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The Alumni Newsletter
Central school of speech & drama, university of london
issue 15 | july 2010
A Personal Message from Central’s
new President Michael Grandage
When I was asked to become the new President of
Central, I accepted without hesitation. I was at Central
on the acting course from 1981 to 1984 and had three
very happy years there. In the period that lies ahead, I
will seek every opportunity to promote Central and try
to give a little something back. I would also invite all
alumni to do the same. We will certainly need to stick
together as funding for arts education becomes just as
difficult to find as funding for the arts themselves.
We, as past students, need to seize every opportunity
to act as ambassadors for all that we believe is good
about Central.
Michael Grandage (by Thomas Haywood)
The theatre has always been one of the last places to
be affected in a period of recession. This is probably
because people will always want to seek some kind of
escapism when things get tough and, in the theatre,
we are able to provide extraordinary stories that
hold a mirror up to life and offer an emotional and
intellectual debate when the rest of the world seems to
be faltering. Long may this continue – but we need to
start practising a new language for government.
BAFTA Fellowship
Earlier this year BAFTA’s new
president, HRH Prince William,
presented Vanessa Redgrave (S
57) with the Academy Fellowship.
One of the most celebrated
actresses of her generation,
Vanessa has enjoyed a successful
career, spanning six decades and
has received great acclaim for
her work on stage, in television
and film. Awarded annually, the
Fellowship is the highest accolade
bestowed by the Academy and has
previously been presented
to Central alumni Dame
Judi Dench (S 57),
Dawn French (T 80)
and Jennifer
Saunders (T 80).
Vanessa Redgrave ( care of
Gavin Barker Associates Ltd)
A language that reminds our leaders of our cultural
heritage – a language that reminds them that the
identity of any nation is defined through its culture.
We need writers, actors, directors, educators and all
practitioners to define the times they are living in, and
everyone from Central – past and present – has an
important voice in the cultural landscape that is now
Over twenty-five years ago, Central taught me all
sorts of practical things – how to speak properly, how
to move, how to understand text – but it also taught
me to observe the world, to have a point of view, to be
consistent, to aspire, to read, and above all, to learn to
use the past to inform the future. It was a training for
life as much as for the profession I was about to enter.
I owe this school everything and I invite all alumni
who believe in Central to join me in finding every
opportunity to promote its good name in the
challenging years ahead.
MBE Award for Services
to Children and Families
Elisabeth, Donne and Jane Buck
Elisabeth Buck (T 62) has
been awarded an MBE in
recognition of her services
to children and families.
Elisabeth was one of the founding
members of the New Ark Adventure
Playground in Peterborough and
has spent 35 years working with the
city’s children. The project has grown
dramatically since its humble beginnings
as a playgroup and now caters for 450
youngsters aged up to 16. The New
Ark project includes an adventure
playground, city farm, eco-centre and a
community garden all with an emphasis
on outdoor play, natural materials
and learning through discovery and
exploration. Elisabeth collected her
award in front of family including her
husband Donne Buck (CSD 62), whom
she met whilst studying at Central,
and their youngest daughter, Jane.
Commenting on her honour, Elisabeth
said: “I don’t see it as an award for myself,
but for the New Ark Centre in general,
and everyone who has been involved
in it in the past”.
Your newsletter is about Central alumni in all fields of work (in the public arena or not) and our content depends on your contributions.
If you have news or an experience to recount, please contact the Alumni Office at [email protected] Tel: +44 (0)20 7449 1628.
2 | Alumni NEws
Awards and Nominations
Congratulations to our alumni for their many marks of achievement
Clockwise from top left: Valmike Rampersad (by Claire Newman Williams); Bijan Sheibani (care of ATC); The Case of My Visit (by Goran Katic); Sam Peter Jackson (by Phil Matthews); Valene Kane in The Fading Light;
Naana Agyei-Ampadu (by Nathan Amzi); Sinead Rushe (by Peter Hallward)
Tony Award and
Olivier Nominations
Michael Grandage (S 84) won a Tony Award for
his recent direction of Red, the critically acclaimed
Donmar production about Mark Rothko, the master
of twentieth century abstract impressionism,
which opened at Broadway’s Golden Theatre in
March. Michael was also nominated for an Olivier
Award for Best Director for his production of
Hamlet for the Donmar at Wyndham’s Theatre.
Also nominated in the Best Director category for
an Olivier Award was Bijan Sheibani (MA ATP
01), Artistic Director of the ATC, for Our Class at
the Cottesloe, National Theatre.
Theatregoers’ Choice Awards
Sam Peter Jackson (BA A 03) was nominated
for Best New Comedy in the Whatsonstage
Theatregoers’ Choice Award for his play Public
Property at the Trafalgar Studios. Sam also co-wrote
and presented the 2010 Channel 4 documentary The
Other Michael Jackson: Battle of the Boogie about his
father, singer/songwriter Mick Jackson, who wrote
the song Blame It On The Boogie.
Skillset Millennium Awards
Jeunes Talents Cirque
Valmike Rampersad (MA AfS 07) appeared
in the film Hotel which was a semi-finalist
for this year’s Oscars and was screened at the
London Independent Film Festival in April.
Another of Valmike’s films, Malachi, won the
Skillset Millennium Award. The Cost of Love was
nominated Best UK Debut Feature at the East
End Film Festival and won the Grand Prix at the
End of The Pier International Film Festival.
Liat Rosenthal (BS ST 75) was shortlised
for the Jeunes Talents Cirque, and was
supported by Crying Out Loud in the research
and development phase of My Visit, a piece
which fused aerial arts and animation. The
piece explored the experiences of young people
visiting their parents in prison. The Jeunes
Talents Cirque enables collaborations between
a range of practitioners, including puppeteers,
directors, writers and designers and brings
a fresh perspective to the creation of circus
Evening Standard Theatre Awards
Naana Agyei-Ampadu (MA MT 06) was
nominated for the The Milton Shulman Award for
Outstanding Newcomer at The Evening Standard
Theatre Awards for her performance in Been So
Long at The Young Vic.
Dublin International Film Festival
Valene Kane (BA A 06) took a leading role in the
film The Fading Light directed by Ivan Kavanagh
which has won Best Irish Film at the Jameson
Dublin International Film Festival.
Dance Critics’ Circle Awards
Sinéad Rushe (MA ATP 98) directed Out
of Time, a dance-theatre show performed by
Colin Dunne, which was nominated for a Dance
Critics’ Circle Award and a 2010 Olivier Award
for its run at the Barbican Theatre in London.
The show is currently on tour in France and
Sweden and will be performed at Théâtre
National de Chaillot in Paris next year.
We do our best to find out about alumni who receive awards through the press, other alumni and our faculty.
Please let us know if you receive an award or know of someone who has. Thank you!
Performers: Are we on your agent’s email press release list? Please ask them to add us – [email protected]
Alumni NEws | 3
Movie News
Central alumni star both on and behind the silver screen
Graduation (by Lucy Pope)
Ceremony 2009
For the first time, on December 7, 2009,
Central’s graduation ceremony was held in the
spectacular surroundings of London Southbank’s
Royal Festival Hall. Over 1000 people were
in attendance to watch the graduating cohort
receive their degrees, conferred by Sir Graeme
Davies, Vice-Chancellor of the University of
London. We would like to take this opportunity
to offer our congratulations to all our new alumni
and a warm welcome to your first newsletter!
Three Honorary Fellowships were presented
during the ceremony. The first was awarded
to Dame Jennifer Abramsky DBE for her
services as Director of Audio and Music at the
BBC. Simon McBurney OBE, Artistic Director
of Complicité theatre company, was also
honoured alongside Central alumnus, and one
of the most cherished British actors of the last
fifty years, Joss Ackland CBE (S 64).
Clockwise from top left: Andrew Garfield (by Dillon Bryden); Nonso Anozie (care of Garricks); Andrew Jack on set of The Wolfman
with Geraldine Chaplin (by Frank Connor); Gael García Bernal (care of Gordon and French)
Andrew Garfield (BA A 04) has recently
been announced as the new Spider-man
in the next outing of the film series
due for release in 2012. Andrew is also
appearing alongside Keira Knightley in the
forthcoming British sci-fi thriller Never Let
Me Go and is filming The Social Network
based on Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental
Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a
Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal.
Both films are due for release later this year.
Gael Garcia Bernal (S 00) is currently
filming Earthbound, a film about a female
cancer victim who falls in love with her
doctor, co-starring Kate Hudson, Whoopi
Goldberg and Treat Williams.
Christopher Eccleston (S 86) starred as
navigator Fred Noonan in the film Amelia,
charting the story of Amelia Earhart who
won the Distinguished Flying Cross for
being the first woman to pilot a plane
solo across the Atlantic Ocean. The film
co-starred Hilary Swank, Richard Gere
and Ewan McGregor.
Andrew Jack (S 61) was responsible for
the dialect work on a number of high profile
films including Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood,
Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes and Joe
Johnston’s The Wolfman. For The Lord of the
Rings trilogy he created the Middle-earth
accents and taught them, along with Elvish
and Black Speech, to the entire cast. Andrew
also continues to give his time to actors and
theatre projects that have limited funds
whenever he can.
Nonso Anozie (BA A 02) appeared in the
family film Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang
alongside Emma Thompson, who was once
again transformed into the mysterious
nanny with unsettling features.
Cush Jumbo (A 06) appeared
as Eliza Doolittle in Greg Hersov’s revival of
George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion at the Royal
Exchange during May/June 2010. Best known
for her starring role in BBC’s Torchwood series,
Cush played alongside Simon Robson, Terence
Wilton and Ian Bartholomew and received
excellent reviews.
Photo by Jonathan Keenan
4 | Alumni NEws
Alumni Side-by-side
The film and theatre industries are relatively small and inevitably
our alumni sometimes find themselves working together on high
profile projects
Oliver Chris (BA A 00) starred as
Bottom opposite Dame Judi Dench
(S 57) playing Titania in Sir Peter Hall’s
production of A Midsummer Night’s
Dream at the Rose Theatre, Kingston. The
performance reunited Hall and Dench, an
enduring theatrical partnership spanning
some fifty years. Judi Dench first played
Titania for with the Royal Shakespeare
Company in 1962.
James Purefoy (S 88) starred as Solomon
opposite Alice Krige (S 89) in February’s
epic blockbuster Solomon Kane. A fictional
character created by the pulp-era writer
Robert E. Howard, Solomon is a 17th
century Puritan who, on meeting the
Devil’s Reaper, renounces violence to atone
for his past sins and seeks redemption.
