The Judi Dench Fund for Access to Drama Training

Founded in 1945, Mountview stands for access, excellence and innovation. We believe that talent and potential should be the only requirements for entry, and that a young person’s circumstances should never prevent them from realising their potential.

Yet it has never been more expensive to train. With living costs increasing year-on-year and socio-economic divides continuing to widen, for many, an education at Mountview simply isn’t possible without additional help.

The Judi Dench Fund for Access to Drama Training – named in honour of our President – has been established to invest in initiatives that break down barriers to drama training.

Stephen Jameson
Principal & Artistic Director
Sarah Preece
Executive Director

The UK is second to none when it comes to live theatre and the creative industries. To maintain this position we must invest in the next generation of actors, musical theatre performers, directors and writers. You can do just that today by supporting Mountview.

Dame Judi Dench, President of Mountview

Donate to the Judi Dench Fund

The Judi Dench Fund will:

Find and support diverse talent

We are committed to developing the very best, irrespective of social, financial or cultural background. Recognising that there is a significant pool of talent who wouldn’t traditionally consider drama training to be accessible, we work with a network of over 50 scouting partners – from youth clubs to arts centres – to find diverse artists across the country. Those identified receive free auditions and travel support, removing initial barriers and giving them the very best chance of success.

Provide comprehensive scholarship support

A diverse student body is only possible with significant scholarship support, and we are committed to helping students navigate the financial challenges of living and studying in London. Over 50% of undergraduate students at Mountview are considered to come from low-income families, and receive funding for their tuition and / or living costs. Yet we are some way short of offering comprehensive support to all students in need and more investment is vitally needed.

Safeguard the physical and mental health of our students

Drama training is intensive and challenging, and for those students who haven’t been afforded prior high-level training, it can be difficult to adjust. As well as supporting those with disclosed mental health conditions and specific learning difficulties, we recognise that wellbeing and welfare provision is vital, so that all students can thrive throughout their training.

Make emergency grants for students

Coronavirus is having a devastating effect on artists throughout the country, and those at the outset of their careers even more so. Many of our students are facing unforeseen financial difficulties, with a sharp increase in requests for emergency grants which we predict will continue for some time as family incomes suffer. Investment in emergency hardship support ensures those most vulnerable are supported when it matters most.

“Mountview was the only school willing to give someone like me a chance. I was going through the homeless system and I thought going to drama school was going to be an impossible mission, but then Mountview offered me a full scholarship and it changed my life. The past three years have been incredible. I have learnt so much and have a degree, a top agent and have already shot my first role for a feature film.”

Charlie Heptinstall, Third year BA (Hons) Acting student

What your donation could do

£25 could cover the cost of a student travelcard for a week

£50 could cover the audition costs of an aspiring actor discovered through our scouting network

£100 could pay for 2 individual physio sessions for our dancers

£250 could fund a counsellor for the day, offering 1:1 sessions for 6 students

£500 could fund an emergency grant for a student facing loss of income as a result of coronavirus

£1,000 could fund a student’s travel costs for year

£2,500 could mean the difference between a student being able to pay their tuition fees or forfeiting their place


Dame Judi Dench CH DBE FRSA
Olivia Colman CBE
Noma Dumezweni

Leigh Lawson
Dame Twiggy Lawson DBE
Eddie Marsan

Tom Piper MBE
Giles Terera MBE
Noah Thomas

Listen to Fund Ambassador Giles Terera in conversation with Judi Dench as part of Mountview LIVE