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Monday 9 December 2013 | Royal Festival Hall
Contents03 Message from the Principal
05 Honorary Fellow: Jenny Sealey
06 Honorary Fellow: Kevin Whately
08 Order of Ceremony
16 Centrals History
18 Life After Central
18 Centrals Alumni
19 Our Supporters
20 Central Productions Spring 2014
21 Governance, Patron, President, Fellows
PATRONHRH Princess Alexandra, The Hon Lady Ogilvy, KG, GCVO
PRESIDENTMichael Grandage CBE
CHAIRMAN OF GOVERNORSPaul Taiano
PRINCIPALProfessor Gavin Henderson CBE
GRADUATION CEREMONY 2013
Royal Festival Hall Southbank Centre, London SE1
Monday 9 December 2013
DEGREES TO BE CONFERRED BYProfessor Sir Adrian Smith FRS
Vice-Chancellor University of London
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Message from the Principal
Welcome to this great annual gathering of the Central community, and congratulations to all of you receiving your awards today. We are also pleased to have so many family and friends here to support you, and join in celebrating the fineachievementwhichyourgraduationrepresents. We wish you well in what lies ahead, and hope that you will remain in touchespeciallyviatheAlumniOfficeand Newsletter. Some of you will be continuing with postgraduate study and research, but many will be thinking that this Ceremony marks a conclusion of your time at Central. This shouldnt be so; your relationship with the School will, I hope, be continuous. There should be other ways in which the resource of Central, as a major force in the UKs theatrical life, and its connections, can help you in the years to come.
You are entering a profession that is still one of the UKs vibrant success stories. Much gloom may attach to the traditional focus of support such as local authorities and the Arts Council England. But this is just a small part of a very big industry. Certainly we need to nourish experiment and development of new ideas. There always have been battles, and always will bestrugglestofindthefundingforsuchendeavour; Centrals commitment to research is but one avenue in this process. Aside from this, the predictions that recession would bring the commercial theatre to its knees have proved false. ThefilmandTVindustryisbuoyant,andmore and more work is travelling abroad much of it led by Central graduates. It is we who make things happen.
Today we also welcome three new Honorary Fellows; each can be said to have made things happen and continue to do so. Kevin Whately is an alumnus of Central and known in just about every household in the land as Lewis. Jenny Sealey is a pioneer and leader in creative opportunity for those with disability, who co-directed the Opening Ceremony of last years Paralympics to great acclaim. StephenPoliakoffisquitesimplyoneof our foremost playwrights; without playwrightsitwouldbeaverydifferentprofession!
Over the next three years, a new building will emerge. Subject to feasibility and planning consent, Phase 5 will include replacement for Studios 1 and 2 on Buckland Crescent, and workshop, with additional studios (having particular regard to Film/TV and Broadcasting needs), a new Courtyard studio theatre and a range of several practice rooms andoffices.ThiswillkeepCentralattheforefront of our sector. Our application and recruitment statistics are excellent. That this is so has much to do with word of mouth from our alumni. So as you go forth do please spread the word of Royal Central, as you build what we all hope will be hugely stimulating and successful careers.
Professor Gavin Henderson CBE Principal
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He was appointed writer-in-residence at the National Theatre in 1976, aged 23. In the same year, he won the Evening Standards Most Promising Playwright Award for Hitting Town and City Sugar. He began writing single dramas for the BBC in the late 1970s, including the BAFTA-winning Caught On A Train.
Stephen made his directorial debut with hisfeaturefilmHidden City in 1988. He remainedworkinginfilmandtheatrethroughout much of the nineties, writing and directing, amongst others, Close My Eyes and Century for the cinema; and for theatre, Sweet Panic and Talk Of The City.
In 1999 he returned to television with award-winning drama serials Shooting The Past and Perfect Strangers, followed by severalcriticallyacclaimedone-offdramasfor the BBC. These include the Emmy Award-winning The Lost Prince and Gideons Daughter, which also won two Golden Globes and a Peabody Award in 2007.
Stephensmostrecentfilmforthecinemawas Glorious 39 in 2009 and his most recent stage play was My City at the Almeida Theatre in 2011.
This year Stephen returned to television drama with Dancing On The Edge, which aired on BBC2 in February 2013.
