St George’s has a vibrant and diverse culture of performance and girls are encouraged to take part in as many performance projects as possible. The department is highly regarded and the drama staff have been consistently graded as outstanding in lesson observation with innovative and creative teaching at the forefront of the department’s success. There are many benefits to taking part in drama, as well as a lot of fun being had, putting together productions, working with friends and getting it right on the night! However wider than this, drama improves confidence, improves team working skills and public speaking proficiency – very valuable not just in school but in the wider world. Many of our students also perform with local drama clubs and societies, take part in joint plays with Eton College and perform with notable national societies such as the National Youth Theatre and National Musical Youth Theatre.
You can view some of the recent productions below.
There are a number of opportunities for girls to take part in drama performances. During the autumn term there is a whole school musical and productions over recent years have included Annie 2012, Bugsy Malone 2013, Oliver 2014 and in 2015, our biggest project to date, Les Miserables.
There is typically a cast of 60 girls involved from the First Year to the Upper Sixth and the girls work on all disciplines of the performing arts including acting, singing and dance. We employ a freelance choreographer to devise dance sequences, choral work is directed by the Director of Music and characterisation by the Head of Drama. In addition, we are fortunate to have an extremely talented technical manager here at the school and around 20 students will be involved in the backstage operation, working the lighting, sound, set construction, stage management and hair and makeup design.
In addition, every year group is also given the opportunity to take part in a smaller scale performance. Rehearsals take place in drama club. The First Years perform a pantomime in December. The school’s Senior Drama Company, SL5 performs diverse work ranging from Shakespeare to more challenging contemporary pieces. The Company enters the prestigious National Connection competition which has seen the group perform at professional theatres such as the Lyric in Hammersmith.
A performance is built into the second year drama curriculum where pupils study the origins of theatre, mask work and melodrama and exhibit their skills in a performance during the summer term. Third Years are the main focus of the Arts Showcase in the summer term where they work closely with our Theatre Director in Residence on sketches and extracts from a range of classical and contemporary work.
To see videos from these productions, please click here.
The Theatre Director in Residence also runs a popular drama club for boarders where they study improvisation, performance techniques, characterisation and work together on smaller pieces.
Alongside our extra curricular work, the school offers Edexcel GCSE Drama and Drama and Theatre Studies at A Level. Both courses are highly valued by universities and employers who recognise the transferable skills that drama encourages. As part of these courses students create, script and devise their own work as well as working with text written by influential playwrights from all periods of theatrical history.
There is an A2 performance in November, an AS drama performance in April, Fifth Year performance in April and a Fourth Year mock in the Summer Term.
The school offers girls the opportunity to take LAMDA exams as a way to expand theatrical knowledge and practical skills. Flexible in approach, LAMDA offers pupils the opportunity to work as individuals or in groups with friends and gives students a chance to experience one-to-one tuition and for teachers to focus on a pupil’s individual development. There are exams in a variety of genres including acting, mime, singing, verse and prose and devising which can be done with any combination or number of people.
Being so close to London means that theatre trips to the West End are a popular and regular feature. The Drama department organises four trips a year where students see work from local companies to large scale West End productions which in recent months have included The Crucible, Henry V, pantomimes and Wicked.