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Judi Dench and Sonia Friedman share memories of Central for new book

Guests at the launch party for Royal Central: A Collection of Memories this week
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Judi Dench, Sonia Friedman and Zoe Wanamaker are among more than 120 Royal Central School of Speech and Drama alumni who have shared their memories of training there for a new book.

Royal Central: A Collection of Memories has been compiled by Ian Closier-Hawkins, and also includes contributions from Wendy Craig, Andrew Garfield, Michael Grandage, John Owen-Jones and Kevin Whately.

In her contribution, Dench recalls how the school was based at the Royal Albert Hall during her training, and that there was a lot of filming taking place at the time.

“I remember cutting a lecture one day to go and watch James Stewart filming: he passed us in the corridor and said ‘Hello’. What a treat,” she recalls.

The book, launched this week, has been published to coincide with the school’s 110th anniversary. More than eight decades of memories, dating back to the 1940s, are featured.