London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art

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"LAMDA" redirects here. It is not to be confused with the Greek letter Lambda.
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Gower Street entrance
The main entrance to LAMDA
Established 1861
Type Drama school
Chancellor Timothy West
Principal Joanna Read
Location London, England
Affiliations Conservatoire of Dance and Drama
Website Official website
LAMDA school logo.jpg

The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) is a leading British drama school situated in the west of London, United Kingdom. Having celebrated its 150th Anniversary in 2011, LAMDA is the oldest drama school in the United Kingdom, and is consistently regarded as a world-class performing arts institute renowned for its excellence in theatre education.

The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art prepares actors, directors, designers, stage managers and technicians for careers in the industry. It also helps more than 83,000 candidates worldwide develop their communication and performance skills through LAMDA Examinations, the UK's leading statutory awarding body for speech and drama.

LAMDA's president is Timothy West and its Principal is Joanna Read (who succeeded Peter James in 2010).[1] In recent years, over 98% of LAMDA's stage management and technical theatre graduates have found work in their chosen field within weeks of graduation and the Academy's graduates work regularly at the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare's Globe, London's West End and Hollywood as well as on the BBC, HBO and Broadway.It is registered as a company under the name LAMDA Ltd[2] and as a charity under its trading name London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.[3] There is an associate organisation in America under the name LAMDA in America, Inc., previously known as The American Friends of LAMDA.[4]

LAMDA Examinations are recognised by Ofqual, the regulator in England and its counterparts in Wales and Northern Ireland. In addition, LAMDA accredited examinations at level 3 are recognised by the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) points system.

As an affiliate of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, LAMDA receives funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). This means that eligible UK/EU students are able to access loans to assist with their tuition fees and maintenance costs. In addition, LAMDA and the Conservatoire have a range of scholarships and bursaries available.


The institutions that combined to form LAMDA date from 1861, making the Academy the oldest of its kind in Britain, with a long-established reputation for excellence. Providing training for, and examinations in, various musical disciplines was originally the dominant purpose of the institution. However, providing instruction in spoken English quickly became a core area of the Academy’s work.

In the 1880s, LAMDA began offering speech examinations to the public. Since then, these examinations have been refined and developed into a comprehensive system of performance evaluation. LAMDA Examinations has emerged as the largest Speech and Drama Board in the United Kingdom, with an international reputation.

The early twentieth century saw a profound change in how theatre was created and this necessitated a change in how actors were trained. What we now recognise as drama schools began to appear. LAMDA was perfectly placed for this revolution and began training theatre practitioners in earnest.

The past few years have witnessed important growth for the Academy . A vital move to a larger and more visible home on the Talgarth Road in West London has enabled LAMDA to further develop the campus and training facilities for its highly talented students. Furthermore, in June 2004, the Academy became an affiliate of the prestigious Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, reinforcing its status as a leading institution in both acting and technical theatre.

Today the Academy is synonymous with professionally trained actors and theatre technicians. Scarcely a year goes by without LAMDA's former students being honoured at a major film, television or theatre award ceremony. LAMDA has equally gained a reputation as a source of critically acclaimed new writing with two plays (Mark Ravenhill's Mother Clap's Molly House and Di Trevis's Remembrance of Things Past) devised and first performed at LAMDA before transferring to the National Theatre and beyond.

In recent years, LAMDA has also gained great acclaim in the corporate and educational sectors. LAMDA Business Performance (LBP) combines expertise in drama training with communication, team-building and public speaking skills. This bespoke training for business leaders has recently been paralleled by special education-based programmes for young people and their teachers devised by LAMDA Learning Performance (LLP). Specialising in reaching children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, LLP seeks to improve the quality of learning through workshops that increase communication skills and confidence.[5]


LAMDA regularly presents productions at the Lyric Hammersmith, Riverside Studios and the Linbury Studio Theatre. Tickets are normally free, but donations are encouraged.[6]

Boards & Honorary Fellows[edit]

Board of Trustees[edit]

  • President: Timothy West CBE FRSA
  • Vice-President: Dame Janet Suzman DBE
  • Chairman: Luke Rittner
  • Vice-Chairman: Harold Sanditen
  • Other Board members: Hugh Bullock, James Cane, Philip Carne, Kay Ellen Consolver, Kevin Fitzmaurice, Paul Gismondi, Anthony Gordon-Lennox, Patricia Hodge, Paterson Joseph, Victoria Legge-Bourke LVO, Timothy Oakley, Mark Schnebli, Sue Stapely, Richard Szpiro, Thomas Vaughan.

Advisory Council[edit]

Honorary Fellows[edit]

  • Norman Ayrton
  • Eileen Collins LLAM (Hons)
  • Colin Cook FRSA
  • Zoë Dominic OBE
  • The Rev. Michael Forrest
  • Brian Tilston LLAM (Hons) FLAM



External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′26″N 0°12′52″W / 51.49056°N 0.21444°W / 51.49056; -0.21444