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LAMDA's new £28.2 million Centre for Drama Training celebrated by famous alumni and Royal patron

Posted by Charley Rogers | June 28, 2017 | People

On the evening of the 14th of June, in the presence of Royal Patron, HRH Princess Alexandra, LAMDA celebrated the opening of its new £28.2 million centre for world-leading drama training. Joined by LAMDA President Timothy West CBE FRSA and celebrated alumni from Brian Cox CBE to Jemma Redgrave, the conservatoire turned a spotlight onto the new theatres and training spaces that are transforming its west London home and ensuring it has the facilities to match its international reputation.

LAMDA Principal Joanna Read explained: “The United Kingdom leads the way in conservatoire training, and LAMDA is the trailblazer; an innovator that sets the standards others follow. The industry is stronger for the individuals LAMDA trains; the art form richer for the work our graduates go on to create. Thanks to the generosity of so many, our new facilities will ensure that our students and practitioners continue to shape the future of the dramatic arts. 

Guests, including Neil Gaiman, enjoyed a glimpse of the training that takes place behind the scenes at LAMDA, before taking in a performance in The Sainsbury Theatre. Named in recognition of Sir Simon Sainsbury, the Sainsbury Family, and The Monument Trust, this is one of two new public performance spaces that the redevelopment brings to west London. The second, The Carne Studio Theatre, is named for long-time LAMDA scholarship supporters and friends, Philip Carne MBE and Christine Carne. Together these venues provide a platform for the next generation of actors, directors and technicians, and offer the residents of Hammersmith, Fulham, and other neighbouring Boroughs increased access to the dramatic arts. 

Thanks to the generosity of so many, our new facilities will ensure that our students and practitioners continue to shape the future of the dramatic arts. 

LAMDA’s redevelopment was made possible by the Act Now! Campaign. Launched at the National Theatre in November 2013, with alumnus Benedict Cumberbatch CBE as Patron and former Cabinet Minister Rt. Hon. Shaun Woodward as Chair, it is the most ambitious and successful fundraising campaign in LAMDA’s history. Almost a thousand supporters contributed to the campaign; with support ranging from £5 donations made online by friends, audiences, and members of the public, to a £2.1 million lead gift.

Taking a moment to thank the many individuals, trusts and foundations that donated to the redevelopment, LAMDA Chairman and Chair of the Act Now! Campaign, Shaun Woodward said: “This has been an amazing four years raising huge amounts of money and building a new future for the Academy. Our donors’ generosity has been stunning. And we’ve had incredible support from so many people inspired by the international reputation of LAMDA’s training. It’s just been a great success story!” 

Act Now! Patron and LAMDA graduate, Benedict Cumberbatch CBE commented: “This new building is more than just bricks and mortar; it is a testament to our collective belief in the vitality of LAMDA.”

LAMDA Vice-President and graduate David Suchet CBE said: “With these exquisite new venues, LAMDA can offer students an exceptional platform for their first steps into the industry.”

LAMDA graduate Ruth Wilson added: “Thanks to this investment, LAMDA will continue to produce some of the most exciting and sought-after screen actors in the world.”

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