The Drama Department at WHSB manages an exceptionally busy programme of extra-curricular theatre at the School, making wide use of the various interesting spaces that a School offers to stage inventive, interesting and provocative pieces of theatre.
Our performers learn many things. They learn to be versatile in performing drama, comedy, musical theatre and other genres of theatre, adapting their performance to suit the style and demands of the piece. They learn to commit themselves to a project with sustained hard work and the investment of considerable time and energy, in learning lines, researching their roles, rehearsing and performing. They learn to present themselves with care and thought. Above all, our Drama students learn to express their own individuality but also to work together with others, making the Drama fraternity at WHSB one of the tightest knit groups in the School.
Our production calendar is an immensely busy one. Every two years, we perform a full School musical, most recently Guys and Dolls and Oliver! In the alternative years, we perform a major ‘mash up’ of Music and Drama, with our performance of Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui combining theatre with our 50-piece Show Orchestra playing the hits of the 1930s. Alongside this, we have a wider programme of theatre performances which has included Hamlet, Copenhagen, Dr Faustus, Lord of the Flies, Frankenstein and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory among others. There are opportunities to perform for students all across the School. New Year 7 pupils find themselves with an immediate opportunity to perform in at least one School play and two of these will play Pyramus and Thisbe each Open Evening. Incoming Sixth Form girls are equally welcomed into the Drama ranks and have taken major parts in their first year at the School. These new students join a strong, and growing, group of existing students to form our group of actors, technicians and artists.
At WHSB, the Drama Department loves to travel. We run an active Theatre Club, open to all students in the School, which has seen trips to the immersive A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bridge Theatre and to Wilton’s Music Hall. We also run a biennial trip to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In 2018, our first ever production at the Fringe, Waiting for Ofsted, was greeted with three 4* reviews from industry professionals, with Broadway Baby calling it “a delightful gem of a production”.
Drama at WHSB is lively, fun, sociable and rewarding for all those students willing to join in, put in the hard work and become part of our team.