Sir Kenneth Branagh Appointed President of Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

Congratulations to Sir Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart), who has just become the new president of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Branagh, who himself graduated from RADA in 1981, will be the school’s 16 president. He follows Lord Richard Attenborough (Jurassic Park, The Great Escape), who was president from 2002 until his death in 2014.

Branagh commented on his new position:

It’s such a privilege to be asked to take up this role. I am delighted to see – and now help – RADA continue to nurture and support generations of acting and technical talent. To be able to give back to the school [that] provided me with so much is a wonderful honour.

The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art was established in 1904 and is one of the oldest drama schools in the UK. It offers training for actors, stage managers, directors, designers, and technical stage craft specialists.

Branagh is not the only Harry Potter alumnus involved with the school. Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), who attended RADA from 1972 to 1974, serves as vice-chairman.

This is an exciting time for Sir Kenneth Branagh since earlier this year he received the Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award, and this month his new theater company is beginning its first season at the Garrick Theatre in London. The company’s plays will include such big-name actors as Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, Lily James, and Richard Madden. You can learn more about the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company and its upcoming plays here.

Catherine Lai

I have been a fan of Harry since 2000, a fan of MuggleNet since 2005, and a MuggleNet team member since 2013. I believe in the power of stories to bring people together, and nothing does that quite like Harry Potter. I’m an annoyingly proud Canadian and live in Toronto.