Hundreds of pushy middle-class parents and their talentless children were horrified to discover that Renaissance child actors were ‘kidnapped’. Rather than going through the torturous auditions, these street urchins were judged for their shapely calf muscle, instead of their narcissism and shallowness. True, they would have been sexually exploited, but in other respects it was entirely different from today’s Drama Schools.
One irate parent raged: 'I’ve attended numerous school plays, faked interest and faced bankruptcy just to get my Izzy into Sylvia Young. Are you telling me I could have had her kidnapped by a Ruff-wearing rough at a fraction of the cost?'