Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts
Established 1945
President Dame Judi Dench, C.H, D.B.E
Principal Stephen Jameson
Executive Director Sarah Preece
Chairman Vicky Heywood CBE
Founder Peter Coxhead MBE, D.Litt, Ralph Nossek
Location Kingfisher Place
Clarendon Road

N22 6XF
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Coordinates: 51°35′39″N 0°06′48″W / 51.5943°N 0.1133°W / 51.5943; -0.1133
Local authority Haringey
DfE URN 53432 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Gender Mixed
Students 400
Website Official Website

Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, originally called Mountview Theatre School from (1958-2000) but commonly known as Mountview is an independent drama school situated in the Wood Green area of North London. It was founded in 1945 by Peter Coxhead and Ralph Nossek as the Mountview Theatre Club. [1] The Academy currently provides specialist vocational training in acting and musical theatre, as well as production arts. Since 2006 the President of the school is Dame Judi Dench, the Principal and Artistic Director Stephen Jameson was appointed in 2014. It is one of the leading drama schools in the United Kingdom [2]

The institution prepares students for a professional career in the performing arts. The academy and its courses are accredited by Drama UK and it offers Qualifications and Curriculum Authority recognised and validated by the University of East Anglia and Trinity College, London. It was rated "Outstanding" by Ofsted in 2011.. Key areas of study include Performance and Production.


Mountview was founded in Crouch End in 1945[3] by Peter Coxhead and Ralph Nossek as 'The Mountview Theatre Club', an amateur repertory company staging a new production for a six-day run every second week. Among the club's achievements were Coxhead's staging of Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, a production of the complete Arnold Wesker Trilogy – Chicken Soup with Barley, Roots and I'm Talking about Jerusalem directed by Peter Scott-Smith – and Buttered Both Sides, a revue written and composed by Mountview member Ted Dicks and directed by Gale Webb, which later transferred to the Fortune Theatre in London's West End.

Early in 1946, when he was still only 21, Coxhead borrowed £2,300 to buy the lease of Cecile House, a large derelict property at Crouch End, north London. [4] There was a substantial amount of work to be carried out, including the conversion of a gymnasium into what is now the Mountview Theatre. Coxhead, Nossek, and a handful of friends, who devoted every moment of their spare time to building the theatre, dressing rooms and rehearsal space, did all this work themselves.

The Mountview Theatre officially opened in November 1947 with a production of The Importance of Being Earnest. [5] The theater presented a play per month until 1949, Peter Coxhead bought the building outright from the leaseholders and for the next 25 years,they staged a new production every two to three weeks. Ralph Nossek went on to pursue a professional acting career in 1955 that lasted 56 years.

Acting courses and technical theatre skills training were introduced part-time from 1958 when Mountview Theatre School was formally recognized in name its first President was George Norman with Coxhead as its Principal this was the format for the next 10 years.

In 1969 the school started full-time drama courses and with Dame Margaret Rutherford becoming the schools second president until 1972 she was replaced by Sir Ralph Richardson.

In 1971 a second performance space was built and opened as the Judi Dench Theatre, there were also 10 working studios for acting students, three for technical students and a wardrobe of in excess of 15,000 costumes. Sir Ralph Richardson died in 1983 and was replaced as president by Sir John Mills. By 1985 the school had leased additional premises at Wood Green, that were named the Sir Ralph Richardson Memorial Studios.

Coxhead retired as Principal in 1996 he was replaced by Paul Clements the former Director of Drama at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Peter Coxhead became Chairman and Chief Executive of the school board until 2000 when Mountview Theatre School changed its name to the Mountview Acadmemy of Theatre Arts, In 2001 Coxhead was awarded an MBE for Services to the Arts, in 2004 after 59 years involvement with the school he founded Peter Coxhead died.

In 2005 John Mills was replaced by new and current president Judi Dench. In 2007, the British reality television show E4 School of Performing Arts offered several would-be actors the chance to win scholarships to Mountview, Italia Conti and the ACM. Mountview's Director of Acting Programme, Amir M. Korangy appeared on the show as part of the panel.

Paul Clements remained as principal until 2008 when he was replaced by Sue Robertson previously Dean of the School of Arts at City University London.

In 2011, Mountview principal Robertson announced plans for the school to relocate to the Hornsey Town Hall in Crouch End, north London, by the beginning of the 2014–15 academic year. The Grade II-listed building will be refurbished in a £19 million project.[6] Haringey Council's cabinet approved the plan on 26 April 2011, however a planning application must be submitted and English Heritage approval granted before work may start on the revised refurbishment.[7]

Sue Robertson stepped down as Principal in January 2014 and was replaced by Stephen Jameson who was Director of Performance since 2012 he was previously Associate Director at LAMDA.[8][9]

Full-time courses




Short courses

Past presidents

Past principals


For a full list of previous notable students, see Category:Alumni of the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts


  1. "Peter Coxhead Obituaries The Stage". The Stage. The Stage, Jul 15, 2004. 15 July 2004. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  2. "Performing Arts Technical Training". 2015. Entertainment Technology Press. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  3. Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts 2009, p. 5.
  4. "Peter Coxhead Obituaries The Stage". The Stage. The Stage, Jul 15, 2004. 15 July 2004. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  5. "Peter Coxhead Obituaries The Stage". The Stage. The Stage, Jul 15, 2004. 15 July 2004. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  6. The Stage 2011.
  7. Haringey Independent 2011.
  8. "New Mountview Principal Announced". 2013. Mountview Academy. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  9. "Former LAMDA Associate Director, Stephen Jameson, will lead the north London drama school from January.". 4 November 2013. Fourth Wall Magazine. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  10. "Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts | London | President & Artistic Associates | Mountview | About Us". Mountview Academy, 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  11. "Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts | London | President & Artistic Associates | Mountview | About Us". Mountview Academy, 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  12. "Rowena King". Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  13. "Eddie Marsan Full Biography". 2015. The New York Times. Retrieved 13 March 2015.


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