A 200-seat theatre in Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts’ new Peckham base has been named after Cameron Mackintosh, who has donated £1 million to the drama school.
The theatre will present more than 20 student productions annually, as well as hosting work from visiting professional companies and community groups.
The £1 million gift completes the school’s fundraising campaign.
Mackintosh described it as an “inspired idea” to relocate the school to Peckham, which he described as “far away from the leafy, affluent suburbs where drama schools are usually sited”.
He said Mountview was on track to “enjoy a brilliant new era as one of Britain’s finest drama schools,” and added: “A lot has been written recently, sometimes unfairly, about careers in the theatre being out of reach to anyone who is not from a well-heeled background. The new Mountview will prove that to get on, you don’t have to be posh. You just have to be good.”
Chair Vikki Heywood described the gift as “game-changing for Mountview”.
“Cameron’s generosity provides us with our first main house theatre in our 75-year history. His commitments to training the next generation of talented actors and theatre technicians, from wherever they come, is perfectly in tune with the vision of our principal, Stephen Jameson and executive director, Sarah Preece,” she added.