Involvement in drama outside the classroom is both popular and highly valued by the school community. School productions are invariably of an exceptional standard.
Large numbers of pupils embrace the opportunity to get involved as performers, stage managers, hair and make-up artists, wardrobe assistants, props managers, or members of the production crew running the tech desk. The productions are an inclusive event aimed at getting as many pupils involved as possible, whilst putting on a professional quality production.
There are three senior school productions in the year – the senior school play (Year 11 to Year 13) in the autumn term, the Middle Fifth (Year 10) play in the spring term, and the lower school play (Year 7 to Year 9) in the summer term. This allows for all pupils across the senior school to get involved in a production should they wish to.
The senior school play follows a three-year rotation, with a musical one year, Shakespeare the next, and a straight play in the final year of the rotation. This offers the top three years an insight into a variety of styles and genres; each year requires different skills and a different dramatic approach, thereby opening up the opportunity to a greater range of pupils.
The drama department makes good use of outside professionals to help shape and polish productions. This may come in the form of West End choreographers, specialised theatre practitioners, and musicians. Pupils relish the chance to collaborate with seasoned professionals. They get a taste of what working in the industry is really like.
Pupils can also take part in LAMDA classes and this year we congratulate 46 pupils who completed a LAMDA exam, all receiving a Distinction award (some pupils even gained marks of 97/100). Pupils can work up to Grade 8 LAMDA; the Gold Medal award. Grade 6, 7 and 8 pupils also attain UCAS points for completing their exams. LAMDA exams can be completed in Acting, Devising Drama, Public Speaking, Shakespeare and Verse & Prose to name but a few disciplines.