Both the College and the Prep School have exceptional facilities for drama, and we encourage pupils to take part on stage and to try their hand at directing, script writing, stage management, lighting and sound design, and costume and stage design.
In all capacities, the children have fun, gain confidence and develop creativity, problem-solving and other skills while also learning the value of team-work.
At the Senior School, there are two rehearsal spaces and a large, flexible theatre staffed by two technicians. We put on two major school productions – a play or musical – each year. In the Autumn Term, it’s cast mainly from Years 11 – 13; in the Summer Term, from Years 9 – 10.
Recently, senior productions have included ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’, ‘Hamlet’, and ‘Guys and Dolls’. For the past three summers, we’ve developed a festival approach and put on a number of shorter plays such as ‘1984’, ‘Lord of the Flies’ and ‘Blackadder’. This format gives more students the opportunity to showcase their acting talents, and allows sixth formers to direct one or more of the productions.
Our thriving LAMDA provision sees students taking acting examinations as well as public speaking options, while our growing profile at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival has earned a reputation for adding a twist to classic texts. Each year, we prepare pupils for National Youth Theatre (NYT) and drama school auditions. Three students have succeeded with NYT recently and we currently have one student completing a three year degree course at Guildford School of Acting. Another pupil has just been accepted on the Oxford Stage School Acting Foundation course. Some students decide to be drama teachers or directors too, and one ex-student is currently working as a drama specialist with the deaf.
We attend and host a great variety of workshops and regularly go to professional productions. In recent times, these have included ‘The Tempest’ at the RSC in Stratford upon Avon, ‘Macbeth’ at The Globe, ‘Woyzeck’ at the Old Vic, and some exciting new writing at the Royal Court. We also attended Gecko’s ‘The Wedding’ at the New Wolsey in Ipswich.
Drama is taught in Years 3-8 at the Prep School and there are two annual productions, held in the purpose-built Rowley Hall. The drama and dance studio within the recently completed Centre for the Performing Arts are ideal for rehearsals and smaller productions.
For the younger children who are exceptionally talented in drama, there are a number of options. Pupils can compete for a coveted 13+ drama scholarship, take part in LAMDA lessons, and pursue a variety of certificated assessments.