The Central School of Speech and Drama has been awarded the “Royal Title” by Her Majesty The Queen.
The title recognises the school’s great history and reputation as a world class institution for professional theatre and performance studies.
Central will now be called “The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama” and is the only UK institution with such a wide range of training and research programmes in all aspects of theatre.
Principal Professor Gavin Henderson CBE said it has been a “landmark” year for the school with students and alumni taking part in the Olympic ceremonies.
“Central has a powerful history and global standing,” he said. “That history begins with its founder Elsie Fogerty, who believed not only in training for the theatre but in taking drama and poetry to the children of the London slums. Central will continue to build upon this history and champion community engagement in the arts.”
The “Royal” honour marks the conservatoire as ‘distinctive in its field’ as both a high-level performance college and research-active university.
The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama holds a very special place in Britain’s achievements in the dramatic arts.
Royal Patron of the School, HRH Princess Alexandra played an instrumental role in recommending Central for Royal Title. “I am so pleased that Her Majesty The Queen has conferred Royal Title upon Central, as this magnificent Diamond Jubilee year comes to a close,” she said.
“The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama holds a very special place in Britain’s achievements in the dramatic arts. One thinks of so many great actors who have benefitted from Central’s training and preparation, but the School is so much more besides, made manifestly clear in this year’s Olympics. It is a School which embraces the widest range of skills needed in the diverse profession of theatrical, film and broadcast arts.”
The school prides itself on producing high quality industry professionals, leading artists, innovators and educators in the worlds of theatre, film and television.
Renowned actress, Dame Judi Dench CE, DBE, who is both a former President and alumna of Central, said her “association with Central goes back a very long way”.
“I followed my brother there when it was housed at the Royal Albert Hall, and my daughter followed me after it was relocated to the Embassy Theatre, so we have a strong family connection and joint interest in seeing the school elevated in this year. Central is one of the top drama schools in the country and it stands at the heart of training and research for our great British theatre.”
Phil Matthews, actor and Editorial Director of Fourthwall Magazine, graduated from the acting course in 2003. He said that he was “incredibly proud of the school’s achievements”.
“The training at Central is of the highest standard,” he said. “Course tutors and directors are truly dedicated to producing the very best in the industry. That dedication is recognised here with the highest possible honour.”