Casarotto Ramsay (not actors)
CBL Management (Brighton)
Cecily Ware Literary Agents (not actors)
Chris Davis Management
Clare Vidal-Hall (not actors)
Coulter Management Agency Ltd
Creative Media Management (not actors)
Cruickshank Cazenove (not actors)
Culverhouse Associates (not actors)
D&B Management (14-21 year olds)
David Ball Ltd
David Higham Associates (not actors)
Dench Arnold Agency (not actors)
Echo Artists (not actors)
Elaine Steel Management (not actors)
Fillingham Weston Associates (not actors)
First Call Management
Gemma Hirst Associates Ltd (not actors)
Haworth Agency (not actors)
Hilary Gagan Associates
Hunwick Associates (Scotland)
Infinity Artists (Scotland)
Innovate Talent Management
Insanity Group (not actors)
InterTalent (AC) Ltd
JPA Management (High Wycombe)
JFL Agency Ltd (not actors)
Jonathan Clowes Ltd (not actors)
Jorg Betts Associates (musical theatre)
Josef Weinberger Ltd (not actors)
Judy Daish Associates (not actors)
Julia Tyrrell Management (not actors)
Kelly Everitt Associates
Ki Agency (not actors)
Kitson Press Associates (not actors)
Knight Hall Agency (not actors)
Linda Seifert Management (not actors)
Lizanne Crowther Management Ltd
Lorraine Brennan Management
Lowy Hamilton – LHA London
MacNaughton Lord Representation (not actors)
Maison 2 Ltd
MBA Literary Agents (not actors)
Media Artists Group
Micheline Steinberg Associates (not actors)
Michelle Kass Associates (not actors)
Mostyn & Cross
Network Artist Management (Scotland)
Nick Turner Management
NR1 Creatives Ltd
Olivia Bell Management
Performing Arts Artists’ Management (not actors)
Red Talent Management
Rochelle Stevens & Co (not actors)
Savages Personal Management
Sayle Screen (not actors)
SD Talent Management
Sheil Land (not actors)
Sophie Chapman Talent
Steve Kenis and Company
Strange Town Agency
Sylvia Young Talent Consultants CIC
The Agency (not actors)
The Foundry Personal Management
The Saffron Group
The Soho Agency (not actors)
VH Associates (not actors)
Young Actors Theatre Management
Comedians, Dancers & Presenters
There are many talent agencies devoted to other types of performance, and you may find this is a more successful route to route if you have the aptitude and skills required to excel.
A lot of London’s talent agencies represent many different creative professionals in addition to actors, but some focus exclusively on some of these other professions.
Chambers Management – comedy
AJK Agency – dancers, models, entertainers & acts
Alliston & Co. Artist Management – dancers, musical theatre performers & creatives
AMCK Management Ltd – dancers, choreographers, and creative directors
Becca Barr Management – presenters to experts, authors and content creators
Chase Personal Management – TV Presenters and actors
Classical Vision – musicians for TV, film and commercials
Love Rudeye Agency – dance agency
Talent Agencies in London
So now you’ve worked through the lists of cooperative active agencies, the talent agencies explicitly stating they only consider applications from those with drama school training and Spotlight profiles, the elite agencies for household names, the talent agencies recruiting youngsters for stage and screen, and the long list of PMA members, we now come to another list. This is one for the talent agencies not included in the lists above.
This one is complicated, and you’ll have to do your own work to see if, on the one hand, you’re up to the calibre of actors they represent, and on the other hand whether you think they’ll offer you the opportunities you’re looking for.
Look at their roster, and the work their clients are doing. Remember, commercial work, voice acting, musical theatre, TV and film acting, and theatre are all specialisms which require particular looks, skills, experience and training.
Examples of some of the specialisms:
Cheryl Hayes Management represents performers with a comedy bent.
Christina Shepherd Advertising focuses on actors for advertising and commercial work
Christopher Antony Associates specialise in musical theatre performers
Colour Pictures specialises in mainstream work for BAME performers
Do not assume any of these talent agencies are looking for beginners or are easy to get into. Some agencies, such as Mac & Jeal, are invitation only, and do not accept applications.
Each of them will receive many applications a day, which is the reason you should never follow up with a phone call, email, or visit to the office. They need to spend their time getting work for the clients they already represent, not dealing with needy newcomers who may stand little chance of success in front of casting directors.
Branded Talent (Commercial work only)
JDS Management – accepts entry level applications
Luke Gell Management Ltd – new and emerging talent
Mark Summers Management
MLA Talent (Mike Leigh Associates)
Don’t forget that you can also chase work as a background or supporting artiste, as long as you’re good with planning your diary and aware that work as an extra does not interest casting directors selecting actors.
To get paid work as a background or supporting artiste, you’ll need to get representation with an extras agency.