Robin Nelson is Professor of Theatre and Intermedial Performance and Director of Research at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, and Professor Emeritus at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has published widely on the performing arts and media.
Professor Nelson is a co-founding editor of Critical Studies in Television, for which he guest co-edited a special issue on Archiving (5/2, November 2010).
His books include Practice as Research in the Arts (Palgrave, 2013), Stephen Poliakoff: on stage and screen (Methuen Drama, 2011), Mapping Intermediality in Performance (co-edited with Bay-Cheng, S et al, Amsterdam University Press, 2010), State of Play: Contemporary High-End TV Drama (Manchester University Press, 2007).
INTRODUCED BY Professor Robin Nelson
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Stephen Poliakoff JENNY SEALEY
Jenny Sealey has been Graeaes Artistic Director since 1997. In 2009, she was awarded a MBE in the Queens Honours and became an Artistic Advisor for the Unlimited 2012 Festival.
Jennys theatre credits for Graeae include Reasons To Be Cheerful (2010 co-produced with The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and Theatre Royal Stratford East, 2012 national tour co-produced with the New Wolsey Theatre, and 2012 performance at the Southbank Centre), Signs Of A Star Shaped Diva, Static (co-production with Suspect Culture), Blasted, Whiter Than Snow (co- production with Birmingham Rep), Flower Girls (co-production with The New Wolsey, Ipswich), Peeling, Bent, Iron Man and Rhinestone Rollers.
Her other theatre and outdoor credits include Blood Wedding (Setagaya Public Theatre, Tokyo), Romeo And Juliet (Saitama Arts Theatre, Tokyo), Against The Tide (Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, Milton Keynes International Festival and The National Theatres Watch This Space), The Garden (GDIF and the Southbank Centre), The Limbless Knight A Tale Of Rights Reignited (GDIF).
Jenny co-directed the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony alongside Bradley Hemmings (GDIF). She also won the Liberty Human Rights Arts Award and was named on the Time Out London and the Hospital Club h.Club100 list of the mostinfluentialandcreativepeopleinthecreative industries.
Jodi Myers is both a governor and an alumna of Central. She works as a consultant with a wide variety of organisations across the arts and as a mentor/coach to artists, producers and managers.
Prior to consultancy, Jodi was Director of Performing Arts at the Southbank Centre (which includes the Royal Festival Hall), Director of Warwick Arts Centre and Deputy Director of Touring at the Arts Council of Great Britain, with particular responsibility for drama. Her early career was spent in marketing opera and stage managing theatre.
Jodi has served on the boards of a number of theatre companies, including Propeller and Graeae. Currently, she is also independent Chair of the National Dance Network.
introduced by Jodi Myers
Photo: Matt Cetti-Roberts
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Having left Central in 1975, Kevin Whately spent seven years in repertory theatre, playing parts ranging from Prince Hal in Henry IV and John Proctor in The Crucible, to a Pantomime Dame in Simple Simon.
His other work includes commercial tours as Sir Anthony Quayles King Lear for Prospect/Old Vic Company and in London he has performed in many theatres such as The Bush, the Roundhouse, the Tricycle and many other venues. He played opposite Helen McCrory in How I Learned To Drive at the Donmar, Juror 8 (the Henry Fonda role) in Twelve Angry Men directed by Harold Pinter at the Comedy Theatre (now the Harold Pinter Theatre), and in 1999 was a member of the Peter Hall Company at The Old Vic.
KevinsfilmrolesincludeThe Return Of The Soldier, Purely Belter, and Anthony Minghellas multi-Oscar-winning The English Patient.
He is best known for his television performances. After early work in Shackleton, Coronation Street and Angels, he landed the role of Neville in Auf Weidersehen Pet, whichranforfiveseriesbetween1983and2003. This was followed by Sergeant Lewis in Inspector Morse with John Thaw in 32 feature-length,BAFTA-winningfilmsover14years, as well as three seasons as Dr Jack Kerruish in Peak Practice and two as Jimmy in The Brokers Man. For the last eight years he has been making two-hour Lewisfilmsfor ITV, of which there have been 27 so far.
He has also played leads in many mini-seriesandone-offs,suchasTriptrap, Pure Wickedness, Plain Jane, and The Children, all by Lucy Gannon, and in Belonging and Joe Maddisons War, both by Alan Plater.