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Support for students at Drama Centre

The Friends of The Drama Centre London is a UK registered charity 1040963. The object of the charity is to provide financial assistance to students at Drama Centre who are in financial need, enabling them to continue their education.


We wish to note here our terrible sadness at the death of Aaron Harris, Chairman of the Friends of Drama Centre for 14 years and and Trustee of this Charity for 27 years. Aaron was a long standing supporter and believer in Drama Centre and its ethos - he was a fantastic actor, writer, friend and longstanding member of the Drama Centre core community. His passing has been communicated to us and we are sorry to say we have no further details at this time. 


As is well known to you all - Drama Centre London closed in 2022. The Friends of Drama Centre London is now offering grants to support and develop the creative and professional work of DCL graduates in any performance medium from our remaining funds, prior to winding down and closing the charity in 2024.



The Grants:

We intend to offer a series of grants totalling £24k. The grants are for a minimum of £1k and a maximum of £4k. We are flexible in respect of how many grants are awarded of what amount within the maximum allotted expenditure of £24k. 



Applications will be selected with the following criteria. The lead applicant must be a graduate from any Drama Centre course from the beginning of the school until its closure in 2022. 


Selection Criteria 

·      Clear articulation of projects aims and vision. 

·      How the project relates to the professional creative life of the applicant(s)

·      Practicability. Is the project achievable within six months of receiving support?

·      How the project relates to Drama Centre training/ ethos and its graduates. 


We are looking to support creative projects such as workshops, readings, research and development, or contribute to specific costs towards the creative aspects of a performance project. We are particularly keen to support applications from small groups and ensembles rather than personal projects. We would like to maximise expenditure on people rather than rental of equipment or rehearsal space. Projects which we will not support include personal professional costs such as headshots, personal travel costs or purchases which only benefit an individual.


How to apply:

·       Write an A4 page (max 1000 words) outlining your project, detailing who you are and what you hope to achieve with your project. 

·      Provide us with a budget breakdown of how you intend to spend the money, and a timeline for your expenditure. Your budget must be based on professional wages, or at least on the current London Living Wage for all participants and include all contributions from other sources.

·      You are welcome to provide additional supporting material such as scripts, screenplays, letters of recommendation etc. 


The deadline for applications is 5.00pm on the 1st September 2023. Applications received after this date will not be considered. 


Please email your application to


*The Friends of Drama Centre acknowledge that we are using the mailing list previously used for the End of Era Party, July 31st 2023.


 We are doing so purely to ensure the word about these Grants is well known by graduates and former staff. Please let us know if you would like your details to be removed from this list, and this will happen right away. As the charity winds down to close, we want to reassure you that any email addresses we have on file will be destroyed and this email deleted, by July 31st 2024. Many thanks. 


**Please feel free to pass this email to any of your year groups, staff, and What’s app Groups you may be apart of. Please note we will be posting to the Prince of Wales Road FB Group. 



Help Drama Centre students make ends meet

We provide hardship funding for Drama Centre students at a time when the cost of training in London is increasingly challenging. The fund has been built on the goodwill and loyalty of alumni and staff. It is the interest from this capital fund which provides us with the means to respond quickly to our students to help them with day-to-day living costs and some limited scholarship support.

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The work of the school and support from Friends


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, Chalk Farm, but moved first to Back Hill, Clerkenwell in 2004, then to its current site at King's Cross in 2011. Since 1999, it has operated as an integral part of Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, offering degree programmes in acting, directing and screenwriting.

A principal 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 and international actors. Its approach articulates Stanislavski's system, with the movement work of Rudolf Laban and the character typology of Carl Jung to produce a 'movement psychology' for the analysis and development of characters. The school's work is, at it's core, based on Yat Malmgren's teachings on 'Character Analysis' and also draws on the English traditions, 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.



We are grateful to Drama Centre Alumni for their continued support, particularly to Francis De La Tour for setting up the original Friends initiative and for Pierce Brosnan for being a key supporter.  Notable alumni include Jack Shepherd, Penelope Wilton, Don Warrington, David Leland, Adrian Noble, Simon Callow, Geraldine James, Helen McCrory, Tara Fitzgerald, Anastasia Hille, Anne Marie Duff, John Simm, Sean Harris, Paul Bettany, Ariyon Bakare, Michael Fassbender, Russell Brand, Tom Hardy, Emilia Clarke, Gwendoline Christie, Ansu Kabia, Ruta Gedmintas, Jodie McNee, Gemma Chan, Rungano Nyoni, Edward Holcroft, Anita Joy Uwajeh, and Elizabeth Chan.



We aim to fulfil our remit more fully, running campaigns and initiatives to support collaborative new writing projects, providing bursaries for BAME students specifically, and hosting Gala and Fundraising events to raise awareness about initiatives like Act for Change, Parents In Performing Arts, ERA 50/50 (Equal Representation for Actresses) and more. Many of these social justice movements were founded by Drama Centre Alumni.


We would be interested to hear from you about new initiatives and fund raising ideas, as well as events that broaden the artistic engagement of the Drama Centre London community. 

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"The aim of the Drama Centre is to provide the student actor with a systematic approach to the problems of acting...; to teach them to make a proper use of themselves as an organic being on the stage; and to equip them with the freedom that derives, not from license to 'do their own thing' but from the mastery of their creative resources."

from Prospero's Isle - Christopher Fettes

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