Five months after starting my interim year as Principal of Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, I am delighted that we have appointed Josette Bushell-Mingo as the new Principal. Josette, who is currently Head of Acting at the University of the Arts (Uniarts) in Stockholm will take up her post in August and so I will continue in my role until August to ensure that there is continuity and a smooth transition. I am already working with Josette by holding weekly meetings with her on Zoom and the whole of Central is buzzing with excitement at the appointment.
Having worked for many years as an actor and director in the UK (RSC, National, Manchester Royal Exchange and many others), as well as in Canada, the United States and in Europe, Josette is superbly placed to take over at Central. She is leading a busy Acting Department and has also been Director of the National Touring Theatre for the Deaf in Sweden in a career that has done a huge amount for diversity and inclusion. Josette is brimming with ideas for Central – it is going to be a very dynamic School under her leadership.
This news comes at a moment when the national lockdown is due to be lifted, too. We are now planning to fully re-open from 6 April with some work starting as early as 8 March when the School will start to come back to life. Final year students will be able to complete their courses and we will be able to begin the new academic year normally in the autumn if all goes to plan.
I am grateful to the many colleagues who have worked so tirelessly to ensure that we have remained safe throughout the last year and also that we can ensure the best experience for all students. It has been a tough time for us all and it should be acknowledged that so many people have worked beyond the limits to make everything work for us.
So I begin March with renewed energy, looking forward to the end of lockdown and over the next months to welcoming Josette to Central. Congratulations Josette!