Central School of Speech and Drama

"Royal Central School" redirects here. For other uses, see Royal Central (disambiguation).
The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
Type Public university
Drama school
Established 1906
2005: Incorporated in to the University of London
Chancellor The Princess Royal ( University of London)
Principal Gavin Henderson
Students 995 (2014/15) [1]
Undergraduates 635 (2014/15) [1]
Postgraduates 355 (2014/15) [1]
Location London, England
Campus Urban
Affiliations University of London
Website www.cssd.ac.uk
Royal Central School of Speech and Drama logo.png

The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama was founded by Elsie Fogerty in 1906 to offer a new form of training in speech and drama for young actors and other students. It became a constituent of the University of London in 2005 and its prominent alumni include Laurence Olivier, Vanessa Redgrave, Judi Dench and Harold Pinter.


The school offers undergraduate, postgraduate, research degrees, and short courses in acting, actor training, applied theatre, theatre crafts and making, design, drama therapy, movement, musical theatre, performance, producing, puppetry, research, scenography, stage management, teacher training, technical arts, voice, and writing.

On 9 October 2008 the school announced that Harold Pinter (1930–2008), the 2005 Nobel Laureate in Literature and Central alumnus, had agreed to become its president and to receive an honorary fellowship in the school's graduation ceremony on 10 December 2008, [2] [3] but Pinter had to receive it in absentia, because of ill health, [4] [5] and he died two weeks later. [6] Michael Grandage, a Central graduate and artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse, has now been appointed President.