Drama in the curriculum is regarded as an integral part of English studies and oral work has an important place in our teaching approach. During their creative drama lessons all students are taught basic acting techniques; this engenders self-confidence for public speaking and prepares for later life. There are frequent theatre visits to both workshops and performances.
The highlight of the year is the annual theatre production. All the pupils are encouraged to participate, and frequently up to 100 students are involved in either acting or backstage and technical capabilities. Past productions include ‘The Royal Hunt of the Sun’, ‘Animal Farm’, ‘The Wind in the Willows’, ‘Peter Pan’, ‘Bugsy Malone’, ‘Oliver Twist’ and ‘Arabian Nights’.
Many of our students have gone on to make careers both in the theatre and in television. Lawrence Till is Artistic Director of the Watford Palace Theatre. Patrick Garland, a former artistic director of the Chichester Festival Theatre, has been responsible for many West End and Broadway successes.
Paul McNamara was the producer of Match of the Day and now holds a similar post in sports broadcasting in ITV. Rupert Hill, whose first major role as Mole in Wind in the Willows was at the school, is starring as Jamie Baldwin in Coronation Street. John Titcombe is a technical director at the Hampstead Theatre in London and Peter Fisher is a freelance video editor working in television.