Expressive Arts enjoy their prominence at the heart of School life, recognised for the valuable role they play in enhancing well-being and self-confidence, promoting dedication and commitment and providing another platform for group and individual development, passion, artistry and talent.
Drama activity features prominently in the cultural life of the School as a fulfilling academic subject and as a popular co-curricular voluntary activity for which there are many performing opportunities.
Each year there are Main School plays and musicals, House plays, a Lower School play, a Drama Scholars’ play and an occasional Sixth Form play, which are sometimes pupil-initiated and directed under the supervision of the Department. Recent productions have included Fiddler on the Roof, My Fair Lady, Shakespeare in Love, Our Country's Good and 1984.
In addition, there are AS Level Theatre Studies productions and up to 8 GCSE pieces, which make for around five productions of varying size per year. Speech and Drama lessons are offered for individuals or pairs for around 120 pupils who take a very successful programme of exams from RADA, LAMDA and Victoria College – many pupils gain Diploma Level.
The School's facilities are considerable: we have a purpose-built 550-seat Bacon Theatre, which includes the largest stage in Gloucestershire, a retractable orchestra pit, dressing rooms, lighting rigs and a spacious marble foyer (The Orangery). The Tuckwell Theatre is a 400-seat open-air woodland theatre in an idyllic setting, and the Drama Studio is where much of the teaching and smaller productions take place.
The Department also hosts a range of masterclasses, some from notable actors such as Dominic West, Nathaniel Parker and Julian Fellows, and organises a number of theatre trips to London and Stratford upon Avon.