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Wednesday, 29 November, 2000, 09:25 GMT
New HQ for historic stage school
Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes: Just one of Rada's talented former students attending the opening
The Queen will open a new 32m headquarters for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada) on Wednesday.

The landmark building in the Bloomsbury area of London boasts three new theatres, which will be open to the public, as well as exhibition space and a cabaret stage.

The new complex is built on the site of the original home of Rada on Gower Street, which was founded in 1904.

The Queen
The Queen has been patron of Rada throughout her reign

Some of the stage's biggest stars are expected to attend the opening.

They include Lord Attenborough, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Juliet Stevenson, Lord Bragg, Geraldine McEwan, John Hurt, Cameron Mackintosh, John Mills, Sian Phillips and Tim Rice.

The new complex, funded by the National Lottery and a Rada campaign which raised 8m, also has new teaching facilities, including a fully-equipped sound studio.

Rada at the start of the 20th century by Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, the leading actor manager of his day, and counts many of the world's most famous stage and screen actors among its graduates.

The Queen has been the patron of Rada throughout her reign.

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