Kristin Scott-Thomas (BEd SD 80) and
Philip Glenister (S 90) are filming Bel
Ami, a chronicle of a young man’s rise to
power in Paris via his manipulation of the
city’s most influential and wealthy women.
The film, directed by Declan Donnellan and
Nick Ormerod is due for release in 2011.
James Nesbitt (S 88) will be appearing
as Sicinius in Coriolanus, the directorial
debut by Ralph Fiennes, alongside Vanessa
Redgrave (S 57). Fiennes will also star in the
title role of this contemporary retelling of the
Shakespeare tragedy about a disputatious
Roman general who leads a rebellion against
the empire, with Vanessa Redgrave playing his
ambitious mother Volumnia.
Joan Washington (T 68) will be working
as a dialect coach on both Coriolanus and
Bel Ami.
Natasha Richardson (care of Independent Talent)
A fitting farewell
In May, the BA (Hons) Acting course
was honoured to be invited to participate
in a memorial service for Natasha
Richardson (Dip A 83) at the Royal Court
Theatre. Geoff Colman, Central’s Head of
Acting, recalls an overwhelming day.
“With Natasha’s beautiful sister Joely Richardson
welcoming guests and Vanessa Redgrave attending
to people like the mother of a vast family, we
entered feeling a little like trespassers, but within
minutes, with open arms, we were welcomed with
such warmth that we felt part of the family.
There were many speeches from those that had
known and worked with Natasha; a bittersweet
lamentation from Dame Maggie Smith who
spoke of simple shared moments, and her sister
Joely’s recollections about family life, so movingly
framed through both smiles and tears. It was
perhaps Vanessa Redgrave, standing strong, as
if braced for a hurricane, that pulled the many
threads and thoughts of this day together – her
body betrayed such strength and continuance –
and with such surprising optimism and warmth
her words, quietly offered, bore no rage. The Royal
Court was soaked in silence, and in pain.
Towards the end of the service I spoke on behalf
of Central and introduced students from the third
year musical theatre pathway. Led by Wendy
Gadian, Musical Stage Pathway Leader, they went
on to perform the song True Love from High Society
– one of Natasha’s favourite pieces. The students
were joined in a last verse by the whole theatre –
making the sense of family, in its wider context,
very real. The memorial concluded with a film
montage of Natasha’s life, which served as a jolt to
us all – a provocation of sorts – here was a beautiful
woman taken and we remained. A provocation to
live our lives, for one day they too will be taken.”
Judi Dench and Oliver Chris in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (by Nobby Clark)
With these thoughts in mind, it was with great
sadness that Central heard of the passing of
Lynn Redgrave (S 61) just days after Natasha’s
memorial service. Our thoughts go out to all
the Redgrave family at this difficult time. A full
obituary piece dedicated to Lynn’s memory will be
carried in the next issue of the newsletter.
Alumni NEws | 5
Festival Roundup
Alumni who have been, or will be, taking part in Winter 2009/Summer 2010 festivals
Clockwise from top left: Virtous Flock (by Lauren Overs); Emma Reade-Davies and husband David Sayers; Mercy Ojelade (by Robert Day); Still from E’gad Zombies
New Zealand and
Australian Festivals
Mercy Ojelade (MA ATC 08) has been touring
throughout New Zealand and Australia for
the International Arts Festival, and the Perth
and Adelaide Festivals, playing Hayley in The
Walworth Farce for Druid Theatre, Ireland.
The play, by Enda Walsh and directed by Mikel
Murfi, finished its tour in April at the Sydney
Theatre Company.
Cannes Film Festival
John Fitzpatrick (BA A08), Victoria Hart
(BA A 06), Anneka Haskins (BA A 06), Ben
Lee (BA A 06) and Virginia Godwin (BA
A 06) are starring together in the short film
E’gad Zombies which will be shown at the 2010
Cannes Film Festival. The film is co-written and
produced by Tori Hart and is narrated by Sir
Ian McKellen.
Brighton Festival
Emma Reade-Davies’ (BA A 04) theatre
company Time&Tide appeared at The
Brighton Festival in May during the Midnight
Horror slots with the company’s production
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Lauren Overs (BA DE 03) will again be in the
Edinburgh Fringe festival this August with her
theatre company, N10 Productions, premiering
a new piece of writing, Virtuous Flock by Billy
Barrett. N10 Productions works specifically with
young people and is committed to developing
a wide range of theatrical experiences that
combine innovative movement, original live
music and high energy ensemble performances.
The show is inspired by Le Théâtre du GrandGuignol and the Victorian weekly serial booklets,
The Penny Dreadfuls, and will take audiences
back to the era of flamboyant melodrama and
lurid gothic horror.
6 | Alumni NEws
West End
Aoife Mulholland and company in Legally Blonde (by Ellie Kurttz)
Amy Beth Hayes (by Jocelyn Bain Hogg)
Central has a long history of alumni
who have gone on to become stars
of the West End. Here, two up-andcoming female performers, Aoife
Mulholland (MA MT 06) who is
currently performing in Legally
Blonde, and Amy Beth Hayes (BA
A 07) who appears in Jerusalem,
talk candidly about their journey
to living the dream.
Q. What brought you to Central and
how did the experiences you had here
change you?
Q: Can you tell us about how your
careers have progressed since leaving
Aoife: I come from a very musical family
and we were always encouraged to get up and
sing and play at family gatherings. I studied
for a music degree in Ireland and then spent
a year travelling Australia. When I came
home, I decided I needed to be sensible
and get a 9-5 job and began working in an
insurance company. One day I just thought ‘I
can’t do this anymore’. I had to give musical
theatre a shot or I knew it would be the
biggest regret of my life. Central has a great
reputation and everyone recognises it as an
exceptional school for dramatic arts. I loved
my time there and I made some wonderful
friends. I feel I’m definitely a more open, less
inhibited performer than when I started out.
Aoife: When I left Central I applied for the
BBC TV show How Do You Solve a Problem
Like Maria?, a reality TV show looking for
a girl to play Maria Rainer in The Sound of
Music, and came 4th out of 7000 hopefuls.
The exposure I got from the programme
was invaluable and it’s how I got my first big
break. Someone from Chicago saw me on
the programme and asked me to audition for
Roxie Hart. I played Roxie for 5 months and
was then asked to be alternate Maria in The
Sound of Music.
Amy: I don’t come from a theatrical background
but my dad used to read me lots of poetry when
I was little which helped to develop my love of
language. I was thrilled when I got a place at
Central as I had heard that it had a reputation
as being quite ‘edgy’ and I felt like it was a good
fit for me. I have so many great memories from
my time at Central and I made some amazing
friends. I think the intensity of those three
years and the adrenalized atmosphere can’t
help but change you.
Now I’m playing Brooke, a fitness queen
accused of killing her husband, in Legally
Blonde. I panicked when I was researching
the role and saw that Brooke’s big number
involves her doing a workout where she’s
singing and skipping simultaneously. When I
tried the combination, I collapsed after about
20 seconds! Rehearsals involved an hour of
skipping and singing every day for 4 weeks,
and by the end of it, I managed to get to the
end of the routine without throwing up!
Amy: Just before leaving Central I got the
part of Edie in On the Waterfront directed
by Steven Berkoff, which was a fantastic
Alumni NEws | 7
experience. Soon after that, I auditioned
for a feature film called Eve and got the lead
part. It was a long shoot, grueling hours and a
complete baptism of fire into the industry and
I learnt so much about myself.
Jerusalem is one of those plays that
doesn’t come along very often. It really is a
magnificent piece of writing. Working with
Mark Rylance (who plays the lead role) has
been incredible. I have learnt so much from
watching him, how he changes and constantly
adapts his performance. I play his ex partner
Dawn, the mother of his child who has fought
to get away from his dangerous and seductive
world and yet still loves him. It’s an interesting
contradiction to play.
Q. Has there been one particular
highlight of your career so far?
Aoife: One of the big highlights for me,
aside from playing Maria at the Palladium,
was producing, directing and performing
my autobiographical show Sway in my
hometown. The idea stemmed from people
asking about my experiences and what it was
like to perform in the West End. It occurred to
me that I could make a show out of my story,
from when I left Galway, up to landing the role
of Maria. Each experience is accompanied
by songs that meant something to me at that
time – from my first audition song for Central,
to All that Jazz. I couldn’t have done the show
without the help of former Central tutor
Heather Weir, who accompanied me on piano
as well as doing all the orchestration.
Amy: It’s difficult to pick one highlight as I’ve
loved different parts for different reasons.
I really enjoyed playing my character in
Misfits (E4 comedy drama) and I’ve loved
playing Dawn in Jerusalem too, but I think
my favourite character would be Madison
in True Love Lies at The Royal Exchange in
Manchester. She was bright, opinionated,
rebellious and swore like a trooper.
Q. Is there a particular role you would
like to play and what direction do you
see your career taking over the next few
Aoife: I would love to play Eliza Doolittle. She
has everything in one character. I love the way
she transforms herself from a common market
girl into a poised middle class lady. In the future,
I would like to turn my hand to some straight
acting – plays, TV, film etc… but who knows.
Below are just a few examples of our
alumni who have been performing in,
or working on, West End shows:
Emily Cooper (BA TP 04), Matthew Forbes
(BA A 08) and Toby Olié (BA TP 06) are all
performing in War Horse at the National Theatre.
Anna Freeman (BA A 08) is understudying
in Enron at the Noel Coward Theatre. Clare
Hibberd (BA TP 04) has recently finished her
contract as Sound Number 3 on the international
tour of Mamma Mia! and is now Number 3 on
Love Never Dies at the Adelphi. Anna Clarke (BA
A 09) is playing the role of the Rose Seller and
2nd Cover Nancy in Oliver! at the Theatre Royal.
Rodger Neate (TP 68) is production managing
Mamma Mia! at the Prince of Wales Theatre.
Gina Beck (BA A 04) made her West End debut as
Cosette in Les Misérables and is now performing
as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera
at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Amy: A role I would love to play would
be Blanche Dubois in Streetcar, and Lady
Macbeth is also up there too. I don’t really
know what the future holds for me yet and I’m
a teensy bit superstitious so wouldn’t like to
say. I do love the theatre though.
Q. Is there anything that you know now
that you wish you knew when you were
first starting out?
Aoife: I visited Central back in February
and gave a talk to the third year MA Musical
Theatre students and it was a very humbling
experience. It made me realise how lucky I
have been in my career. Showbiz is a tough
industry and you really have to keep believing
in yourself and your ability.
Amy: You have to learn not to take it
personally when things don’t go your way in
auditions as there are so many factors in the
casting process and your ability is just one of
them. Take all the help you can get, always be
involved and save some money for tax!
