On Sunday 18 November, Central was pleased to welcome alumna Dame Judi Dench back to Central to formally open the Dench Studio, named in honour of the members of the Dench family; Dame Judi, her brother Jeffery Dench, and her daughter Finty Williams, who all trained at Central.
During the evening Dame Judi also laid the Foundation Stone for Central’s new North Block building, which will open in 2019 and will provide new state-of-the-art teaching, rehearsal and performance spaces, and will include the addition of studios with a focus on training for film/media and a new public courtyard theatre, further cementing the School’s reputation as a North London cultural hub.
Central’s President, Michael Grandage, then introduced Dame Judi and Finty to current students, including those receiving Judi Dench Scholarships, and alumni Karl Queensborough, Bolaji Alakija, Martin Freeman and Jason Isaacs. It was an evening that celebrated Central’s illustrious history across generations, and the talent of our current students; showcased were the props, costumes and set design pieces that our BA (Hons) Theatre Practice students had designed and produced, and some of those studying on our acting courses performed at the event.
Among our guests were friends and supporters of the School, who were invited by Michael Grandage to join him in supporting the Central community as a Founding Patron of the President’s Circle. This is a new giving circle focused on creating new scholarships for students, which alumna Sonia Friedman has also agreed to join, and of which she said “I’m delighted to be joining the new President’s Circle to help enable more young people to fulfil their ambition, giving them a great foundation to start their careers’.
"[Finty and I] feel so proud to belong to Central"
- Alumna Dame Judi Dench
"Royal Central has been instrumental in sustaining my career, I often look back on the fond memories, experiences & exceptional training that I encountered. I owe a huge gratitude to the school. Being a part of the ever-growing Royal Central community is a joy & privilege, they really do honour the graduates and keep them informed & supported"
- Alumnus Karl Queensborough (BA Acting CDT 2015), who will be playing Hamilton in the smash West End hit.
[Finty and I] feel so proud to belong to Central
Alumna, Dame Judi Dench