Judi Dench Performing Arts Theatre - official opening on 18th March 2015

For the last two years Keswick School has been undergoing a £2.2 million expansion programme. The centrepiece is a new performing arts theatre and dance studio. Judi Dench has agreed to give her name to the new theatre. She has a strong affiliation with the Lake District, being one of the founding patrons of Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. She had hoped to attend the opening ceremony in person but, due to work commitments, she has asked Professor Bob Fowler, OBE, FRSA to deputise for her. Professor Fowler’s roles have included National Advisor for the Arts and Principal/Chief Executive of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama when Judi Dench was President. Bob Fowler led the national establishment of degrees for students who attended recognised Theatre Schools.

The Judi Dench Performing Arts Theatre will be formally opened at 2.15pm on Wednesday 18th March 2015. Following the opening ceremony there will be a programme of drama and dance performances for an invited audience. The full programme of events to celebrate the opening will commence at 2pm and conclude at 3.40pm.

The new theatre has been designed by WK Design Architects and constructed by Lambert Gill. Funding for this project was received from the Department for Education, Keswick School Trustees and the Garfield Weston Foundation. The state of the art design is based on visits to Theatre by the Lake and expert advice from sound and lighting engineers. The theatre includes a Foyer, control room, gantry, green room, tiered seating, main theatre and dance studio.

Simon Jackson, the Headteacher, said:

‘We’re honoured that Judi Dench has agreed to give her name to our new performing arts theatre. Keswick School has a strong reputation in the creative subjects. We also have an excellent working relationship with Theatre by the Lake with many of our students participating in their productions. Creative subjects enhance the richness of the educational experience our students benefit from. We believe it gives them a great deal of confidence and the ability to innovate. These are some of the many characteristics that make Keswick students unique and distinctive.’