Aoife: The life of a struggling actor can be
difficult, but nothing beats the feeling of
getting ‘that’ job, and being paid for it!
8 | Alumni NEws
Alumni Working in the Community
From arts projects, to teachers, to charity workers, Central alumni are shaping
communities both at home and abroad
Counselling and EducatioN
Jill Edwards (T 57) was originally encouraged
to enrol at Central by her school drama teacher
who herself trained at Central in the 1940s.
After completion of the course Jill spent a
number of years teaching at various schools
around the country before being asked by the
Bedford Marriage Guidance Council (now
Relate), to become involved in their education
work in Bedfordshire schools.
At the time, counselling was still in its infancy
and Jill was also asked to give guidance about
dealing with domestic violence to young police
officers and GPs in training. After 20 years
service at Relate, Jill returned to teaching by
assisting at local primary schools and now, aged
75, has been asked to become involved in the
English-Speaking Union’s Discover Your
Voice project.
The ESU has a long history of organising public
speaking and debating competitions and Jill
said “I am still using my marvellous Central
training to help younger generations and I am
very happy to help expand this initiative and
foster excellence in spoken English.”
Jill Edwards (by Patrick Baldwin)
Community Engagement in North London
Maria Dimitriou
East London
Arts Charity
Maria Dimitriou (MA ATP 09) won a
place on the Vodafone Foundation’s 2009
World of Difference UK programme,
which offers the chance to work for a
charity of choice on a two month paid
placement. Maria chose to work with
Eastside Educational Trust, an arts and
education charity based in East London,
which aims to motivate and inspire young
people using the arts.
Maria began her placement in January
working as a Performing Arts intern,
co-ordinating performing arts projects
and organising related events such as
creative careers fairs.
She comments: “Theatre, dance, music
and fine art can really make a difference
in the world, especially when used in
education. It is vital that young people
express and explore themselves through
the arts and I’m so glad I can help them.”
IsoProductions (by Carissa Lynch)
Carissa Lynch (MA AT 09)
and Keri Jenkins (A 08)
are part of the core team of
IsoProductions who work with
emerging talent, encouraging
creative relationships between
established and developing
IsoProductions has most recently contributed
to the Market Estate Demolition Event with
their performance Rather than Words Comes
the Thought of High Windows. Supported by
the Southern Housing Group, the Market
Estate Demolition Event provided a creative
playground for artists and designers and gave
residents of the 1960s high-rise council housing
flats in Islington a chance to celebrate the life
history of their building prior to their
relocation and its demolition.
Inspired by newspaper articles written about
the Market Estate and encounters with those
living there, the piece questioned: Can you live
metres apart and not be neighbours? Can you
build walls within the walls of your building?
And, can you knock windows through them?
Alumni NEws | 9
Children on the Edge
Emily Dadson (née Reed) (SM 85) spent a
number of years working happily in live theatre
before taking the opportunity to travel the world.
During her trip, she was struck by how fortunate
our lives in the West are and how desperate
some people’s can be. On her return to the UK
Emily found a new way of applying the skills
learnt at Central; hard work, giving everything
a try and the ability to do several things at once.
Now, 25 years on, Emily uses these skills to run
the UK office for the international children’s
charity, Children on the Edge.
“The reality of what we do is driven home when
I visit our projects overseas. A while back I
visited our post-tsunami project in Banda
Aceh, Indonesia. The scenes of destruction
were horrific – nothing but the mosque still
standing and family lives shattered. And yet for
these people there is always a hope, a dream, a
determination to keep going.”
For more information about Children on the
Edge, to make a donation or recommend a
patron please visit
Emily Dadson working with children on behalf of Children on the Edge
Preventing Violent Extremism Scheme
Dershe Shah (BA DATE 09) has recently
started her own company, New Movement
Theatre, with co-founders Patrice Etienne
and Giselle Gant. Their first play, The Bay,
an interactive piece based on Guantanamo
Bay prisons, was first staged at The
Roundhouse Theatre during the 2009
Accidental Festival.
After a successful run, the group were
approached about featuring the play in a
magazine that would form part of a teaching
resource pack. The pack was created under
the government’s Preventing Violent
Extremism scheme and allows teachers
to use the play as a stimulus to explore
themes of faith, religion, human rights and
identity in a classroom setting. To date the
play has been taught to over 600 students
throughout London and in the coming
months New Movement Theatre will be
focusing on having the play re-staged.
Cast of The Bay (care of Hounslow Council)
10 | Alumni NEws
Supporting central
Central alumni have a strong tradition of giving back to the School. Here are just some recent examples
Across from top left: Tom Payne and Alex Farrow; Frank Osborne and Lauren-Amy Kellegher; David Hartley, Ben Lambert, Jacobsen Milne and Rebecca Layoo; Sophie Williams, Lauren-Amy Kellegher and Julia Sandiford;
Matthew Forbes and Frank Osborne; Ben Caplan, Sam Clark, Lauren-Amy Kellegher and Fernando Gordon; Catherine Alexandra, Fernando Gordon and Chu Omambala; Russel Bentley and Angus Lindsey; Pippa Wildwood,
Leon Trayman and Meilir Rhys Williams
BA Acting
Mentorship Scheme
Now in its third year, the BA Acting
mentorship scheme provides
support to final year students in
their move towards graduation
and the profession.
In what is now becoming an annual event,
the Mentoring Reception took place on
9 December 2009 and all mentors and mentees
were invited to gather together in a preChristmas celebration.
Sheraiah Larcher, Tom Payne, Sally
Bretton, Sheri-An Davis, Chetna Pandya,
Annabel Bates, Chukwuna Omambala,
Russell Bentley, Emily Pollet, Siobhan
McSweeney, Anna Reynolds, Ben Caplan,
Matthew Forbes, Julia Sandiford,
Angus Lindsay, Leon Trayman, Luke
Osborne, Ben Lambert, David Hartley,
Carl Prekopp, Adam Henderson Scott,
Gina Beck, Louise Gaunson and Jessica
Our thanks go out to the following BA Acting
alumni who have kindly provided their support
of the scheme during 2009/10:
If you would like to find out more about
the upcoming 2010/11 cycle of the scheme
please contact [email protected]
Recent alumni act as mentors and help to
bridge the gap between students’ experiences at
Central and the industry they are about to enter,
and mentees regard their mentors as an informal
source of advice and guidance.
Alumni NEws | 11
How could you support us?
Colleges and universities throughout the UK
have been navigating very stormy waters
recently and this may be set to continue for
many years to come.
Recent governmental budget announcements
have made it clear that, although funding for
schools is to be protected, funding for Higher
Education is not. Central is going to have to find
new ways to maintain our position of excellence
in theatre training and to navigate the tough
economic climate ahead of us.
In order to safeguard our future, Central will
be seeking support in both financial and nonfinancial ways from our alumni, friends and
benefactors. We will be fundraising more
proactively than in the past and you’ll be hearing
more about this over the coming months. We
are also aware that our alumni have immense
potential to support us in non-financial ways,
simply because you move in circles which we, as
an institution, don’t naturally inhabit.
Support is needed in the following areas:
> Assistance for students experiencing financial
hardship meeting living expenses or fees
> Workshops and placement costs
> Travel expenses for students’ outreach projects
and further learning during the holidays
> Enabling students to take part in public festivals,
gaining exposure and experience
> Termly student public production costs
> Equipment and facilities
> Student recruitment drives, both at home and
> Enhancing the profile and reach of our events
and publicity materials
> Expanding our network of contacts both inside
and outside the industry
Ways in which you could show your
Spread the word
Do you ever talk about where you trained?
Could you get this information into a printed
programme or a broadcast? Do you get the chance
to recommend us to potential students?
Introduce us
Perhaps an individual or organisation you know
would be interested in sponsoring us? Perhaps
you, or someone you know, could support us in a
charitable trust application?
Help in kind
Volunteer to help with a fundraising event. For
example, provide the venue, help us contact your
year group, or agree to be the figurehead.
Donations and legacies
A one-off or recurring donation, or a legacy in your
Will. If you live abroad we can assist in making the
best use of your tax arrangements or provide options
for paying in non-sterling currency.
Lend us your profile
Testimonials, photographs from and associations
with alumni in the public eye can enhance our
ability to attract support or attention for important
work, for example on the recruitment pages of our
website, the launch of a particular fundraising
project, attending an event, recruitment open
day or international audition. If you could donate
some of your time, perhaps we could even launch a
fundraising event around you!
If you would like to show support in one
of these ways, or have ideas of your own,
please contact:
Caroline Clark
The Development Office
[email protected]
Tel: +44(0) 20 7559 3997
BA DATE Alumni
Current Students
The Directed Production Unit of the BA
(Hons) Drama, Applied Theatre and
Education course traditionally takes place
at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall. For the
first time this year, students were offered
the alternative option of performing at the
Fuse Medway Festival in Chatham, Kent,
an annual celebration of arts and creativity
featuring street arts days, family events, dance,
rural touring and public art commissions.
The collaboration came about when, ten years
after graduating from Central themselves, Kate
Hazel (DE 00) and Robyn Goldsmith (DE 00)
found themselves working together for Medway
Council Arts Development Team; Kate as the
Artistic Director of Fuse Medway Festival and
Robyn as the Education and Outreach Officer.
Prior to the festival, which took place in June
2010, Kate and Robyn worked closely with
their former lecturers at Central to make the
arrangements and, with the support of alumni
Kate McGregor (BA DATE 07), Eddie Latter
(BA DE 97) and Adam Sibbald (BA DATE 08),
the first-year students devised the family show
The Doctor’s Daughter. Half the students opted
to take the show to the Minack and the other
half chose to tour with the Fuse Festival.
“This was the first time that the students have
performed anywhere other than The Minack
Theatre and we are proud that the students
chose to become part of our festival” said
Robyn. “Both Kate and I enjoyed our time at the
Minack when we were at Central, so we knew
it would be tough to compete with, but when
we visited the students many of them could
see that Medway was an exciting alternative to
Cornwall. The students experienced touring
and performing at five very different rural sites,
right in the heart of communities where public
events like these are rare”.
After a hugely successful run at the festival, it
is hoped that the collaboration will continue
for years to come. For more details on the
Fuse Festival visit
BA DATE alumni Bonny Coombe (09),
Emma Huet ( DE09), Peter Griffin (09),
Nicole Stoute (05), Jason Wong (07), Mark
Trottman (07) and Andy Buckley (07) have all
kindly offered their services in supporting firstyear students on the internationally renowned BA
(Hons) Drama, Applied Theatre and Education
(DATE) course. The course is intended for
students interested in studying and applying the
practice and theory of drama and theatre within
a range of social, community and educational
contexts and is one of the most well-established
courses in the country for such work.
