On Monday 9 December, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama hosted its annual Graduation Ceremony at The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre. An impressive 360 graduands collected their degrees during the course of the afternoon ceremony as friends, family, and Central staff looked proudly on. Together with the awarding of degrees from Central’s full range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, the School was extremely pleased to announce six new Doctorates of Philosophy which were awarded to Simon Thomas Donger, Jessica Ruth Hartley, Shaun Robert May, Claire Louise Pamment, Paul Charles Rene Ted Piris, and Vasiliki Selioni.
Alongside the class of new graduates, Central awarded Honorary Fellowships to three extraordinary members of the industry: Stephen Poliakoff, Jenny Sealey and Kevin Whately.
Officiating the ceremony was Central’s President Michael Grandage, who noted to the graduates that the occasion was ‘A day that we wish you well on the journey that lies ahead for each of you… Go out, follow what is in your hearts, and make a difference in the world.’
Multi-Award winning playwright, director and scriptwriter Stephen Poliakoff noted that being awarded honorary fellowship of the school was a ‘particularly memorable moment’ for him, as his mother had been an alumna of Central and was taught personally by its founder Elsie Fogerty.
Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre Company Jenny Sealey congratulated the new alumni on their choice of Central as, ‘a drama school with a social conscious and a political heart’ before urging them to carry this ethos with them throughout their careers and to make a positive difference in people’s lives.
Lewis star and Central alumnus Kevin Whately spoke fondly of his time as a student at Central before advising the graduates to ‘be brave’ and to ‘keep in touch with each other and the school’.
The Honorands join Central in offering their heart felt congratulations to this year’s graduating class as they embark on their professional journeys.
Graduation Ceremony Programme (PDF, 5,543KB)
Graduation Ceremony Video (YouTube)