President of LAMDA, Benedict Cumberbatch CBE said: “In these challenging times the arts have never been more vital. They inspire, illuminate and entertain us. They help us experience and understand the world in new ways, challenging our perceptions and reshaping our own realities to include that of others. This means it is vital to maintain not just the quality of actors and technicians that LAMDA send out into the industry, but also for our body of students to reflect the world that we live in. A world which is one of people from widely differing economic, ethnic, physical, social and gender backgrounds.
The Rt. Hon Shaun Woodward hosted an auction of exclusive, ‘money-can’t-buy’ items, generously donated by LAMDA’s supporters and alumni. These included, Lunch with Rory Kinnear at The Clink Restaurant in HMP Brixton, Film premieres with David Oyelowo, Sam Claflin, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jessica Swale, Afternoon Tea with Jim Broadbent, An Evening in Conversation with Dame Harriet Walter, an original portrait by John Lithgow, Shakespearean Masterclass with Dame Janet Suzman, a night at the theatre with Emily Beecham, meet and greet with stars of Casualty, an oil painting by Maggi Hamblin, opening night theatre and parties from ATG, villas in Mustique and France and many more.
The evening opened with a champagne reception in The Manny & Brigitta Davidson Foyer followed by dinner in three Shakespearean themed rehearsal rooms. Guests were entertained with a one-night-only show in the Sainsbury Theatre, featuring poetry, music and play extracts performed by LAMDA alumni Benedict Cumberbatch, Leah Harvey, Samuel Barnett, Charles Babalola and Nadia Albina and current students, all stage-managed by current LAMDA student technicians.