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Drama Centre London (often abbreviated as Drama Centre) is a British drama school in Clerkenwellmarker, Londonmarker. The school is part of the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Designmarker of the University of the Arts Londonmarker and is a member of the Conference of Drama Schools. The BA Acting course, offered by the school, is accredited by the National Council for Drama Training.


Drama Centre London was founded in 1963 by a breakaway group of teachers and students from the Central School of Speech and Drama, led by John Blatchley, Yat Malmgren and Christopher Fettes. The school was located originally on Prince of Wales Road, Kentish Townmarker, but moved to its current site in Back Hill, Clerkenwellmarker in 2004. Since 1999, it has operated as an integral school of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Designmarker, offering degree programmes in acting, directing and screenwriting.

A principle aim in the founding of the school was to bring some of the major developments in American and European theatre to the training of British acting. Its approach articulates the Method and Stanislavski's system, with the movement work of Rudolf Laban to produce a 'movement psychology' analysis and development of characters. The school's work also draws on the English tradition, particularly that of Joan Littlewood and Theatre Workshop. These approaches are taught as part of the Western theatrical tradition that began with the Greeks, on which the school places great emphasis. When the school was founded, it was the only drama school in the country to have an acting class, and is considered to be the first 'Method' drama school in Britain.

However, for the last ten years the school has moved away from some of the old ‘Method’ approaches and places much more emphasis on the Russian developments of Stanislavski, in particular on improvisation and comedy in the Vakhtangov tradition. The school offers a broad training with a lot of emphasis on acting for the screen, for which it has a specialist course, the two year MA Screen, which trains actors, directors and screen writers alongside one another.

In September 2005 the school launched an M.A. advanced training course in 'European Classical Acting', which is now considered the foremost postgraduate classical training available, and includes training at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and the Shukin Institute at the Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow, Russia.

The Drama Centre always had an internationalist outlook and was the first to introduce some of the great classics of the European repertoire: Spanish, German and French. Today, this tradition continues and is reflected in a broad spectrum of international links, which includes schools in the USA, Russia and China.

Cochrane Theatre

The Cochrane Theatremarker is a receiving and producing theatre that aims to present all aspects of the performing arts within a proscenium arch. The theatre is situated in Holbornmarker. The theatre largely serves as a performing platform for students and alumni from the school.

Advisory Council


For full list, see :Category:Alumni of the Drama Centre London

External links


  1. Eva Mekler, Masters of the Stage: British Acting Teachers Talk About Their Craft. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1989. p.69, p.75. ISBN 0802131905.
  2. Eva Mekler, Masters of the Stage: British Acting Teachers Talk About Their Craft p.73-74.

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