Drama fosters community and facilitates communication; it breeds both self-analysis and self-discipline and allows the individual to integrate more fluently with the world around them.
The Drama Centre, which opened in 2014, houses the state-of-the-art Samuel Pepys Theatre as well as a teaching wing, rehearsal space and a foyer overlooking the River Thames. Coupled with the Milton Studio, these theatres host upwards of a dozen productions each year, allowing pupils to embrace a range of performance styles and the technical and design challenges therein. To support our varied output, we employ a full-time theatre technical manager, a theatre technician and industry professionals to provide set and costume design.
The possibilities for enthusiastic pupils are vast, from experimental studio pieces embracing dance and new writing, to large-scale musicals and plays from the classical repertoire. Recent productions have included My Fair Lady, The Trial, Measure for Measure, The Madness of George III, Peer Gynt and The School for Scandal. There is an annual schedule of productions, each aimed at a particular year group, to ensure pupils of all ages get a chance to flourish in leading roles. Furthermore, there are regular transfers of senior productions to external venues such as the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith and the Edinburgh Fringe. Student technicians provide lighting and sound design for all school productions.
There are many more opportunities for pupils to take up the reins for themselves. These include the Club Drama competition, the Young Directors’ Weekend (where budding directors receive classes from theatre professionals, resulting in the production of their own short plays), Café Theatre (where pupils can showcase their skills as writers and stand-up comedians), the Improvisation Society, and the Film Competition.
The Samuel Pepys Theatre regularly plays host to touring companies who provide workshop opportunities for the pupils, exploring theatrical disciplines as varied as dance, physical theatre and puppetry. We also welcome distinguished speakers from the theatre industry to give lectures; these have included, over the years, Jonathan Miller, Timothy West, Michael Attenborough, Nicholas Hytner, Michael Billington and Rupert Everett.
Information and tickets for all upcoming SPS Drama productions can be found on our dedicated booking site.