Superstar actor Benedict Cumberbatch has called for public support to help a Hammersmith performing arts school “open the door” to future showbiz talent.
The Hammersmith-born actor urged the community to get behind the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art’s fundraising appeal for a major revamp of its premises.
It has already raised around 98 per cent of the £28.2 million needed to complete the refurbishment.
But it still needs to generate a few hundred thousand pounds to break through the final target.
The acting academy based in Talgarth Road has ambitions to build new theatres and training spaces, while putting money aside to secure its long-term future.
Cumberbatch, star of the smash BBC series Sherlock among many other films and television series, is one of the most high-profile actors to come through the LAMDA programme.
He graduated in 2000 and has since become a patron of the academy’s Act Now! campaign.
In an appeal for support to members of the public, he urged people to make a donation of £2 towards the cause.
He said: “LAMDA is a vital artistic resource that nourishes the global performing arts industry, contributes to our economy and enriches our cultural life.
“Together, over the last three years, we have raised 98 per cent of the £28.2 million needed to build the academy’s new theatres and training spaces and secure the future of the school.
“Thanks to you we are almost there. But we still need your help to get across the finish line and open the doors on LAMDA’s future.”
The school has less than £500,000 left to raise in order to meet its ambitious target.
One of its supporters, who has chosen to remain unnamed, has offered to donate £1 for every £2 pledged by members of the community.
A spokesman for the academy said: “We are very grateful to everyone who has already given a gift to support this campaign.
“The redevelopment will give LAMDA 50 per cent more teaching space, including state-of-the-art screen and audio facilities, the Sackler Library and two new performance venues – the Sainsbury Theatre and the Carne Studio – for staff, graduates and the community.
“These new facilities will ensure LAMDA continues to train the very best actors, directors, stage managers and technicians, and maintains its world-leading contribution to the performing arts.”
For more information about the appeal and to donate, visit www.lamda.org.uk/store/donate-now