Published on: Friday, August 4, 2023
King's has a thriving drama and performing arts scene. Pupils of all ages can get involved, from acting, dancing, singing and playing in the band, to backstage costume and make-up artist work, and set building and lighting. Every year our Drama departments stage a large-scale blockbuster performance.
At King's Hall just before Christmas, the amazing children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 were lauded for their brilliant Nativity performance this morning of ‘Lights, Camel, Action!’ Every year they rise to the challenge of delivering the Christmas story with so much energy, confidence and joy but they shone even brighter this year as they had an (almost) full cast from the pupil body.
In March, the Year 6 production of extracts from Roald Dahl’s 'The Witches, The Twits and Fantastic Mr Fox' and 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' demonstrated that King’s Hall pupils always rise to a challenge. A lively cast of 36 children took on at least two roles each and some had as many as three costume changes. The production also allowed children in Year 7 and 8 to give invaluable contributions behind the scenes, coordinating complex scene changes. Charlotte, ex-King’s Hall pupil from King’s College successfully operated the lights. This was a production which demonstrates the belief at King’s Hall that high-quality modern drama provides children with confidence, determination and a taste for treading the boards of the West End.
June saw the showing of the Year 4 play, 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. It was a production full of characterful parts and the children really did Shakespeare proud. There was Puck and the fairies, alongside Oberon and Titania, twinkling across the stage or resting in the boughs of the Magnolia. The Dukes and lovers made everyone weep and cry with laughter from one scene to the next. The donkey and mechanicals were so endlessly entertaining and gave the production such a deep sense of fun and playfulness that it was a delight from start to finish.
As usual, it has been an incredibly busy year in drama at King's College, with one of the highlights being The Wedding Singer at the end of the Christmas term. This was a joyful production with a huge and talented cast truly celebrating the ability to put large productions on again. This was followed by the equally upbeat and fun junior play Hansel and Gretel in the Amphitheatre and in the Lent term with a classic 'who dunnit' for the scholars' play. House drama also made a welcome return in the Lent term with a diverse range of pieces, with Carpenter being declared the overall winner with Derry Girls. Two well-attended performing arts evenings have especially highlighted the very sophisticated standard of dance in the school at the moment as well as the work of the drama club and speech and drama pupils.
Academic drama has been busy as well with a huge amount of practical exams and performances now being given as part of the GCSE and A level studies and a variety of trips to the theatre including Plymouth Theatre Royal and the Bristol Hippodrome. A large number of pupils have been taking LAMDA acting exams this year and we also have the first cohort preparing for public speaking exams in the autumn. The results from the acting exams were some of the best we have ever had at King’s with all the pupils scoring either distinction or merit which are the highest grades when taking the highest levels of exam.
Our pupils are afforded every opportunity to challenge themselves creatively during their time at King’s. Many take their acting and performing incredibly seriously, and a handful of pupils take the decision to pursue this as their chosen career. In recent years, Janet K gained a place at the National Youth Theatre, and more recently, Sixth Form pupils Cerian C and Daniela M have gained places at a prestigious drama school for acting.