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Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London

The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) is a drama school located on Gower Street, London. It is one of the oldest drama schools in the United Kingdom, having been founded in 1904, and is generally regarded as one of the most prestigious drama schools in the world.

In 1948, Alfred Hitchcock's daughter Patricia enrolled at RADA:

I went over to UCLA to enroll, but I failed to bring with me the $12 for registration, so I left and went back home. Before I could even ask Daddy for the $12, he asked me if I would rather go to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (the famous RADA) in London! Would I ever! Mama took me to New York in January 1948 and put me on the Queen Mary. In London, I stayed with Mary and Teresa Hitchcock, two maiden elderly cousins of Daddy's who lived right outside London, in Golders Green. It was a great experience and one that certainly confirmed my passion for acting.
— Patricia Hitchcock[1]

Amongst the RADA alumni who appeared in a Hitchcock film are Margaret Lockwood, Charles Laughton, Claude Rains, John Gielgud, Cedric Hardwicke, Billie Whitelaw, Alan Napier, Patricia Cutts, Anthony Quayle and Alec McCowen.

Hitchcock's Films

Stage Fright (1950)

In the film, Eve Gill is an aspiring actress at RADA. As well as filming the exterior of the building, Hitchcock secured permission to use the Academy's Rehearsal Theatre to stage the scene where Jonathan Cooper interrupts Eve's rehersal.[2]

According to Gary Giblin, the exterior filming failed to go smoothly:

  • Sir Kenneth Barnes, the head of RADA, kept peering through his office window and ruining the shot. He was eventually invited to step outside and stand next to Hitchcock to observe the filming.
  • Local residents complained that the road had been blocked to traffic.
  • The camera crane was wheel-mounted and a local police officer insisted that the camera operator Jack Haste needed to have an British driving licence before he could operate the camera — which apparently had top speed of 2mph! With filming stalled, calls were made to Scotland Yard who overruled the officer and allowed the camera crane to be used without a driving licence.

Image Gallery

Images from the Hitchcock Gallery (click to view larger versions or search for all relevant images)...

Google Maps

Nearest Locations


Notes & References

  1. "Alma Hitchcock: The Woman Behind the Man" - by Pat Hitchcock O'Connell and Laurent Bouzereau (2004), page 138
  2. Alfred Hitchcock's London: A Reference Guide to Locations (2009) by Gary Giblin, pages 31-33