Thank you Central!
Now that I have completed my time as Interim Principal and then as Associate Principal to support Josette Bushell-Mingo in her first year as Principal at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama it is good to look back on my time there. Central is undoubtedly a powerhouse in the world of Performnace, Education, Training and Research in Drama and Theatre. In the 20 months that I spent there, there was never a day when I did not discover something new about the institution, its 37 courses and its wonderful students and staff.
What is striking about Central is its range across Acting training, Theatre Practice (including Lighting Design and Production, Sound Design and Production, Scenic Construction and Painting, Prop Making, and Stage Management) and Applied Theatre. This range is expressed in so many ways – the continual flow of productions that graduates and students are involved with that keeps Central constantly involved in ‘what’s on’ in the theatre; the countless projects and partnerships that courses and individuals undertake again involving activity every week across the UK and further afield; and the connections that Central’s Theatre Practice courses maintain with the industry in live theatre and film also provides another dimension.
This summer, Central must be commended for its Research where its 31 FTE staff entered achieved 75% of 4* ratings and, in the THE rankings were placed 4th out of 84 entrants. This outstanding achievement is a significant step forward from the last assessement in 2014 and a real accolade for Vice-Principal, Maria Delgado, who has led research through these years. Congratulations to all those involved in this great result.
With Josette Bushell-Mingo completing her first year as Principal it is good to note that Mark Hunter has now taken his place as Vice-Principal (Curriculum and Students) and Central at last has a full team of senior management in place. There is much to do with all the challenges that face all HE institutions these days: changing application patterns as a result of the pandemic and Brexit amongst other factors. But Central is strong and there are signs of exciting developments ahead.
I would like to thank all Central’s students for all their achievements during my time there. Parker Hollants van Loocke and Ed Callow have both been exceptional Students Union Presidents and they have been supported by their officers in maintaining a great environment for all students. I have so enjoyed the many productions that I attended and can vouch for the sheer quality of all the work that goes on throughout the year. I hope to continue to visit to see more of these productions in the years ahead.
So thank you Central! It has been a real privilege to work for you all and to be immersed in all that you do.