Students of the DATE course come from a
wide variety of backgrounds and the mentoring
scheme is aimed at supporting students through
the sometimes difficult transition to Higher
Education. Our thanks go out to all those involved
in this important project. If you would like to
be involved in future developments of the
scheme please contact Amanda Stuart
Fisher on [email protected]
12 | Alumni NEws
Alumni in the Building
There is a constant stream of alumni through our doors at Central, and it is hard to overstate the contribution
you make when you return. Alumni return to us as visiting speakers, to collaborate on student projects, to attend
reunions, to mentor and in an array of other guises. If you plan to visit, please contact the alumni office on
[email protected]
Clockwise from left: Sara Kestelman, Terence Stamp and Nickolas Grace (by TSD); Tech School (by Nick Moran); Geoff Felix (by Tapiwa Nthambi)
In Conversation: Nickolas
Grace and Terence Stamp
During the summer term, third-year Acting
students were honoured to be invited as a private
audience to an onstage interview between
alumnus, renowned actor and founder of the
Central alumni association, Nickolas Grace
(S 69) and the distinguished actor, film star and
Webber Douglas alumnus Terence Stamp.
The interview between these old friends covered
Stamp’s early days, idolising the film actors
Gary Cooper and James Dean, his hilarious
reminiscences of his flatshare with fellow rising
star Michael Caine and his film debut in Peter
Ustinov’s adaptation of Herman Melville’s
Billy Budd (1962).
Stamp went on to describe how his initial
successes were revived in the late 70s when,
after a 10-year break travelling and living in
India, he returned home to star as the evil
General Zod in Superman (1979) and in 1984
he delivered what many consider his finest
performance in Stephen Frears’ The Hit. A series
of subsequent leading roles were capped by his
performance as the transsexual, Bernadette, in
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
(1994), and his role as the vengeful gangster in
The Limey (1999) which firmly placed Stamp
back in the British consciousness.
For the students to hear such an uninhibited
and personal memoir was an unforgettable and
enlightening experience.
Our thanks go out to both Nickolas and Terence
for volunteering this unique opportunity.
Other alumni in the building
Alumni Sophie Walding (PGCE 04) and
Sylvan Baker (MA AT07) delivered sessions
to 3rd year students on the BA DATE Reflective
Practitioner module.
Lydia Cawson (BATP 08) has been working on
the costumes for the short films produced by the
MA Acting for Screen course.
Geoff Felix (BEd SD 80) returned to Central
during February to perform his renowned
traditional Punch and Judy show to BA DATE
students who were working to produce a studio
performance or play backed with understanding
of relevant applied theatre concepts.
Emma Pile (BATP 08) has taught CAD drawing
skills to first and second-year BATP Scenic
Construction students and invigilated the
competency test for second-year BATP Design
for Stage students.
James Purefoy (S 88) returned to Central during
January to deliver a workshop to BA Acting for
Stage and Screen third-years on how to get work as
an actor and how to maximise employment while
retaining a personal ethic. James also directed
King Lear with AfSS second-years during June.
Amie Shilan (MAATP 07) supported students
on the MA Advanced Theatre Practice course by
production managing their Stage Two practices
during March.
Tom Hackley (BATP 08) and Alex Stone
(BATP 06) worked together with Nick Moran
(BATP Senior Lecturer for Lighting Design) to
devise and produce Tech School, a week long
course in conjunction with the Arcola Theatre,
with the aim of introducing people to careers in
technical theatre. For further information on the
project please contact [email protected]
Emily Harding (BATP 07) is currently working
as a Stage Manager on the Bridging Project,
which consists of three Shakespearian tragedies
involving second-year Acting students and first
and second-year Theatre Practice students.
Jemma Carpenter (BATP 04) and Julia
Wickham (BATP 01) visited Central on behalf
of the National Theatre to give presentations to
third-year BATP Stage Management students
as part of the Future Practice unit.
Alumni NEws | 13
After Central
In this section, we like to hear from alumni whose careers have taken unexpected and interesting turns…
either before or after graduation….
Alistair Scott (MACA 06)
From investment banker to professional actor
“I had always wanted to be an actor but for many
years I failed to follow up on the dream, partly
from an over-developed sense of prudence and
also latterly a feeling that I had left it all too late.
I followed the path more travelled, did a ‘proper’
degree, had a sensible career, wore a suit, and
ended up as an investment banker based in Asia.
“Making a career change like
this throws up several surprises.
Starting at the bottom again
involves substantial helpings
of humble pie, and former
colleagues and clients remain
utterly bemused.”
I maintained my passion for acting in my spare
time but became more and more certain it
was something I wanted to do professionally.
However, across Asia, the audience for English
speaking theatre is fairly small and there seemed
no practical route forward until a chance
conversation with visiting director Scott Williams
who mentioned the MA courses that were starting
up in the UK.
During a business trip to London in 2003 I visited
Central to find out more about the courses and
had a session with Rob Clare, who was leading the
new MA Classical Acting course. To my surprise
I was offered a place but, as my wife and I had just
adopted two toddlers, plans had to be put on hold
whilst we settled the girls. However, two years later
in late 2005, I was able to join.
And life after Central? As a mature student, I
probably have fewer years to get my career moving
before senility strikes and in the early days I took
almost any job, but I’m getting more choosy now.
Like most actors, the work has been very varied
and intermittent, ranging from some shockingly
bad fringe productions to interesting new writing
projects and some classical work. I have also
tapped into corporate training, helping other men
in suits to improve their public speaking, and
some screen work where I mainly seem to be cast
as, surprise, surprise, a businessman or a crime
boss, the two clearly being indistinguishable.
Making a career change like this throws up several
surprises. You discover how institutionalised and
risk averse you have become. Starting at the bottom
again involves substantial helpings of humble
pie, and former colleagues and clients remain
utterly bemused by the choice you’ve made. But
it is wonderfully different – this week I head to
Amsterdam to play a villain in a low-budget thriller,
then return to start rehearsals as Baptista, the father
in The Taming of the Shrew. As the father to two
increasingly stroppy daughters this, at least,
is one part which life has prepared me for.”
Rose Turner (MA PPR 08)
A Programme Coordinator taking interactive theatre into care homes
“Following an MA in Performance Practices
and Research at Central, I worked as an actor in
children’s theatre, and was happy to make my living
as a performer. The explorative structure of the MA
had appealed to me because I loved performing, but
I was also interested in pursuing psychology and
so I developed a practice that explored the ways
that psychological phenomena – like memory and
emotion – translate into performance art. After
Central, and alongside my acting work, I began
studying towards a Diploma in Psychology through
the Open University in order to develop this
interest in psychological research further.
In late 2009 I took on the role of Research
Associate on a Leverhulme Trust-endorsed
project between the Universities of Surrey
and Edinburgh. The project, Talking with UK
Centenarians, led by Professor Tina Koch, aimed
to explore the common factors affecting longevity,
as well as to reverse negative stereotypes
surrounding older people, through the publication
of a book (due to be published later this year)
containing the life stories of 20 of the 11,000
centenarians currently living in the UK. The
project fell into the category of storytelling, and I
was excited by its links with theatre.
One of the most interesting aspects of my work
was carrying out screening interviews with the
centenarians, learning about their lives and what
they might like to talk about for the book. The
research team commented that my background
in performance may have proved integral to this
role, enabling me to fast develop relationships
with the people I was interviewing and to gather
the details of their lives. It has been wonderful
to learn about our cultural history through such
personal accounts.
My role in the centenarian project is now
coming to a close, but through the project, and
for personal reasons, I have become interested in
people who develop dementia and have now been
lucky enough to be offered the role of Programme
Coordinator with an organisation called Ladder
to the Moon. The charity takes interactive theatre
and staff coaching into care homes to improve the
quality of life of older people in care, particularly
those living with dementia, and to improve the
relationships between staff and residents. I think
that working on memory during my MA was
pivotal in finding where my career sits – which
turns out to be in between the often wrongly
disconnected areas of theatre and psychology.”
“I loved performing, but I was also
interested in pursuing psychology
and so I developed a practice
that explored the ways that
psychological phenomena – like
memory and emotion – translate
into performance art.”
14 | Alumni NEws
Alumni Abroad
Central Alumni are spread far
and wide. As well as the items
below, read more in ‘Where
Are They Now?’ section on our
Oliver Mink (AC SD 89) returned to his native
Germany after 10 years in the UK and, after
some years maintaining his stage career, began
to move into teaching and coaching business
people. In 1994, he started up his own language
Seema Sethi (B.Ed 91) taught drama in a number
of schools throughout London and Birmingham
before deciding to move to India three years
ago. Now the Deputy Principal of The British
School in New Delhi, Seema says, “The journey
has been incredible. There really is nothing
more satisfying than being in the classroom and
facilitating a passion for learning. The tutors
at Central were inspirational and passionate
themselves, which has left a lasting impression
on me, laid the foundations and empowered me
to make a little difference in the world.”
Clockwise from top left: Yoon Bae; Rebecca Root; Sheila
Landahl (by Teresa Castracane); Larissa Archer (by John
Krause); Irene ErkenBrack; Sarah Calver; Jake Harders
(by Maurizia Mannucci); Bodelle de Ronde (by Magnus
Hastings); Oliver Mink (by Hassel Studio)
Yoon Bae (TP 94) is designing the set and props
for Bernstein’s Candide, being performed at the
Imperial Theatre in Tokyo, Japan. The theatre
is a 2000 seat venue that produces commercial
theatre, Broadway and West End productions.
Candide is directed by John Caird and opens in
June 2010. The production features a Japanese
cast and will be performed and sung entirely
in Japanese. As a British/Korean living in the
UK, Yoon has not only faced the challenges
of working cross-culturally but, due to the
travel disruptions during April, the additional
challenges of coordinating much of the
communication with the crew remotely.
New Zealand
Bodelle de Ronde (BA A 06) has recently
relocated back to New Zealand after being
offered a core cast role in a New Zealand TV
Series called The Cult. Before the move from the
UK, Bodelle worked in a number of fringe plays,
short films (including Catching the Bus which
was shown at the Strasbourg and Tarnowidz
Film Festivals 2009), and an episode of Teenage
Kicks with Adrian Edmondson.
Rebecca Root (MAVS 08) was guest speaker
at the Performing Gender conference hosted
by the Oslo National Academy of the Arts
in Norway during April. Rebecca presented
her adapted thesis, There and Back Again:
Adventures in Genderland, to great acclaim.
