Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama was founded by Elsie Fogerty in 1906 (as The Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art) to offer a new form of training in speech and drama for young actors and other students. It became a constituent of the University of London in 2005. It is a member of the Federation of Drama Schools.
|Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art, Central School of Speech and Drama|
|Type||Drama school and public university conservatoire|
2005: Incorporated into the University of London
|University of London|
|Chancellor||The Princess Royal (University of London)|
|President||Michael Grandage CBE|
|Vice-president||Zoë Wanamaker CBE, Cicely Berry CBE (deceased), Carrie Fisher (deceased)|
|Vice-Chancellor||Professor Wendy Thomson (University of London)|
|Principal||Professor George Caird (Interim Principal)|
Josette Bushell-Mingo (from 2021)
|Dean||Dr Joshua Abrams (Interim Dean of School)|
Embassy Theatre, Eton Avenue,
The school offers undergraduate, postgraduate, research degrees and short courses in acting, actor training, applied theatre, theatre crafts and making, design, drama therapy, movement, musical theatre, performance, producing, research, scenography, stage management, teacher training, technical arts, voice and writing.
On 29 November 2012, the title Royal was bestowed on the school by Elizabeth II in recognition of its reputation as a "world-class institution for exceptional professional training in theatre and performance studies". It is entitled to use it in official documentation, although it continues to be colloquially referred to as "Central". The school's Patron, Princess Alexandra of Kent, played a role in recommending the institution for the title[dead link]
The school is located at Swiss Cottage in North London, an area which is being redeveloped as a "civic and cultural quarter" which includes a new extension building for the school, replacing 1960s accommodation. The school's theatre is located inside the new building which was awarded a BREEAM rating of "very good". 
Past presidents of the school include Laurence Olivier and Judi Dench. In October 2008 Harold Pinter, who attended the school in 1950–51, became its president, succeeding Peter Mandelson. He was to receive an honorary fellowship in December 2008, but had to receive it in absentia because of ill health; he died two weeks later. Michael Grandage became president in 2010.
- Harold Pinter CH CBE* (2008)
- The Right Honourable Lord Mandelson PC (2001 to 2008)
- Dame Judi Dench* (1992 to 1997)
- Dame Peggy Ashcroft* (1989 to 1992)
- The Right Honourable Lord Olivier* (1983 to 1989)
* Central alumni
In addition to being an acting school, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama offers training and education in a broad range of vocational and applied theatre specialties available, providing courses in acting, voice studies, producing, design for the stage, costume design, applied theatre & education, drama and movement therapy, lighting design and production, media and drama education, musical theatre, performance arts, prop making, puppetry, scenic art, scenic construction, costume construction, scenography, set design, theatre sound, stage management, technical and production management, directing and writing.
In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise the majority of Central's submission was judged "world leading" or "internationally excellent". The school has been ranked highly by The Guardian, placing it sixth in its league table of specialist institutions and ninth for Drama and Dance.
Central has more than 55 academic staff and a wide range of visiting lecturers and artists.
- Joss Ackland CBE – (The Hunt for Red October, Lethal Weapon 2)
- Joe Alwyn
- Riz Ahmed – (Rogue One, Centurion)
- Dame Peggy Ashcroft – (Academy Award winner for A Passage to India)
- Samantha Baines - (Magic Mike Live London, The Crown)
- Cicely Berry CBE
- Claudie Blakley
- Claire Bloom CBE - (Richard III, The Haunting, The King's Speech)
- Catherine Bohart
- Adam Bond
- Alex Bulmer
- Ben Hardy
- Jeremy Brett – (Sherlock Holmes, 1984–94)
- Ben Browder - (Farscape)
- Akosua Busia
- Mabel Constanduros
- Wendy Craig - (Butterflies, The Royal)
- Nia DaCosta
- Peter Davison – (All Creatures Great and Small, Doctor Who, At Home with the Braithwaites, The Last Detective)
- Dame Judi Dench – (Mrs Brown, Shakespeare in Love, James Bond, Iris, As Time Goes By)
- Christopher Eccleston – (Doctor Who, Thor: The Dark World, The Leftovers)
- Jennifer Ehle – (Pride and Prejudice, Fifty Shades of Grey, The King's Speech)
- Janet Ellis - (Blue Peter)
- Barry Evans – (Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush, Doctor in the House TV series)
