Drama plays a major part in the life of the school and offers opportunities for involvement, irrespective of age or experience, to a large number of boys each year. The co-curricular program features between 7 and 9 major productions in a year in the E.M. Forster Theatre, plus a wide range of exciting workshops, professional shows and theatre trips.

Boys may gain experience not only as actors, but also as directors or as members of the technical teams responsible for stage management, lighting, sound, set design and construction. Pupils from local girls' schools participate in almost all productions, and with our boys, thrive in a positive, creative working environment.

School Plays

Each year's program includes three major school plays (or sometimes a musical).

House Plays

House Plays are both an important House and Drama activity, with Drama department staff taking a mentoring role, to support the boy(s) who have taken on the challenge to direct and/or produce. The House pulls together to produce the play, with boys working in all areas – on and off stage.

Other Projects

In addition to the above, there are often a number of smaller-scale productions by particular groups of boys and/or staff outside the drama department. As well informal studio evenings and the ‘studio play’ at the end of every summer term, there have also been productions of plays in French, German, or Spanish.

The School’s arts program often brings in a variety of professional arts workshops which include a visiting director or company. In the past this has included masks, film making, public-speaking, puppetry and street dance.

Junior Drama Society

The Junior Drama Society (JDS) is a popular and fun after-school club that boosts social skills and confidence as well as dramatic experience. It meets weekly throughout the Autumn term. Many members of the JDS go on to take LAMDA exams in the Spring term and then get involved in summer term Junior Play.

Hoghead Theatre Company

In their last year of study, boys are invited to take a play up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as members of the Hoghead Theatre Company. Boys are be responsible for everything that goes into taking a show to the Fringe including marketing, budgeting and travel as well as the artistic side of things which include directing, design and, of course, performing.


In the Lent term all Houses take part in the House Drama competition FIVE5. Each house has five weeks to write an original five minute piece of theatre, based on a theme, for five actors. The plays can incorporate up to five props, five sound effects and five lighting states. Houses are judged by a panel of invited guests on their creativity, inventiveness and performing skills.

New Views

On Wednesday afternoons boys in the third year and above are invited to take part in a Creative playwriting group in conjunction with the National Theatre. Students have the opportunity to work with playwrights and to see new work at the National or on screen via NT Live. They work towards creating a 30 minute script which is entered into a competition. If they win they may see their play performed at the National Theatre.

Theatre Trips

The EM Forster Theatre regularly welcomes visits from a variety of touring theatre companies and award-winning work. The Director of Drama works closely with the Theatre Manager to program events with the boys in mind. Theatre trips to plays in London and elsewhere are also a feature of the extra-curricular life of the school: a number of such visits are arranged each year for boys of all ages.

The Sixth form have the opportunity to attend the National Student Drama Festival (NSDF) in Scarborough over Easter where they have the opportunity to see the very best work that has been selected from Universities across the country.

School Productions 

  • Hamlet (2015)
  • Cabaret (2014)
  • Arabian Nights (2014)
  • An Enemy of the People (2014)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (2013)
  • Starlight Express (2013)
  • Lord of the Flies (2013)
  • Private Peaceful (2012)
  • The History Boys (2012)
  • His Dark Materials (2012)
  • Sweeney Todd (2011)
  • Oliver Twist (2011)
  • How Many Miles to Basra? (2010)
  • King Lear (2010)
  • Henry V (2010)
  • Godspell (2010)

Photographs of the above productions can be found in the Gallery.