Meanwhile, Rebecca continues to work on the
newly relaunched International Centre for
Voice (ICV) which held its inaugural workshop
at Central during March. For more information
on the ICV see the CETT section.
Alumni NEws | 15
Irene ErkenBrack (MA AMT 07) is currently
working as an artist and administrator at the
Commonweal Theatre Company in Lanesboro,
Minnesota. Irene is a resident company member
and actress, as well as the Box Office Manager.
Richard Pilbrow (SM 55) was voted by Live
Design as “one of the 50 most powerful people in
the entertainment technology industry” earlier in
2010. Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Theatre
Projects Consultants, Richard is one of the world’s
leading theatre design consultants, a theatre, film
and television producer, and an internationally
known author and stage lighting designer.
Monroe Robertson (BA A 07) and Remy
Bennett (BA A 06) are both living in
Manhatten, NY and have appeared together in
the production Sweet Storm at Hubbard Hall in
Cambridge, New York.
Larissa Archer (MA CA 07) performed as
Catherine in Suddenly Last Summer at the
Actors Theatre of San Francisco earlier in 2010.
Her next project there will be Arthur Miller’s
All My Sons.
Sheila Landahl (MA VS 05) recently earned
a Master’s from The Shakespeare Theatre
Company’s Academy at The George Washington
University and taught acting for The Governor’s
School of the Arts at Christopher Newport
University in Virginia. Sheila also taught
Voice at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in
Washingon DC and served as Dialect Coach
for the new play The Lost Boys of Sudan at
Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago. Currently
Shelia is playing the Queen in Cymbeline at the
Shakespeare Dallas festival.
Sarah Calver (BA A 08) is one of 50 young
British actors, writers, directors and producers
to be selected to take part in the prestigious
T.S. Eliot US/UK Exchange, a programme
designed to nurture the best young British and
American theatre practitioners. Supported by
the T.S. Eliot Estate, and hosted by The Old Vic
and The Public Theater, the US/UK Exchange
offers 18-30 year old artists the opportunity to
develop their skills by engaging with the theatre
communities on the other side of the Atlantic.
Left to right: Bill Pepper (care of Dragon Shutter Photography and; Rosie Hoare (centre) and colleagues (by Esther Benning)
Bill Pepper (ADVS 87) gave a series of Voice
workshops and advanced masterclasses at the
Drama Centre in Singapore’s National Library
during March/April 2010. There was a lively
and varied representation from actors, teachers,
speakers and professional Voice users. Bill also
conducted workshops for the drama students
of ACJC, an impressive secondary school that
has a strong drama department. It proved to
be a very intense, demanding and energetic
time, however the results were most pleasing
and, with the support of Derrick Siu, plans are
underway for further workshops in September.
Rosie Hoare (TP 66) is halfway through a
two-year VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas)
placement as an Organisational Development
Advisor to the Chipata District Farmers
Association in Zambia. The association is a
membership organisation of farmers, affiliated
to the Zambia National Farmers Union. The
team develop and deliver training sessions
to explain to people their rights, to help them
to access land and resources, to try and find
markets for their produce and to create
awareness about the services that are available
to them such as health and education.
16 | Alumni NEws
Research at Central
research centres
Central has formed two new research centres to capitalise on staff
interests and our extensive industry partnerships. The centres will
extend Central’s research activities and enhance our course provision.
Centre for Research in
Performance and Social
Practice: Theatre Applied
Jessica Hartley (centre) with collaborators Ben Melchiors,
Alex Murphy and Hetty Wooding (by Sarah Ainslie)
PhD at
Jessica Hartley (MA ATP 00)
returns to Central to research
risk-taking with adolescents
The main focus of Jessica’s research is risk
and risk-taking in adolescent students. The
platform for the investigation is the use of
clown training and aerial equipment (trapezes
and the corde lisse). She argues that teaching
needs to be provocative and caring if teachers
are going to enable students towards open
“My supervisors have transformed my
understanding of critical thinking, academic
writing and the rigour needed to study at
this level,” says Jessica. “I have had very
practical help from Student Support Services
for my dyslexia, and the Technical Support
and Media Services departments provide
creative assistance for my bizarre rigging and
documentation requests.
Ultimately, I hope to support teachers and
students who work in this area, challenge
my own understanding at the highest level
and make myself more employable to higher
education institutions”.
Are you thinking about pursuing a
PhD? See current research students
in action at Central’s PhD Collisions
Festival, 5 - 9 October 2010. Visit for more
A five-year initiative, this centre was founded
on Central’s long-standing interest in socially
engaged theatre, which started with the
creation of the country’s first undergraduate
degree in applied and community theatre.
Central now has the largest cohort of applied
theatre academics in the world. In addition
to an MA in Applied Theatre (Drama in the
Community and Drama in Education), Central
currently has 4 PhD students including two
fully funded AHRC collaborative doctorates
with projects in applied theatre.
Two areas for particular development
for the research centre are site, place and
performance and gender in applied theatre
and performance. Projects already in
development involve verbatim techniques,
dance and participatory performance.
Centre for Research
into Object and Puppet
Theatre (CROPT)
This centre will bring together national and
international researchers from the fields of
puppetry, object theatre, animation and related
dramaturgies. It will be the only Englishspeaking puppetry research centre in Europe.
Central was the first UK institution to
introduce Higher Education level training in
puppetry through its BA and MA programmes.
Central also hosts an AHRC Creative
Fellow in Puppetry (Nenagh Watson) and is
considered a major force within international
puppet theatre.
Initially, this research centre will concentrate
on the following: supporting specific
research projects into applied puppetry,
post-traditional puppetry, opera/dance and
puppetry and the dramaturgy of objects;
setting up a practice-as-research residency
programme; seeking collaborative doctoral
studentships; establishing an annual
symposium on puppetry and object theatre
research, from which papers will be published;
coordinating a series of Masterclasses and
developing Central’s annual puppetry festival.
For more information about the
centres and their activities, please
contact the Research Office:
[email protected]
or via the switchboard +44 (0)20
7722 8183. Information will be made
available on our website in due course.
The Science of Sex and Gender
(sponsored by the Wellcome Trust)
In 2006, the Sci:dentity Project, headed
by Central’s Deputy Dean of Studies, Dr.
Catherine McNamara, debated the question
‘What is the Science of Sex and Gender?’
includes interviews with the applied theatre
practitioners who led the project, and medical
experts such as endocrinologist Professor
Andrew Levy (University of Bristol).
The study surveyed over 500 people across
the UK and, following its initial success,
the Wellcome Trust funded an extension
of the project in 2010 to re-edit the original
documentary film.
Screenings of the film vignettes with Q&A
sessions took place in June at Central as well
as in Bristol and Manchester. Participants
included project staff and some of the young
transgender people who took part in the
original study.
The ‘second edition’ Sci:dentity film footage
contributes to discussion and debate around
identity, specifically gendered and sexed
identity. A series of vignettes incorporate the
film/performance project work done with a
group of 18 young trans people. It also
For more information about the
project or to request a Sci:dentity
DVD resource pack, contact
Dr. Catherine McNamara at
[email protected]
Alumni NEws | 17
Thinking about further study?
Consider a Postgraduate Degree at Central
As Central alumni, you already know that our special strength lies in combining first-rate practical
training with a dynamic culture of critical inquiry. Central also has Europe’s largest gathering of
academic performance specialists and excellent facilities to support postgraduate study.
MA Acting (Classical/Contemporary)
MA Acting for Screen
MA Actor Training and Coaching
MA Advanced Theatre Practice
MA Applied Theatre
MA Creative Producing
MA Drama and Movement Therapy (Sesame)
MA Movement Studies
MA Music Theatre
MA Performance Practices and Research
MA Scenography
MA Theatre Studies (Performance and the City)
MA Voice Studies
MA Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media
PGCE Drama / Media Studies
PhD (traditional / practice-based)
Find out more about MA and PhD degrees at our upcoming events:
Postgraduate Open Evening – Thursday, 2 December 2010, 6pm – 8pm
PhD Open Evening – Wednesday, 8 December 2010, 6pm – 8pm
For more information and to register, please visit or email [email protected]
18 | Alumni NEws
Centre for Excellence in Training for Theat
The Centre for Excellence in Training for Theatre (CETT)
was created by the Central School of Speech & Drama.
It works to provide a national resource for vocational
performing arts training and learning, a focus for theatre
research and scholarship, and a site for collaboration
nationally and internationally, between industry, Higher
Education, and specialist training providers
Theatre Applications – Jane Munro’s Salt Piece installation (by Patrick Baldwin)
Everyone who’s ever trained at
Central knows the rigour and the
excellence of the training. Five years
ago the Higher Education Funding
Council for England made Central
one of only 72 National Centres
for Excellence. This brought £1.6
million in capital funds for building
and refurbishment work and £500K
per year for the development
activity taking place over the five
year scheme.
The CETT award enabled us to reward new
approaches to teaching and learning from both
staff and students. Innovative projects and
activities were identified through an open call
across the school and resulted in a wide range
of initiatives that have enhanced the student
experience. This has facilitated the creation of
several projects, such as: the formation of a staff
and student graduate company who created a
performance of Mr Pye; a collaboration with the
Royal Northern College of Music to create The
Red Knot; a student photography exhibition, and
hundreds of other projects. It has also enabled
the establishment of many activities that will
continue in the coming years, including the Firefly
Journal, written by students and addressing a
range of performance related issues; the Rhizome
portal, an inter-collegiate tool for exploration and
research; and ongoing investment into e-learning
and a digital archive for the school.
Central was the only institution to be given a
whole-school award, meaning that all courses
could benefit, leading to major cultural change
across the institution. The establishment of
CETT built upon the School’s strengths and
experience in vocational theatre training,
developing and exploring drama as a vehicle
for change.
Another important aspect of the work CETT has
been doing involve collaborating with industry and
other arts organisations. We have teamed up with
Camden People’s Theatre and the Puppet Centre
Trust at the BAC to offer residency programmes to
new graduate companies, helping them to develop
their work as they are starting out.
CETT’s work addressed three main areas:
working with staff and students to develop
teaching and learning; collaboration with
industry; and research into teaching and learning.
