Italia Conti Academy Logo

The Italia Conti Academy is a co-educational independent school for pupils aged from 10 to 19 years,[1] and a theatre arts training school, based in London, England. It was founded in 1911 by the actress Italia Conti.[2]

The academy grew out of the first production of the play Where the Rainbow Ends. Italia Conti, an established actress with a reputation for her success working with young people, was asked to take over the job of training the cast. The play was a triumph and the school was born in basement studios in London’s Great Portland Street.

In the school moved to a church building in Conduit Street. During World War 2, the school was bombed, destroying all early records of the school. In 1972 the school moved to a building in Landor Road. It was the home to all full-time Italia Conti pupils for 9 years. In 1981 the school moved again for the final time to Goswell Road.[3]

Wendy Richard attended the Italia Conti Academy after leaving school at 15, and helped to pay her way by working in the fashion department at Fortnum and Mason.[4] It was at that time that she decided to change her surname from Emerton to Richard, because "it was short and neat."[5] While at the Italia Conti, she appeared on television with Sammy Davis, Jr. in the ATV programme Sammy Meets the Girls, and also in No Hiding Place.[4]


  1. Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts Publisher: The Good Schools Guide. Retrieved: 6 June 2013.
  2. History and Background of the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts
  3. Italia Conti Academy Wikipedia entry
  4. 4.0 4.1 EastEnders star Wendy Richard dies (Jason Deans in The Guardian - 26 February 2009)
  5. BBC Obituary for Wendy Richard - 26 February 2009