Established in 1978 by a group of actors including Sheila Hancock and Clive Swift (who were both in attendance last night), the Actors Centre was created in order to “nurture the art of performance in any media”, running training and development workshops as well as providing a meeting and networking point for its members.
The Actors Centre moved to its current West End base in 1994 and its recently refurbished premises now include five rehearsal studios, a media studio and the 70-seat Tristan Bates Theatre. It currently boasts a membership of over 2300, and offers a programme of over 1500 workshops every year.
The organisation is headed by Matthew Lloyd, formerly artistic director of the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, who was on hand at last night’s gathering to address the guests, along with current patron Julie Walters, whose predecessors in the role include Alan Bates, Alec Guinness and Laurence Olivier.
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PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.
Our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand at the Actors Centre, Tower Street, along with a large guest list of actors, directors and patrons including Richard Wilson, Clive Swift, Julie Walters, Sheila Hancock, Dianne Pilkington, Nigel Planer, Sally Ann Triplett, Doreen Mantle, Julian Glover, Rosalind Knight, David Swift, Dawn Keeler, Murray Melvin, Harriet Thorpe and Henry Goodman, who presented the fourth annual Alan Bates bursary of £2000 to graduate actor Luke Norris.
- By Theo Bosanquet