Other collaborations include projects with Half
Moon, Stage Technologies, Independent Street
Arts Network, National Association of Youth
Theatres, Arts Admin, Complicite, Bartlett
School of Architecture, North American Actors
Association, Aarya, Red Shift, Haymarket
Theatre, Total Theatre, OISTAT, Centre for
Creative Collaboration, Volcano Theatre, Little
Angel Theatre, Remarkable Productions and the
CETT support has also provided many academics
with a first step towards research. The ongoing
programme of research events, roundtables
and symposia has prompted many staff to
investigate their practice more deeply. The now
well-established annual conferences started with
How to Act in 2007, and was followed by Theatre
Materials in 2008, Theatre Noise in 2009 and
Theatre Applications in April this year. These
conferences have become key events in the School’s
calendar and are a core part of the CETT legacy.
Although the CETT office activities are now
drawing to a close, the ethos created has been
embedded in the School’s culture and will be seen
in our work in the years to come. Central retains
its title as Centre for Excellence in Training for
Theatre and, through the funds made available to it,
has been able to invest in teaching and learning at
what must surely be one of the most pivotal times
in Higher Education in the United Kingdom.
Over its final 6 months CETT has continued to be
an inspiration and has maintained its momentum
in creating and supporting pioneering initiatives.
Alumni NEws | 19
Theatre Applications: Performance with a Purpose Conference
This year CETT’s conference, co-created by
Central’s Sally Mackey and Amanda Stuart-Fisher,
concerned the uses and purposes of theatre and
performance in education, community, therapeutic
and institutional settings. It addressed applied,
social and community theatre, and forms of
performance that intend to make a difference to
participants’ lives.
A very full programme of events with international
participants and delegates was slightly disrupted
by the closing of the airports due to the volcanic ash.
However, with ingenuity and modern technology,
the conference went ahead, the majority of sessions
took place and both keynote speakers who were
grounded abroad by the disruptions were able to
present their papers at the conference. Rustom
Bharucha, an independent writer, director,
dramaturge, and cultural critic based in Kolkata,
India, made a DVD of his presentation to show at
the conference and Jan Cohen-Cruz, director of
Imagining America: Artists and Scholar in Public
Life and a professor at Syracuse University, USA,
was able to give her speech and answer questions
from the audience live via Skype.
As usual there were several interesting and
provocative roundtables and paper panels.
Angels’ Den
Some of the noted participants included Anton
Franks, Carmel O’Sullivan, Allan Owens, Helen
Nicholson, James Thompson, Eugene van Erven,
Anna Ledgard, Mark Storor, James Blackman,
Fiona Lesley, Rebecca Prichard, Jonothan
Neelands, Joe Winston, Guglielmo Schininà,
Patrick Duggan and many more.
Central staff took a very active part in the
conference with Sally Mackey and Amanda Stuart
Fisher as the co-curators and Joel Anderson,
Selina Busby, Steve Farrier, Tony Fisher, Richard
Hougham, Lynne Kendrick, Lynne McCarthy,
Louise Owen, Sheila Preston, Gareth White and
Nick Wood giving papers, taking part in round
tables or chairing paper panels. Jane Munro’s
installation Salt Piece was also part of the
conference and Joseph Mercier, a PhD student,
gave a workshop on dance for non-dancers.
There was a topical performance by Priory Primary
School with Patchwork Theatre about Pompeii and
a performance of The Illegals by iceandfire theatre
company. IsoProductions, one of CETT’s graduate
companies, was in residence for the conference and
performed Enter, Stranger.
As part of CETT’s initiative to
support recent Central graduates, a
second Angels’ Den event was held
in January, led by Central’s Lynne
Kendrick. Emerging companies
had the opportunity to pitch their
ideas to a panel of friendly judges
and get constructive feedback
on how they could develop their
work and where they should go for
funding and creative support.
Many of the companies attending
also took advantage of the
opportunity to film short pitches
for a new initiative set up by
Camden Arts Development Officer
Chris Mellor, to help Creative
Producers get funding for shows
at Camden venues.
For further information
on the Camden Theatre’s
funding initiative go to
Clockwise from left: Theatre Applications – IsoProduction;
Theatre Applications – Priory Primary School performing
Pompeii; Theatre Applications conference (all photos by
Patrick Baldwin)
20 | Alumni NEws
Kleinkunst 3 and Student Puppet Festival
(all photos by Patrick Baldwin)
Student Puppet Festival
Kleinkunst 3: The Sideshow
The fourth international Student Puppet
Festival was held at Central at the beginning
of May, offering four days of puppetry
performances, installations and workshops.
We were privileged to host several companies
from outside the UK, including puppetry
students from the Ernst Busch Puppenspiel
Theatre School in Berlin and Stellenbosch
University Students from South Africa, giving
our own students the opportunity to engage with
international work and to make connections
with other puppeteers.
Following the success of Kleinkunst 2 in
November 2009, CETT presented Kleinkunst
3 as part of the CircusFest season at the
Students and recent graduates from several
UK universities also took part in the festival,
including Royal Holloway, Nottingham Trent,
Central St Martins and Leeds University.
Central alumni presenting work at the
festival included MA ATP 09 graduates
Liat Rosenthal and Raven Kaliana.
A celebration of the alternative and the ‘freak’,
the evening featured a series of spectacular
performances exploring questions of identity
and exploitation, and presentations considered
the non-normative body and its use in the
sideshow, both in its Victorian heyday and in its
contemporary re-appropriation.
Technical support was provided by Central
student volunteers, led by BA TP alumni Ben
O’Neill (09) and Jon Hare (07), Technical
Manager for the Roundhouse CircusFest
The Rosamund Project –
The Red Knot
The premiere of The Red Knot, a CETT funded
collaboration with the CETL at Royal Northern
College of Music (RNCM), was performed at
the 2010 Rosamund Prize Competition at the
RNCM in Manchester on 12 May 2010.
Developed by Central’s Wendy Gadian, Adam
Gorb of RNCM and 2009 winners Eileen Pun
and Steven Jackson, The Red Knot is a short
chamber opera based on the tragic events of the
Chinese cockle pickers who died in Morecambe
Bay in 2004.
The piece was performed by BA Acting students
from Central and musicians from RNCM and
design and technical support was provided
by BA TP 09 alumni Joe O’Neill and Kate
Alumni NEws | 21
Playing the Other
CETT, along with the Sesame Institute UK
and the Independent Group of Analytical
Psychologists (IGAP), organised a one-day
conference which opened up the debate
and exploration of the notion of the Other in
psychology, performance studies, writing and
other disciplines.
International Centre for Voice (ICV) News
As the notion of what is ‘me’ and what is ‘not
me’ pervades our perceptions of Self and Other,
the day explored this primary theme through
workshops, a keynote, a performance and a
round table.
ICV workshop with Cicely Berry (by Fiona Burgess)
The Bartlett Collaboration
PERFORM is an ambitious ongoing
collaboration between CETT and Unit
23 Live Projects at The Bartlett School of
Architecture at UCL, to build a mobile space
for experimental performance.
The aim of the project is to cast the
experimental and speculative cultures of
theatre and architectural education into the
public realm and embark on a journey with
the nature of material and potential of the
space. Through this journey PERFORM will
develop thought and practice, will have a
concrete impact and will inform and develop
the way people use space, performance,
material and communication.
The newly re-launched International
Centre for Voice (ICV) hosted its inaugural
workshop with Cicely Berry at Central
during March. Entitled Text in Action,
Cicely’s workshop was devoted to finding
the truth in Shakespearean texts and making
them relevant for today’s actors. Attended by
some 20 participants, all of whom were voice
teachers or performers, the all-day event
marked the beginning of the ICV’s roster of
practical workshops.
The first ICV members’ evening followed
a week after Cicely’s visit. This vibrant event
provided an ideal opportunity for members
to network and share pedagogical ideas over
a glass of wine as well as to reflect on the
ICV membership is open to fully qualified or
practising teachers of voice and speech along
with any qualified professionals from any
allied organisation offering close links to the
teaching of voice and speech.
For further information on upcoming
events and how to join the ICV,
please visit the official ICV website or email
[email protected]
22 | Alumni NEws
School of Professional and Community Devel
Much has been happening in the School of Professional and Community Development. Here are some of the recent
School and Community
Liaison Activity
Central’s School and Community Liaison
Officer, Richard Harrison, works with
schools, colleges and youth theatres to deliver
a series of Higher Education Audition/
Interview Workshops for students in Years
7 to 13. These interactive workshops, which
take place at schools across the country, aim
to introduce students to the study of drama in
Higher Education as well as the interview and
audition processes.
LGB project (by IUC Photography)
LGB Project
Ben Buratta (MA ATC 07) in
SPCD received funding from the
Big Lottery Fund to produce a
performance project for 16-25
year old lesbian/gay/bisexual
(LGB) people
The project involved 20 young theatre
makers who, alongside Ben and a professional
production team, created a piece of theatre in
just over 2 weeks. The rehearsal process also
featured master classes from top industry
professionals including Central’s President
Michael Grandage, Rikki Beadle-Blair and
Alexi Kaye Campbell amongst others.
The performance SSA: Same Sex Attraction
took place in Central’s Webber Douglas
Studio and the project has been featured in
both The Stage and Attitude magazine.
Many of the workshops take place at schools
where Central alumni teach; if you’re a
teacher in a state-maintained secondary
school or college, and would like Richard to
deliver a workshop for your students, contact
him on [email protected] or call +44(0)
20 7449 1597. Workshops are free of charge
to schools and colleges in the maintained
sector, and are consistently rated ‘excellent’
by teachers. Bookings can be made online at
Richard is also working with ten schools and
colleges on the Career Pathways Mapping
Project, which aims to provide Central with
an insight into the drama-related pathways
open to young people. If you’d like more
information about this project, e-mail
Richard on [email protected]
Higher Education
Innovation Fund
Knowledge Connect
Funding Award
Camden Pupil
Referral Unit
The Higher Education Innovation Fund student
innovation competition winners have been
selected, and we are pleased to announce that this
year the fund will be supporting:
Anne Walsh, Voice Coach for SPCD, has won
funding of £10,000 from Knowledge Connect
to deliver a knowledge exchange project with
Theatre Peckham.
SPCD will be working with Camden’s
Pupil Referral Unit to deliver a series of
workshops on body language, confidence
and communication skills for young people
excluded from the mainstream schooling
system. Ben Buratta (MA ATC 07) will
deliver the workshops as part of their World of
Work module and assist in the young people’s
integration back into mainstream schooling.
> Dan Bunn (BA TP), for Dan Bunn Sound and
Light Company
> Natalia Kharina (BA DATE) and Matthew Baker
(BA A), for Flashback Play Theatre, a touring
theatre company and education programme
> Karol Da Silva (MA ATP), for Live Traces, Live
Art and Performance magazine
Winners will receive £2000 to support their
business idea and business development mentoring
from the HEIF team. HEIF also hosted a networking
event for 40 SME owners in partnership with
Knowledge Connect, at Central. With a live
performance from Central’s Musical Theatre
students, and training on How to Network from the
HEIF team, the evening was a great success.
