New Director of LAMDA Sarah Frankcom, with LAMDA President Benedict Cumberbatch

LAMDA appoints Sarah Frankcom as new Director

We are delighted to today announce the appointment of acclaimed theatre director Sarah Frankcom as our new Director. Bringing world class industry experience, Frankcom joins from the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester where she has been Artistic Director for the last five years.

Speaking on her appointment, Sarah Frankcom said: “I am thrilled to be appointed as LAMDA’s new Director. LAMDA is a drama school that consistently delivers world-class arts training and examinations, and whose alumni I’ve always found to be the most open, collaborative, and generous during my work as a director. I’m looking forward to building on LAMDA’s success and grasping the opportunity to re-imagine what a relevant 21st Century theatre training without barriers could be for all emerging talent.”

Frankcom is widely regarded as one of the most influential British theatre directors of the last decade. She was responsible for bringing a series of critically acclaimed shows to the Royal Exchange, most recently Death of a Salesman with Don Warrington, Happy Days with Maxine Peake, and Our Town, for which she was awarded Best Director at the 2018 UK Theatre Awards.

In the newly created role of Director, Frankcom will shape and lead LAMDA’s creative vision and oversee the training of the next generation of dramatic artists, directors and technicians. She will work directly with students to ensure they benefit first hand from her wealth of industry experience. The Directorship replaces the role of Principal following the departure of Joanna Read in January. 

Welcoming the announcement, Benedict Cumberbatch, LAMDA President and alumni, said: “This is going to be a very exciting next chapter for LAMDA and hugely exciting for the incredibly talented students who will now have the chance to train under Sarah’s leadership. I am thrilled at the prospect of working with Sarah, who I know has a passion for finding the best talent from whatever background and increasing diversity on stage and screen. Sarah has an incredibly strong reputation and I am sure her leadership at LAMDA will be a performance to truly grip the industry.”

Shaun Woodward, Chair of LAMDA, said: “This is an amazing appointment for LAMDA and a great next step for the school. Sarah is one of the outstanding directors in the UK and she will provide great leadership for our students in the years ahead. We are thrilled.”

Sir Nicholas Hytner, former artistic director of the National Theatre, adds: “Sarah is a tremendous appointment as LAMDA’s new Director. She is one of the UK’s outstanding directors from one of our leading theatres. Sarah galvanised Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, transforming the careers of countless young actors in a succession of greatly admired productions.”

Simon Stephens, Playwright, said: “The appointment of Sarah Frankcom to lead the acting school at LAMDA has the potential to be one of the most significant appointments in actor training and in the broader theatre ecology of recent years. I have worked with Sarah for over two decades. She is a director of singular intelligence and nuance; a reader of clarity and force and a teacher of the highest order. She has inspired loyalty and affection in every actor she has worked with. The list of young actors she has given early work to who have then gone on to international careers of the highest significance is unparalleled. I am as fascinated by what Sarah will achieve at LAMDA as I am thrilled by this visionary appointment.”

Frankcom will officially take up the role in November 2019 as we enter our first year as an independent Higher Education Provider and move forward to realising our ambition of achieving degree awarding powers.

Published on 28 February 2019