What first struck me about this book, which has been so thoughtfully compiled by Ian Closier-Hawkins, is just how many individuals he has obtained quotes from, whose names are familiar to me, but who I had not associated with this particular Drama School.
It’s been a real page turner from that point of view, but the content is s fascinating, too. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about the experiences of some of my personal favourites, such as that of Carol Royle, I was intrigued to read a snapshot from her student life experience. Dame Judi Dench is also among the contributes, how amazing that Royal Central School of Speech and Drama was based at The Royal Albert Hall while she was there. John Owen-Jones who has been a popular Phantom of the Opera for some time, also gives a good account of his time in education. Gina Beck, Zoe Wanamaker CBE and Philip Glenister also speak fondly of their Drama School days. What’s important is that the writer also puts in his own contribution, he was a student on the Theatre Practice – Stage Management course and as he says in his interview which is also published on this site, it’s a way of showing what else is on offer at Drama School, besides acting courses.
With a Foreword by Michael Grandage CBE who is President of Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and with over 100 alumni featured, one thing is evident Closier-Hawkins has put thought, imagination and heart into this book. It makes for a great read and I feel that it will also become quite a resource for me to dip in and out of. Well done, Ian, you’ve done a tremendous job and I think you’ve done Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, proud.
You can email Ian to order a copy of the book: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact him via Twitter @mrianhawkins