The project will involve devising a voice
programme for the theatre to deliver to their
youth group participants and those on BTEC
performing arts courses and to embed those
skills within Theatre Peckham’s own
teaching staff.
Bruce Wooding (T 90), Head of SPCD,
is working on a research project with the
Council for Assisting Refugee Academics
and will be visiting Jordan to work on
developing a theatre group dedicated to
fostering communal harmony and cultural
reconstruction in Basra.
WECAN Aimhigher
SPCD were successful in a bid from WECAN
Aimhigher to produce a Theatre in
Education tour focusing on routes into Higher
Education. Three actors, Barry Fitzgerald,
Mairi Hayes (BA A 08) and Alec Parkinson
(MA CA 06), toured 11 secondary schools with
a performance highlighting the alternative
routes that young people can take when
considering Higher Education.
Alumni NEws | 23
opment News
‘Through my Saturday classes,
I have grown in confidence, skill and
have forged unforgettable friendships.
Central has also given me more insight
into the world of theatre studies and
has inspired me to follow it in my
own school.’ – Bronte, aged 15
‘The teachers are all friendly.
They always make learning fun and
enjoyable. The theatre is massive with
hundreds of seats, it’s a place where you
can perform just about any play!
It’s fantastic and once you start you can’t
stop! Central School of Speech
& Drama is one the best I know.’ –
Kiavash, aged 10
‘I was about 11 and extremely
nervous when I started Central, but
these feelings melted away and I’ve
now had 5 years full of laughter,
great lessons and meeting amazing
performers.’ – Joe, aged 15
‘Coming to Central, I
have met and worked with a
lot of really friendly and lovely
people who I feel have helped
me develop as a performer and a
person.’ – Jess, aged 15
‘I was very nervous and
shy at first but now each term
I arrive excited to meet new
people and see who’s in my
group.’ – Lizzie, aged 15
Central Youth Theatre (care of SPCD)
‘The skills and knowledge I
gained at the Saturday School have
helped me greatly since I was accepted
onto the BA (Hons) Acting course at
Central. The environment and friendly
atmosphere was as essential to my
training then as it is now.’
– Homer, BA Acting Student
Youth Theatre Alumni Club
Central’s Saturday Youth Theatre has been providing drama classes
for 6-17 year olds for almost 15 years now and we thought it was about
time that they had their own section in the alumni newsletter. Here,
Bruce Wooding, Head of SPCD, recalls another successful season.
“When Sue Styring, Joan Haines and I started
out all those years ago we began with just 20
students – now we have around 150 young
people attending each term.
We try to develop the young people’s love of
theatre and engage them with a wide range
of play texts and, at the end of each term,
the students present a 15 minute piece to an
audience of friends and family. The great thing
about the Youth Theatre is that, although the
youngsters don’t need any experience to take
part, each year I am endlessly impressed by
their enthusiasm, dedication, hard work and,
indeed, talent.
I have fond memories of so many of the
students and I am still in touch with some
of the old boys and girls, although they are
rather grown up now! Lots have gone on to do
amazing things and I hope that the Saturday
Youth Theatre is a little part of their path to
success! I would love to get in touch with more
of them and hear what they are up to now.
Perhaps we could even organise a Saturday
Youth Theatre alumni reunion!”
For more information about how to get involved with the Saturday Youth Theatre,
how you can support the scheme financially or to share some memories with Bruce,
please email [email protected] or phone +44 (0) 20 7559 3960.
24 | Alumni NEws
ALUMNI event news
BATP 10 Year Celebration
In May 2010 nearly 100 of Central’s BA (Hons) Theatre Practice alumni
gathered together to celebrate 10 years of the BATP course.
The Theatre Practice course emerged via the
amalgamation of three earlier programmes:
Theatre Studies, Stage Management and
Technical Arts and Design Interpretation. In
1997, the course was officially awarded degree
status and in the subsequent years developed to
include 12 strands of specialist study; Costume
Construction, Design for Stage, Performance
Arts, Production Lighting, Prop Making,
Puppetry, Scenic Art, Scenic Construction,
Stage Management, Technical and Production
Management, Theatre Lighting Design and
Theatre Sound.
In 2000, the first cohort of BA (Hons) Theatre
Practice students graduated. In honour of this
milestone in Central’s history, a celebration
was in order and we were delighted to welcome
graduates from across the current BATP
spectrum, as well as alumni graduating back to
the mid 1970s representing the original courses.
Emotive speeches by both Jessica Bowles
(BATP Course Leader, 1997 - 2008) and
Caroline Townsend (current Course Leader)
were followed by the highlight of the day –
the screening of a specially commissioned
promotional film of alumni testimonials about
the course. The Embassy Theatre was filled with
giggles as familiar faces popped onto the screen
and memories were relived.
The afternoon was a great success, with the
opportunity not only for alumni to catch up with
old friends, but to also make new contacts and
form valuable connections. To read more about
the varied careers that BATP alumni have gone
on to pursue please see the ‘Where are they
now?’ section on our website.
BA Acting Musical
Theatre reception
Wendy Gadian, Pathway
Leader and Senior Lecturer,
recalls a successful gathering of
inspirational Musical Theatre
Thursday 4 March, 2010 saw a unique
gathering of over 40 alumni and special
guests assemble to celebrate the BA Acting
Musical Theatre course. The reception was
followed by the MT public production of
The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the whodunit
musical comedy based on the unfinished
novel by Charles Dickens.
Alumni of the Musical Theatre course can
be seen performing on the West End musical
stage, at the Globe Theatre and in many film
and TV productions, and the upcoming third
years of the course certainly looked ready to
follow in their footsteps with their hilarious
production of Drood.
Special guests at the event included Elaine
Paige, Timberlake Wertenbaker,
Clive Rowe, Nickolas Grace and Sara
Sir Paul McCartney was also spotted
among the Drood audience during the
Saturday matinee performance.
Clockwise from left: MT reunion; Abbey Mordue and Sara Kestelman; Avon Harpurley, Verona Chard and Lynne Thomas; David Hounslow,
Wendy Gadian and David Dekeyser; Katy Baker and Emma Drysdale. (All photos by Patrick Baldwin).
Alumni NEws | 25
Clockwise from top left: Simon Kenny, Maira Vezeou and Ilona Karas; Keiran Taylor, Jess Stevenson, Samantha Griffin, Scott Stevenson and Lizzy Ferguson; BATP alumni and staff; Katy Bryant, Jessica Davies,
Leigh Davies and Emma Barrow; Rachel Nichols, Matt Bundy, Adam Povey, Kirsty Henderson and Matt Butler. (All photos by Patrick Baldwin).
The fifth student-produced Accidental Festival took place in May
2010 at the Battersea Arts Centre, and was launched with guest
lectures from Liz LeComopte, Simon McBurney and Katie Mitchell.
The festival also included work from AHRC Fellows Nenagh Watson
and Jon Davison, current students from across Central, and industry
Performance Arts alumni were also out in force
throughout the event showing their support
through participation and attendance, including
Daniel Somerville (BA TP 08), Maddy Trigg
(BA TP 08), and Alan Fielden (BA TP 08) who
performed to sold out audiences.
Chris Lynch (BA TP 08), now a professional
archivist, said “The Accidental Festival seems
to be growing year on year but it still manages to
remain true to its aims of bringing audiences to
shows they may not have experienced otherwise
and providing a showcase for new practitioners.
It also still has a wonderful atmosphere for
those performing and watching.”
Other alumni spotted at the festival
Phil Nottingham (BA TP 08) who now works
as a performer and teacher, Eva Liparova
(BA TP 08) who has just completed her MA in
Experience Economy and now works at Central
and Central St Martins, as well as with her
company Parrot in the Tank, Ruby Baker (BA
TP 08) who has recently left Artsdepot to work
with Julian Rudd at Remarkable Productions,
and Dan Marsden (BA TP 08), a director and
producer, who recently received a four star
review from the Independent for his production
of the Secret Garden at the Brighton Festival
with fellow PA alumnus, Alan Fielden.
Right, top to bottom: Chris Lynch; Phil Nottingham, Eva Liperova and Ruby Baker; Principal Gavin Henderson and alumus
Phil Nottingham mark the closing of the festival; Dan Marsden. (All photos by Gorm Shackleford).
26 | Alumni NEws
Left to right: Into The Woods, The Mystery of Edwin Drood (all photos by Patrick Baldwin)
Seminars and Event News
The following Research events
took place at Central during the
spring and summer terms:
Michael Boyd (Royal Shakespeare
Company) in conversation with
Simon Shepherd (Central)
Events in association with the
London Mime Festival
> Acting the Puppet with Gavin Glover of Faulty
Optic and Nenagh Watson, AHRC Creative
Fellow (Central)
> Coming to Life with Yuval Fingerman and
Renana Raz of Etgar Theatre and Cariad
Astles (Central)
> Eccentric Dance with Caroline Radcliffe,
Barry and Joan Grantham and Jon Davison
(Central, chair)
Practice Processes
Reports from the Rehearsal Room by Central
staff Catherine Alexander, Cariad Astles and
Zachary Dunbar, chaired by Lucy Richardson
(London Metropolitan University)
Performance Applications
Central staff presented on Power, Value and
Engagement: Tony Fisher, Louise Owen, and
Gareth White with chair Nadine Holdsworth
(University of Warwick)
Shakespearean Verse-speaking:
Text and Theatre Practice
Launch of a book by Dr Abigail Rokison
(Cambridge University) with Stephen Unwin
(Rose Theatre), chaired by Ben Naylor (Central)
Live and recorded extended voice and digital
media performance by Yvon Bonenfant
(University of Winchester) with discussion
chaired by Ross Brown (Central)
Playing the Other
One-day symposium organised by CETT,
including a round table with Sally Vickers
(novelist and former Jungian psychotherapist),
Mark Saban, Jeffrey Newman (rabbi and
director, Earth Charter UK) and Richard
Hougham (Central)
Researching Urban Cultures:
Beyond the Local-Global
Presentations by Kathleen Gallagher
(University of Toronto), Caoimhe McAvinchey
(QMUL) and Shelia Preston (Central)
Performing Intimacy
A look at nineteenth to twenty-first century
performance, from Ibsen to one-on-one
performance pieces with Jon Cairns (Central St
Martins), Hera Cook (University of Birmingham),
Stephen Farrier (Central) and Rachel Zerihan
(QMUL). Central’s Louise Owen chaired
Joe Kelleher (Roehampton)
presenting on theatrical déjà vu
Concert-Theatre Symposium
One-day event involving Matthew Sharp, John
Kenny, Neyire Ashworth (Guildhall School of
Music and Drama), Emily White (Royal College
of Music and Trinity College of Music), and
Central co-organisers Zachary Dunbar and
Paul Barker
Queer Performers
A round table discussion with Dusty Limits,
Holestar and David Hoyle
The Actor in Costume
Aoife Monks (Birkbeck), Bridget Escolme
(QMUL) and Kate Dorney (V&A)
Forthcoming Events
Alumni are invited to attend
the following events:
Kristin Linklater course in Voice and
Text Teacher Training hosted by the
International Centre for Voice
Kristin Linklater is inaugurating her two-part
course in Voice and Text Teacher Training at
Central during August 2010 and August 2011.
