The drama department aims to create an inclusive and creatively vibrant environment which fosters a life-long interest in the arts. We believe that all performance is valuable, whether it be in the large-scale senior musical or a one-off presentation of curriculum work. Through drama and dance, students are active participants in the process of their own education and decision making. They view the world from other people’s perspectives and, in doing so, become more rounded individuals.
Each year we stage two productions, in December and March, offering opportunities for students across the age range. We also host a dance showcase in January each year.
In recent years we have produced works by Shakespeare (Twelfth Night, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Taming of the Shrew), plays from the classical cannon (The Crucible, A Servant to Two Masters, Our Country’s Good) and full-scale musicals (Hairspray, Grease, Les Misérables).
Alongside the performers and musicians in our productions, a team of Year 9-13 students run the Backstage, Scenic and Technical crews. The annual Dance Showcase, brings together a wide repertoire of dance styles, many of the pieces being choreographed by the students themselves. In addition to our production programme, there are opportunities for senior school students to be part of the annual House Drama competitions, which are held at the Corn Exchange Theatre in Stamford.
Speech & Drama
SES has a successful LAMDA programme, which has been at the Schools for more than 30 years. Students from Year 2 to Year 13 take graded examinations in drama and communication, many achieving distinctions for their work.
Candidates should be enthusiastic and passionate about theatre, have an abiding interest in the theatre and be willing to dedicate their time and energy to developing their natural talent and learned skills, be they performance or theatre design skills. Drama Scholars will specifically benefit from:
- Mentoring by the Head of Drama and ongoing guidance and technical support from the drama department.
- Being at the forefront of the dramatic and cultural life of the Schools. The drama department showcases a variety of events across the year and through these, Drama Scholars will have opportunities to participate both as a performer and behind the scenes to audiences ranging from 30 to 300 in size.
- Encouragement to broaden their dramatic experiences in other areas which could include directing, writing, stage management and other technical areas.
- Access to drama workshops, trips and visits to a range of live theatre opportunities.
- Advice on and encouragement to enter local and national drama competitions when the opportunities arise.
- Support in the development of practical and technical experience for entry to higher education and further education drama courses.
The senior schools at SES are served by one team of drama staff which comprises five experienced full-time teachers and a full-time theatre technician. We are fortunate to offer five different performance venues across SES to suit the needs of all curriculum and extra-curricular requirements.
Don't just take our word for it ....
For as long as I could remember I wanted to be an actress but was tremendously shy. I never felt particularly academic at school, my head was always in the clouds and my nose in a book, so it was a godsend that these [drama] classes were available. [They] spoke a language I understood and always supported meLucy Cohu (OS 1987) Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning Actress
I’d always loved acting, but before joining SES I saw it as more of a hobby. When I started school, where drama was considered a serious and ‘proper’ subject, acting changed from being a dream job to a very possible and achievable one – all because of the fantastic drama departmentBen Crick (OS 15) graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles
Drama at SES was, to be honest, the reason that I made the pursuit into acting that I have. My A Level studies exposed me to the idea of practitioners, and the idea of different performance styles… it also embedded in me the idea of theatre as an artform… a vehicle of social, political and philosophical changeChris Birks (OS 05) graduate of Drama Centre, London and The Boris Schukin Vakhtangov Institute, Moscow