Welcome to Drama at King's
Drama plays an important role in the extra-curricular activities established at The King's School.
There are many opportunities for pupils from all year groups to get involved in theatre productions, musicals, Trinity Guildhall drama examinations and theatre visits. They are encouraged to take part in production and technical aspects of theatre work as well as taking acting roles.
In June 2011 the Vanbrugh Theatre opened its doors for the first time after a £1.2m renovation project to convert the original school hall into a modern well-equipped theatre. Opened by former pupil and Screen & Stage Actor Ronald Pickup. It is home to most of King's drama productions.
Productions in the school year 2012-2013
Dido & Aeneas - Directed by Sixth Former Gareth Roberts and Musical Direction by Phillip Robinson
The story is about the doomed love affair of Trojan Prince Aeneas and Dido, Queen of Carthage, based on book IV of Roman Poet Virgil's epic poem 'The Aeneid', written between 29 - 19 BC. A monumental work in Baroque opera, it is remembered as one of Purcell's foremost theatrical works.
The History Boys - Directed by Sixth Formers Meredith Benson and Annie Stapley
This famous Alan Bennett play was brought to life by Sixth Formers in a difficult piece visting issues such as sexuality, adolensance and mental health to name a few.
Productions in the school year 2011-2012
Waiting for Godot - Directed by Sixth Former Luke Howarth
Luke and a small cast performed a moving piece of theatre, which brought suprise vistor and former pupil Ronald Pickup close to tears!
Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical - Directed by Toby Hughes & Musical Direction by Philip Robinson
The Whole-School Musical was a sensational success involving a cast from Removes to Sixth Form, supported by a full Orchestra.
Productions in the school year 2010-2011
King's Revisited - devised and directed by Emma Lucia
To celebrate the King's School's 50th anniversary on the present site and the opening of the Vanbrugh Theatre there were special theatre productions performed by pupils to mark the events.
Inspired by John Dighton's, "The Happiest Days Of Your Life", the production took an affectionate look at some of the King's School's history, mixing fact with fiction, in order to create a comic farce.
The play is set during World War II when an entire London girls' school is evacuated to the King's School, Chester, much to the horror of all the staff and pupils involved. Mayhem ensues as the warring factions are forced to find a compromise.
Productions in the school year 2009-2010
Les Miserables - directed by Toby Hughes and Phil Robinson
The production had a cast of 61 pupils ranging in age from 11 to 18, wearing over 200 costumes between them. This was a show that many professional companies would have been proud of. Filling every inch of the revolving stage with superb singing, acting and dancing, the cast truly became the downtrodden poor of Victor Hugo's Paris in 1832. They were the passionate but heart-rendingly naive students on the barricade; they were the "people who would not be slaves again".
Les Mis played to sell-out audiences over six performances in March 2010. The wealth of talent available made it possible to use parallel casting for a number of major roles: the role of Little Cosette was played by a different actress in each performance!
As You Like It by William Shakespeare - directed by Emma Lucia
This was an outdoor promenade production by pupils in the Shells, Third and Fourth Forms. It took place on the Junior School field on fine mid-Summer evenings.
Productions in the school year 2008-2009
The Vikings and Darwin by David Mamet - a sixth form production directed by Emma Lucia
Sixth Formers entered the Festival of Performance stage and and reached the final, performing in the National Theatre, London.
Our Country's Good by Ms Timberlake Wertenbaker - a King's Players production directed by David Whitley
On June 4th, 1789, the first play ever to be staged in Australia was performed in Sydney. The play was George Farquhar's military comedy, The Recruiting Officer – a play of sparkling social satire and mistaken identity. The audience was small, the set was improvised, and the performance was for one night only. Under most circumstances, it would probably have gone unrecorded. Except for one thing – at this time, Sydney was still a convict colony, and every one of the actors in this play had been transported to the other side of the earth for their crimes.
A cast from various year groups came together to perform this work.
A Child's Christmas - produced by members of the lower school, directed by Emma Lucia
A Child's Christmas In Wales was published in 1955. It is an anecdotal sketch of the festive season which emerged from a piece originally written for radio. It is an exercise in storytelling and Thomas recreates the experience of Christmas as though it were a fairy tale.View an album of photos
Children of Oedipus - performed by Shell (Year 8) pupils, directed by Emma Lucia
Antigone is an ancient story written by Sophocles and first performed in Athens in the 5th century B.C.
The Children of Oedipus is based on a version of Antigone written by Jean Anouilh. It was first performed in Paris in 1942 when France was occupied by German troops. This was a time of strict theatre censorship and it is interesting that the occupying forces allowed the play to be performed. It suggests an assumption that an audience's sympathies would lie with the beleaguered government figures who do their best to retain law and order in a volatile state. However, there must also have been many audience members who connected with the Children of Oedipus whose small voices courageously say a defiant 'no' to the way the government is operating.
Photo albums of past productions and arts events
Animal Farm - produced by members of the Sixth Form, directed by Josh Hatfield
Romeo and Juliet - Shakespeare's play in a modern setting
Into the Woods - a production of the musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, directed by David Whitley