Everyone at King Edward’s should benefit from a wide range of opportunities to take part in Drama and Theatre, either as a performer, a theatre maker, a director, a designer or a member of the audience. Our inclusive approach means we welcome all pupils to take part in our co-curricular drama programme, regardless of their subject option choices or previous theatrical experience. There are plenty of opportunities here at King Edward’s to enjoy theatre and to get involved in various ways.
Theatre trips and visits
It is essential that all of our Drama and Theatre pupils (GCSE and IB) experience a breadth and variety of live productions and our close proximity to London enables us to take trips to a range of performances and venues. Pupils in all Year groups will be invited to join us on theatre trips which we run independently and in conjunction with other departments and the Houses. We frequently visit the Battersea Arts Centre and ‘off West End’ venues as well as seeing more mainstream productions in the West End. We also travel to local venues in Guildford, Chichester, and Farnham.
There is a further opportunity for our IB Theatre pupils to attend a three-day international workshop with Theatre professionals and pupils from around the world who are doing the same course.
Workshops with professional companies and practitioners
We invite professional theatre-makers to run workshops with our pupils and these events take place in the Charter Hall stage and in the Dance Studio. These workshops expose our pupils to a wider range of theatrical styles and skills set. Recently we have welcomed playwright Simon Stephens and physical theatre company Gecko. All our IGCSE and IB pupils will take part in workshops during their studies but invites are also extended to Drama scholars and pupils with a keen interest in the aspects of theatre.
The Tech Crew (established in 2018) assemble and operate the technical elements for performances. The Tech Crew work together with our theatre technician in weekend workshops and meet during Wednesday Drama Club. With expert guidance, they install and maintain the technical equipment in Charter Hall. During school productions only members of the Tech Crew are permitted to operate the technical equipment and take the leading roles in backstage teams including stage management, costume, lighting, and sound effects.
The Senior Production
This is an opportunity for a Director from the Sixth Form to bring their ideas to life on stage; this may be through realizing their design concept for a published play or an original script they have written. They will cast and direct the production with the assistance of the Director of Drama. The production will have a budget and a team of pupils in the Senior School will take responsibility for all aspects of the production. The cast is comprised of pupils from the 5th Form, Pre 6th and Sixth Form and the first production of this kind will take place in October 2020.
Middle School Production
The Middle School Drama Production involves actors from the 3rd and 4th Form and a pupil crew from across the School. This takes place February or May each year and is usually an adaptation of a classic play text directed by The Director of Drama with IB Theatre Pupils taking on roles as designers and assistant directors. Photos of our 2019 production “Transformations” can be seen here.
Lower School Production
In years when we are not producing a whole school musical production, all pupils in the Lower School will perform on stage in the Lower School Production. This involves all of them working as an ensemble with their classmates, as they each produce a shortened version of a musical or play. With huge numbers of pupils on stage, this is a magical experience and audiences thoroughly enjoyed the recent showcase, full details, and a photo gallery can be found here. In the years when we produce a main school musical the Lower School production is scaled back with actors performing monologues, duologues, and short scenes all linked to a theme.
The Whole School Musical
This is a biannual production in conjunction with the Music Department and will showcase the talent of pupils from across the whole School.
• The QMH Creative Carousel takes place on Mondays on the Charter Hall stage. This fun relaxed drama workshop enables pupils to enjoy a range of drama games and take part in improvisation exercises.
• Drama Club on Wednesdays is open to all year groups and pupils who need time space to rehearse or develop material.
• The Tech Crew meet on Wednesdays to learn about technical equipment in the Charter Hall and to design the production elements for the forthcoming production
The focus for this annual competition is on creating original theatre as an ensemble company. Participants from each House will take part in a workshop led by a professional theatre practitioner who will award points for effort and contribution. The teams will then work together to develop the material before performing to a live audience to earn further points.
LAMDA (the London Academy for Music and the Dramatic Arts)
These lessons are delivered by trained peripatetic teachers and there is an extra charge. They are solo or paired acting lessons that can be scheduled either at lunchtime or in the evening depending on preference. LAMDA lessons develop pupils’ confidence, creativity and improve close analysis of dramatic literature. Pupils can be assessed up to Grade 8 then medals are awarded to reward work of distinction. All universities recognize these qualifications so they can offer a great deal to UCAS applications. We use the company Creative Connection to coordinate our LAMDA provision and further information can be found here.