Gallery: A Monster Calls

Our recent four night run of this year’s Senior School production, A Monster Calls, was unlike anything audiences had experienced before on the Vanbrugh stage. 

The show was a visual feast, using puppetry for the first time in a King’s School production to tell the moving story of family, grief and suffering in an imaginative and memorable way. 

Director Clare Howdon was full of praise for the cast and crew who brought the play to life. 

She said: “Adapting A Monster Calls from page to stage was always going to present a unique set of difficulties but this wonderful cast adapted quickly and brilliantly to working with the puppets, and they embraced the vision for portraying Conor’s harsh reality alongside the magical world of the Monster’s stories.

“What’s more, each and every one of them approached the story with unfaltering maturity, sensitivity and compassion, all of which came across in their performances.”

The production has been an exciting creative collaboration between the Drama department and Art and DT with staff and students alike giving up lunchtimes and evenings to build, paint and sew the set, props and costumes for the show. 

Clare Howdon again: “Huge thanks to everyone in Art and DT who helped to craft such an exceptional set and create the props and costumes that were so in-keeping with the gothic illustrations of the original novel. Special thanks also to James Ashcroft in Fourths who composed the original music in the play, and provided the pre-show entertainment. We are so lucky to have such incredible talent at King’s.”

Thank you to everyone who came to watch the production, especially those who took time to let us know what they thought. Here is just a sample of the wonderful comments we received:

“Quite extraordinary that a school could achieve such high quality drama!”

“What a powerful, emotional, thought-provoking script so beautifully handled by a cast of mature-beyond-their-years actors. They absolutely blew me away!”

“I know that this production has caused much reflection and emotion amongst its audience so thank you for choosing it, for bringing out the best in all the performers and for producing a sensational, professional masterpiece.”

“I absolutely loved the production last night! What a triumph. Incredibly moving and beautifully staged.”

“Can I just say what an amazing night I had at the Monster calls. I have never gone through so many emotions in two hours, I laughed, was angry and I even cried, it was outstanding and I was so glad I came to watch it, well done all who made it amazing.”

“I just wanted to say congratulations on the success of A Monster Calls. It was so original and different. I thought that it was visually incredible, creatively staged and the acting extremely powerful.”

Click on the image below to view the full gallery of images from the production. Cast and crew are listed below the gallery.




Main Cast

Conor – Hector Walsh

Mum – Grace Fawcett

Monster – Lukas Pold

Grandma – Imogen Aldridge

Harry – Elliott Barnes

Sully – Caragh Fletcher

Anton  – Alfred Lloyd

Lily – Connie Dawson / Sophie Hornby

Miss Godfrey – Caitriona Searl / Alice Henry

Mr Marl – Wayne Yip

Younger Mum – Sophie Hornby

King – Robin Jones

Queen – Alice Ecob / Ife Oyedeji

Nurse – Alice Ecob / Ife Oyedeji

Prince – Josh Hornby

Dad – Henry Harrison / Jack Golding

Apothecary – Caragh Fletcher

Parson – Kai Kennedy / Alfie Hall

Parson’s Daughters – Esme Potter / Agatha Simmons / Amelia Gregory / Ella McNabb / Ava Gordon

Hospital Porter – Reuben Connor


Monster puppeteers

Freddie Hughes & Olly Hughes


Original music composed and played by James Ashcroft

Senior Ensemble

  • Reuben Connor
  • Connie Dawson 
  • Alice Ecob
  • Alfie Hall
  • Jack Golding
  • Henry Harrison
  • Alice Henry 
  • Josh Hornby
  • Sophie Hornby 
  • Robin Jones
  • Kai Kennedy
  • Ife Oyedeji
  • Caitriona Searl
  • Wayne Yip

Junior Ensemble

  • Bella Augustin-Wood
  • Shreyas Bapatla
  • Sasha Bates
  • Yessine Bennefissa
  • Ava Ekman
  • Tia Elwaheidi
  • Matias Garcia-Valencia
  • Ava Gordon
  • Eva Greaves
  • Amelia Gregory
  • Henry Hayes
  • Ewan Holt
  • Mollie Howdon
  • Valentina Kennedy
  • Ava Kerruish-Jones
  • Sonny Lee-Jackson
  • Lana Lu
  • Rithi Manikandan
  • Ella McNabb
  • Gadowl Oyedeji
  • Joseph Penson
  • Esme Potter
  • George Powner
  • Rosie Rothwell
  • Finlay Safina
  • Harriet Saul
  • Agatha Simmons
  • Luca Simpson
  • Sofia Smith
  • Angus Steele
  • Dev Varma
  • Ralph Whittingham


Vanbrugh Theatre Team

Deputy Stage Manager – Gemma Christie

Q-Lab Operator – Rhys Van Embden

Mic Operator – Alan Phoenix-Holland

Flying Operators – Shirley Davis & Jake Rudd

Technical Team – Jake Warne

Stage hands – Willow Parker, Lewis Cole-Jones, Max Cheetham, Harrison Sharples, James Christie, Anthony Van Kalles, Imogen Pugh, Luke Knight


Production Team

Director – Clare Howdon

Head of Movement and Choreography – Julia Williams

Producer – Delyth Roberts

Assistant Producer – Shirley Davis

Production Assistant – Julia Flaherty

Rehearsal Assistants – Evie Rutt & Grace Oakley

Set and Costume design – Art & DT department staff and pupils