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January 16, 2015

Drama centre and Samuel Pepys theatre

The opening of the drama centre and Samuel Pepys theatre completes the second phase of our new building project

The building, which from its foyer offers some of the best riverside views of anywhere on our campus, adjoins the music school and completes our creative arts facilities.

Highlights of the new building include:

  • Superb, purpose-built theatre with flexible staging and seating for up to 280.
  • Full technical level with tension-wire walkover grid, enabling all lanterns to be rigged at shoulder height.
  • State of the art sound, show-relay and paging systems.
  • Large-screen projection facilities for conferences.
  • Glass-fronted foyer on two levels.
  • Fully equipped teaching wing, doubling as separate back-stage area for productions.
  • Two large, flexible, multi-function spaces for use as classrooms, rehearsal rooms, performance spaces and dressing-rooms.
  • Extensive storage space for props and costumes.
  • Changing and showering facilities for touring performers.
  • Offices for both department and Director of Drama.
  • Natural ventilation in classroom and ancillary spaces using passive, environmental, low-energy, low-carbon technology; auditorium climate control.

Extra-curricular drama of a very high standard has been part of the life of St Paul’s for a long time and many boys are involved each year in our numerous productions. Main productions, Club Drama finals, touring companies and other, occasional shows will all be hosted in the new theatre.

Academic drama and theatre studies draw a significant number of Paulines and the new building offers great flexibility for teaching, allowing the theoretical and the practical to mix with ease.

Equipped with a full public performance licence, the centre also adds significantly to what we can offer through our various partnership programmes and, beyond these, to the wider community.

The centre and theatre were opened by Lloyd Dorfman, OP, whose generosity helped to fund the building — together with support from other Old Paulines, parents and, in particular, the Mercers’ Company.

Find out how you can support the campaign.

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