- Carrie Fisher – (Star Wars, Hannah and Her Sisters)
- Alison Fiske
- William Fox
- James Frain – (The Tudors, Tron: Legacy)
- Martin Freeman – (Sherlock, The Hobbit)
- Dawn French – (The Vicar of Dibley, French and Saunders)
- Gael Garcia Bernal – (Babel, Rosewater)
- Alexia Gardner – (Singer-Songwriter)
- Andrew Garfield – (The Amazing Spider-Man, The Social Network)
- Jamie Glover - (Waterloo Road, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child)
- Kenneth Haigh
- Ben Hardy - (Bohemian Rhapsody, X-Men: Apocalypse)
- Kit Harington – (Game of Thrones, Pompeii)
- Jared Harris – (Mad Men, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Chernobyl)
- Cush Jumbo – (The Good Fight, The Good Wife)
- Ryan Hawley – (Emmerdale)
- Bob Hoskins – (The Long Good Friday, Who Framed Roger Rabbit)
- Ian Hunter
- Jason Isaacs – (Harry Potter, Brotherhood)
- Caroline John – (Doctor Who, Love Actually)
- Alice Krige – (Chariots of Fire, Star Trek: First Contact)
- John Laurie - (Dad's Army)
- Alison Leggatt
- Jon Lord - Deep Purple, Whitesnake
- Angus Macfadyen – (Braveheart, Saw)
- Elspeth March
- Virginia McKenna OBE – (The Cruel Sea, Carve Her Name with Pride, Born Free)
- Graham Norton – (The Graham Norton Show)
- Ita O'Brien – (Sex Education, Electric Dreams)
- Sir Laurence Olivier – (Rebecca, Henry V, Marathon Man)
- Henry Oscar
- Richard Pasco CBE
- Tom Payne – (The Physician, The Walking Dead)
- Mouche Phillips – (The Gods of Wheat Street, H2O: Just Add Water)
- Frederick Piper
- Harold Pinter CH, CBE
- James Purefoy – (Rome, The Following)
- Vanessa Redgrave CBE – (Julia, Mary, Queen of Scots)
- Tony Robinson - (Blackadder)
- Natasha Richardson – (The Parent Trap, Patty Hearst)
- Jennifer Saunders – (Absolutely Fabulous, French and Saunders)
- Rufus Sewell – (A Knight's Tale, Dark City)
- Robert Speaight
- Karla Souza – (How to Get Away with Murder)
- Catherine Tate – (Doctor Who, The Office)
- Fagun Thakrar
- Dame Sybil Thorndike
- Christopher Timothy – (All Creatures Great and Small, Doctors)
- Ann Todd
- Kathleen Turner – (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Peggy Sue Got Married)
- Mary Ure
- Marda Vanne
- Kevin Whately – (Inspector Morse, Lewis, Peak Practice)
- Julia Wilson-Dickson – dialect coach (Mighty Aphrodite, The Theory of Everything)
- Frank Windsor – (Z-Cars, Softly Softly, Softly, Softly: Taskforce)
- "Where Our Money Comes From" (PDF). Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London). Retrieved 13 December 2018.
- "Where do HE students study?". Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
- Granger, Rachel. "Rapid Scoping Study on Leicester Drama School" (PDF). De Montfort University Leicester. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
- "Courses". The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
- "Central School of Speech and Drama celebrates new Royal Title". Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London).
- "Page on Central School building". Ellis and Moore Consulting Engineers.
- Alistair Smith (14 October 2008). "Pinter Replaces Mandelson as Central President". The Stage. Archived 12 June 2011.
- "Central Announces New President" (Press release). Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London). 9 October 2008. Archived from the original on 28 December 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2008.
- "Degree Honour for Playwright Pinter". Press Association (Hosted by Google). 11 December 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2008.
- "Central's 2008 Graduation Ceremony". Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London). 12 December 2008. Archived from the original on 29 December 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
Honorary Fellowships for Harold Pinter, Jo Brand and Penny Francis.
- Mark Taylor-Batty, comp. "In Memoriam". Harold Pinter Society Webpages. The Harold Pinter Society and the University of Leeds. Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
Harold Pinter – playwright, poet, actor, director, political activist – died on 24 December 2008, aged 78.
- "University guide 2011: Specialist institutions league table". The Guardian. London. 8 June 2010.
- "University guide 2011: Drama and dance". The Guardian. London. 8 June 2010.
- "Student profiles". Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London).
- "Central awards its first PhD". Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London). 12 January 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
- Wilson-Dickson, Andrew (18 October 2015). "Julia Wilson-Dickson obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Education Guide" (Higher Education) in The Guardian
- Official website The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama – Official Website