This is the first time that Professor Linklater will
run her course in the UK. Kristin Linklater’s work
is well known in theatre circles, largely because
of the rigorous teacher training programme that
is required to become a Designated Linklater
Voice Teacher. A huge number of applications
were received for the course and, after a highly
competitive and thorough selection process earlier
this year, final candidates have been accepted,
including applicants from America, Canada, Spain
and Australia. For more information about the ICV
and any upcoming workshops or courses, please
visit, or email [email protected]
Theatre O Workshop
16-27 August 2010
Central is holding a 10-day workshop led by this
international theatre company. For full details
please see the Central website.
Alumni Gathering at the
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
17 August 2010
Exploring Gender through the Arts,
Re-looking at the Sci:dentity Project
Catherine McNamara (Central) and
participants from Gendered Intelligence
Are you planning to visit the Edinburgh Fringe as
either a visitor or performer this year? If so, please
do join us for an informal Central get together
on Tuesday 17 August from 12-2pm in The
Library Bar, The Gilded Balloon, Teviot Square,
Edinburgh EH8 9PQ.
Christopher Oram: The Edward
Gordon Craig Lecture
Stage Design: Design for the Forth Generation,
with respondent Michael Grandage
The North American Actors’
Association – Double X Festival
6-10 September 2010
To be added to the Research Events
mailing list please send your details to
[email protected]
Central is hosting the North American Actors
Association’s (NAAA) annual play-reading festival
of new works by American and Canadian writers.
The festival will be supporting British Actors
Equity’s 2010 initiative to redress the balance of
Alumni NEws | 27
Judi Dench (S 57)
And Furthermore
Weidenfeld & Nicolson has acquired world
rights to Judi Dench’s life story, focusing on
Dench’s professional career as well as her
30-year marriage to actor Michael Williams.
Due for release in October 2010.
Lynda Bellingham (S 69)
Lost And Found: My Story
male to female roles, with a focus of strong roles
for women. Selected entries will be rehearsed and
read by members of the NAAA. These rehearsed
readings are undertaken as showcase performances
for the actors and the writers, and offer the writer
the chance to have their work presented under
professional direction and using the talents of
professional actors. See for
more details or phone +44(0)7873 371 981.
Hampstead and Highgate Festival
24 September – 3 October 2010
Some of the events of this local arts community
festival will be held at Central this year. For full
details see
Collisions: Festival of New
Performance and Theory
5 - 9 October 2010
A collection of performances, installations,
demonstrations and workshops by Central’s PhD
students and Research Fellows.
Royal Albert Hall Alumni
14 October 2010
Following on from the spectacular Albert Hall
reunion day in October 2009 we are looking to host
an annual get-together for alumni who graduated
before our 1957 move to the Swiss Cottage site. The
first of these informal gatherings will be held here
at Central on 14 October 2010, from 3-6pm. We will
be in touch with the relevant alumni in due course.
ICV Workshop with Frankie Armstrong
20 November 2010
If you wish to book a place on the Frankie
Armstrong workshop and you are not already a
member of ICV please visit to
download an application form and email it to [email protected] stating that you wish to book a place.
Alumni Free Ticket Night to
Student Production
Each term, thirty free tickets are made available to
alumni for one of our Public Productions.
Prior to or following the performance we a hold a
private alumni reception where you can meet other
Central graduates over refreshments. For details of
the winter term’s productions, and the date of the
alumni night, please consult our website.
This autobiographical work is a moving
recount of a very personal journey. Darker
moments are recalled alongside hilarious
anecdotes from stage and screen. Published
by Ebury Publishing.
Cush Jumbo (BA A 06)
101 Dance Ideas, age 5-11
The book aims to inspire teachers, youth
workers and carers to have the confidence to
encourage dance in educational settings and
uses an easy step by step format to explain
dance styles ranging from the Cha Cha to
street dance and includes a practice DVD.
Published by A&C Black and due for release
in August 2010.
Terence Frisby (S 58)
Kisses on a Postcard
Kisses on a Postcard is a vivid and intimate
portrait of a neglected part of our wartime
history; a compelling and uplifting memoir of
growing up in an extraordinary time. Published
by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC.
Duncan Barrett (MACA 06)
The Reluctant Tommy:
An Extraordinary Memoir
of the First World War
A fascinating first-person account of a soldier
turned conscientious objector by the horrors of
the First World War. Published by Macmillan.
Lolly Susi (S 81)
An Untidy Career:
Conversations with George Hall
Interviews with the legendary performer,
and Central’s former Head of Acting, George
Hall. Full of revealing thoughts regarding the
theatre industry, acting, and photographs
from George Hall’s time teaching and on
stage. An exclusive 10% discount is available
to Central alumni and students. Simply quote
‘ONCentral’ when ordering your copy through
Marston Book Services on +44(0)1235 465 577
or email [email protected]
28 | Alumni NEws
in memoriam
Jill Balcon (S 43)
By Juliet Ace
After the recording of my radio play Dead
Heading the Roses, written to celebrate Jill
Balcon’s sixty years in radio, her son, Daniel
Day Lewis asked, “How do you know my
mother so well?” At that point I had never met
her, but I knew and loved her voice. And that
is what she will be most remembered for. Her
verse speaking was sublime, enhanced by her
training at Central, and with a background
in cinema (her father was film producer
Sir Michael Balcon) her talents were wide
ranging both in theatre and film.
She was a noted beauty, without a trace of
vanity. As our friendship developed following
the play I discovered that she was also warm
and generous to all who had the privilege of
knowing her. I will always remember her
distinctive laugh and warm humour. She was
an interesting and interested friend to so many
of us, delighting us all with her elegant lunches
and even more elegant eloquence.
Heather Inglis
(née Shilton) (ST 55)
By Alex Inglis
Heather graduated from the Speech Therapy
course in 1955 and, after a career break to raise
her family, returned to the work she loved,
helping children with speech impairments
in various clinics around Glasgow. When
she retired in 1992 she was Chief Speech
Therapist of Glasgow North District.
On retirement, Heather returned to her
earlier interests of performance, attended
tap classes, and was an enthusiastic and
popular member of the Glasgow Senior
Citizen Choir, where she, with a beautiful
alto voice, performed in Glasgow Cathedral
and was frequently a solo singer.
Heather was much loved and respected by
all who knew her and contributed in full to
any activity she took part in both at work
and in her leisure activities. Heather is
survived by her husband, two sons and two
Raymond Witch (S 53)
By Gareth Davies and Walter Hall
I met Ray when we both entered the Central
School in 1950. I was a 16 year old from the
Welsh Valleys, nervous at finding myself in
the impressive company of Harold Pinter, Ken
Haigh, Barry Foster and Anthony Bate. Ray
took me under his wing and kept a fatherly eye
on me, lecturing me on the wisdom of eating
more and drinking less.
Ray was a good man and a good actor.
However, finding work was difficult to get at
first, he became a school teacher in Scotland
and then Iceland. Returning to London, he
began to find work with directors like Stuart
Burge who liked his unconventional approach.
Inevitably there are only a small percentage
of actors leaving drama school who are able
to make acting a life-long occupation, but
Ray was one of those. Those of us who have
managed to do this, though not necessarily
‘stars’, can be considered successful. In this
sense, Ray was successful, and long may
Central go on producing such actors.
Where are they now...?
Well… they are now on the Central website!
Over the last few years, the volume of news we receive from our alumni has grown
significantly and the newsletter has developed from just 4 pages to nearly 30. In order to
keep our costs down we’ve decided to move the ‘Where are they now?’ section to the
alumni pages of the Central website. Please visit and click on the ‘alumni
link’ to read all the latest alumni news.
Can We Reach You?
In order for us to communicate
effectively with you about upcoming
events, reunions, work opportunities
and much more it is vital for us to hold
your up-to-date contact records (in
particular email which helps us to
keep costs down).
Ways to contact us:
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7449 1628
By post: Alumni Office, Central School
of Speech & Drama, Eton Avenue,
London NW3 3HY, UK
Website: (click on the
‘alumni’ link). Update your contact details
using our automated forms on the website
You can also join us on Facebook:
To find us search groups for ‘CSSD Alumni
News – official site’. The Facebook group
is designed to let you network with other
alumni. We also use it to post news about jobs,
events and other items.
Thanks from the alumni team:
Caroline Clark and Zoe Haddock.
Apologies for the misspelling of Jodi Myers’ (Tech
72) name in issue 14 of the Alumni Newsletter.
With thanks to all featured alumni and
photographers and to the following Central staff
for their contributions towards this newsletter:
Amanda Stuart-Fisher, Ayse Tashkiran, Ben
Buratta, Bruce Wooding, Caitlin Adams, Caroline
Townsend, Catherine Alexander, Cariad Astles,
Caroline Townsend, Fiona Burgess, Gareth White,
Geoff Coleman, Greg Duke, Gail Hunt, Katherine
Irish, Karl Rouse, Laura Douglas, Nick Moran,
Nick Moseley, Nick Wood, Richard Harrison,
Selina Busby and Wendy Gadian. Designed by:
Nimbus. Printed by: Disc to Print. Photographs:
All Credits (where provided) have been included
in the newsletter
Central School of Speech & Drama, Embassy Theatre, Eton Avenue, London NW3 3HY. Tel +44 (0)20 7722 8183 Fax +44 (0)20 7722 4132 Alumni Office: Tel +44 (0)20 7449 1628 Email [email protected]
This newsletter is written for alumni using information from alumni. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the staff or the governors of Central School of Speech & Drama.
This newsletter is printed on environmentally friendly paper from managed sustainable forests. Central School of Speech & Drama is registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee,
with exempt charitable status, in England and Wales under Company No. 203645. Its registered office is as above. VAT No. GB 672 6982 88.