After being closed to students and the public for nearly 6 months due to the COVID-19 lockdown, we are excitedly preparing to reopen our doors.

“It’s been a very involved process.” admits Sarah Preece, Peckham resident and Mountview Executive Director, “The safety of our students, staff and the local community is our number one priority, and we’ve been working hard to make sure that everyone feels safe and comfortable.”

Safety measures being put in place include the development of a Mountview App to track and monitor the health of all those entering the building and to check the health of staff and students before they even leave home. A queuing system has been set up outside the building and a one-way system has been established inside. A comprehensive Safer Campus manual has been created, as well as a short ‘flight safety’ film for staff and students which demonstrates all the new safety measures in place. Mountview will be delivering ‘blended learning’ in half sized cohort groups to reduce the number of people needing to travel, and students and staff will only travel to the building when they have timetabled lessons. Like schools, Mountview students are being placed in ‘bubbles’ to restrict mixing between year groups.

“It’s been incredibly difficult being away from our home base in Peckham, but we’re so proud of how our staff and students have taken these challenging circumstances in their stride, continued to create incredible work during lockdown and worked to ensure the building is safe for students to return. We can’t wait to be back in the heart of Peckham again!” says Sarah.

The Mountview building may have been closed during lockdown, but there’s still been plenty going on inside.

“We’ve been working with local charity Pecan to offer them free space and support for the Southwark Food bank during the COVID-19 crisis” continues Sarah, “The food bank is an amazing service and Pecan are doing tremendous work to support the local community with COVID-19 having had such an impact on their ability to support those most in need.”

“In July, we also arranged for the Mountview building to be part of Scene Change’s #MissingLiveTheatre installation which saw the building covered in hazard tape – it was fantastic that Mountview was chosen to participate in this important national campaign, bringing media attention to the enforced closure of cultural organisations.”

In happier news, during lockdown it was announced that Mountview’s Peckham home has been shortlisted for the 2020 RIBA London Regional Awards. The building was designed by Carl Turner Architects (now Turner Works), a RIBA regional and national award–winning practice, and built by Gilbert-Ash, builder of the Stirling Prize-winning Liverpool Everyman Theatre – everyone involved is thrilled to see Mountview on the 2020 shortlist.

After months of online learning lockdown, students are looking forward to in-person teaching. “Mountview pride themselves on being a drama school that adapts and evolves with the industry and the world” says Shahbaaz Khan, a Third Year Acting student, “In light of recent events and the effect of the pandemic, I’m excited to return to the building for the start of term and prepare to train as a performer and for the new challenges I will now face in the industry.”

Mountview’s Generation N*xt Young People’s online programme restarts from 12 September. For full details of all Mountview events, see the website.

Owing to social distancing restrictions, there will be no in-person classes or public performances until further notice