Watch the full interview here.
Joanna Read is the first woman to be principal of the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art, known to most as LAMDA.
It is one of London's leading centres for drama training, and is undergoing a major redevelopment which, it says, will make it the best in the world.
A former student of LAMDA, David Oyeolwo, famous for playing the lead role in Selma where he plays Martin Luther King, has recently criticised British film and TV bosses for their lack of casting black actors.
In a Headline Interview Joanna Read agreed with this comment saying she believes there is a ‘variety and a breadth’ of roles in America, which are not on offer to minorities in the UK.
She used Idris Elba, David Oyeolwo and Chiwetel Ejiofor as examples of this.
She said: “[as a country] we have taken our eye off the ball. I think people say ‘it’s fine, we have a multicultural society, and it’s being reflected.’ But I think there is a bigger obligation to to make sure we are pushing that agenda forward.”
About Joanna Read:
He career in dramatics started at university where she read Drama at Bristol University, this is where she directed her first few productions.
Being in charge seemed to suit her as she went on to manage all sorts of productions ranging from the stages of Fringe Festivals to Theatres all over the country.
Her move into drama schooling came when she joined the Young Vic Theatre education team in London, here she learnt a wealth of knowledge that led her to becoming Head of Education and Participation at Birmingham Repertory Theatre and ultimately LAMDA.
Jonanna Read champions the work of the school, and believes it is, or will be known as the best school in the world. She said: “Our goal is simple: to train exceptional dramatic artists and to inspire and empower young people across the globe. To me, LAMDA has always reflected and informed what is so extraordinary about British drama training. Our students shape the future of the industry worldwide and soon we will have the facilities to match the exceptional work they do.”
The schools has churned out some of the best and highly regarded alumni and household names, including Richard Armitage, Jim Broadbent and Ruth Wilson.
In her role as Principle, Joanna Read is currently heading a £28 million redevelopment project of the drama school.
One other alumnus is Imitation Game actor Benedict Cumberbatch. He was made a Patron of the schools Act Now! campaign, which has set up to raise funds to go towards the schools huge redevelopment scheme.
So far 80 per cent of the money going towards the construction has been raised by donations, pledges and the selling of the schools buildings.
A further £4.8 million is aimed to be raised by the Act Now! campaign.
It’s not just famous thespians who are backing the schools new restructure, politicians Saijd Javid the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Andy Slaughter MP for Hammersmith and Stephen Cowan the Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council have rallied round in support of the new plans.
Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, said: “Britain’s artists are recognised around the world and make a massive contribution to our £80 billion creative industries, so it’s vital that we continue to invest in the talent of tomorrow. LAMDA has long been home to world-class drama training, and this new campus will give it world-class facilities to match.”