LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) is one of the most prestigious drama schools in the UK. Since 1861, the school has trained leading artists, innovators and technicians who continuously craft and contribute to the expanding performing arts industry. From Benedict Cumberbatch and Patricia Hodge to Maureen Lipman and David Suchet, the school has shaped some of the biggest household names in the arts. Here are just some of its graduates…
Benedict Cumberbatch- Actor
After studying Drama at the University of Manchester, Cumberbatch continued to train as an actor at LAMDA gaining an MA in Classical Acting. He first performed in Shakespearean productions at Regent’s Park’s Open Air Theatre and went on to star in After the Dance (2010) and Frankenstein (2011) produced by the Royal National Theatre as well as playing Hamlet in 2015 at the Barbican Theatre. Cumberbatch has appeared in many blockbusters such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and is notorious for his portrayal of the lead in the BBC’s Sherlock (2010-present).
2. Polly Findlay- Theatre Director
Polly Findlay trained to be a theatre director at LAMDA. She has since delivered many revolutionary productions such as Romeo and Juliet at the Battersea Arts Centre in 2007, Twisted Tales at the Lyric Hammersmith in 2011, Treasure Island at the National Theatre in 2014 and Merchant of Venice (RSC) in 2015 as well as winning awards such as the 2007 JMK Award and the Olivier Award for best entertainment for Derren Brown: Svengali.
3. Hermione Norris- Actor
Hermione trained at LAMDA in the 1980s and took on small television and theatre roles before making her professional debut in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1989. Her breakout in to television was in the comedy drama Cold Feet as Karen Marsden (1998-2003) in which she was nominated for a British Comedy Award.
4. Natasha Chivers- Lighting Designer
Natasha is a lighting designer who trained at LAMDA and now works largely in theatre and dance. She was awarded the 2007 Olivier Award for Best Lighting Design for Sunday in the Park with George at The Wyndhams Theatre as well as the 2011 TMA award for Best Design alongside Lizzie Clachan for Happy Days at The Sheffield Crucible Studio.
5. Dominic Cooper- Actor
Cooper graduated from LAMDA in 2007 which lead him to work in small television and film roles before making his theatre debut in 2001 in Mother Clap’s Molly House at the National Theatre. Cooper is also well-known for his association with Alan Bennett’s The History Boys which he toured with to Broadway, Sydney, Wellington and Hong Kong as well as starring in the film adaption. In 2008 he starred as Sky in the film adaption of Mamma Mia! and as Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey in The Duchess.
LAMDA training off-campus:
As well as the programmes at the school itself, LAMDA also offers communication and performance examinations including Acting, Devising Drama and Public Speaking that can be conducted by drama students around the world. These exams have been devised and developed by specialists in communication, education and drama. The Acting exams encourage you to flex a stronger speaking voice as well as improving memory through learning monologues. Devising Drama exams encourage you to explore and develop your imagination and creativity through devised dramatic performances. Public Speaking exams allow you to acquire the key skills needed for speeches, talks and presentations. LAMDA’s examinations provide its students with skills not only for acting but also to confidently and happily succeed in life.
LAMDA lessons are a great way of recognising an individual’s achievements and we are very proud to offer them here at Prague Youth Theatre. If you think you could be the next Dominic Cooper or Hermione Norris, make sure to check out what we do here!