The thrill of taking part in a large scale drama production leaves a lasting impression on every pupil, whether this be as an actor, stagehand, painter, costume designer or lighting technician.
There is a strong tradition of drama at Hampton Court House and a long line of pupils who have acted professionally in musicals and plays in London’s West End, as well as in film and television dramas.
Students also develop specific skills for acting on film; all pupils would usually make at least one film a year.

Kathryn Sumner

“Full-length” drama productions

School plays in recent years have included:

  • And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie) 
  • Androcles and the Lion (George Bernard Shaw) 
  • All’s Well That Ends As You Like It (Michael Green) 
  • Arms and the Man (George Bernard Shaw) 
  • The Bacchae (Euripides) 
  • The Barber of Seville (Beaumarchais) 
  • Bugsy Malone (Alan Parker & Paul Williams) 
  • The Crucible (Arthur Miller) 
  • DNA (Dennis Kelly)
  • Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations (Alan Ayckbourn) 
  • Fly Away (new play by Helen Blizard) 
  • The Frogs (Aristophanes) 
  • Hay Fever (Noel Coward) 
  • HCH the Musical (Amy Brandis) 
  • Julius Caesar (Shakespeare) 
  • Lord of the Flies (William Golding) two productions 2002 & 2012 
  • Macbeth (Shakespeare) 
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare), two productions 2009 and 2012 
  • Mostellaria (Plautus) performed in Latin
  • Oxygen (Carl Djerassi & Roald Hoffmann) 
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare), two productions 2002 and 2006 
  • Oedipus Rex (Sophocles)
  • The Physicists (Friedrich Dürrenmatt) 
  • Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare) 
  • Tamburlaine the Great (Marlowe) 
  • Twelfth Night (Shakespeare) 
  • The Visit of the Old Lady (Friedrich Dürrenmatt)

Drama Evenings

In addition to full-length theatrical productions, the school also produces a number of ‘drama evenings’, during which students showcase their work by staging excerpts from a wide range of plays.

For example, recent drama evenings have included excerpts from:

  • The Bear (Anton Chekhov) 
  • The Circus (Charlie Chaplin) 
  • Fallout (Roy Williams) 
  • Fawlty Towers (John Cleese & Connie Booth) 
  • Les Fiancés en Herbes (George Feydeau) 
  • Henry V (Shakespeare) 
  • An Ideal Husband (Oscar Wilde) 
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde) 
  • The Inbetweeners (Damon Beesley & Iain Morris) 
  • An Inspector Calls (J.B. Priestley) 
  • Les Justes (Albert Camus) 
  • Macbeth (Shakespeare) 
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare) 
  • Les Misérables (Boublil & Schönberg) 
  • Octavia (Seneca) 
  • One For The Road (Harold Pinter) 
  • Pygmalion (George Bernard Shaw) 
  • Ruy Blas (Victor Hugo) 
  • The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett) 
  • That Face (Lucy Prebble) 

And many original sketches written by pupils.

Related News

Year 4 compete in an action-packed running race…in slow motion

In year 4’s drama lesson this week they were asked to compete in an improvised running race which took place over a mere 3m distance. The twist was the children needed to complete the race in slow motion. “On your marks…Get set… GO!” but not too fast or you will be disqualified! If a pupil... crossed the finish line, they were asked to dramatically act as if it they had lost the race of their life. By focusing intently on stretching and extending every limb, the students will have felt a clear connection to their bodies and to where they were in the space in relation to their rivals. Having this high level of physical connection and spatial awareness is a vital skill for all performers so, out of what was a light-hearted and slightly ridiculous exercise, valuable insight is gained.

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Coming soon at HCH: Captain Stirrick

Tickets are now on sale for the Hampton Court House production of Captain Stirrick on Thursday and Friday 8-9 March, our atmospheric musical set in the murky underworld of late Georgian London.

The cast have been working incredibly hard to produce a show to a professional standard, working with guest... director Jeremy James Taylor OBE, founder of the National Youth Music Theatre.

The story is based on an article in The Times from high summer 1807, telling the story of a child thief called Thomas Gray who was arrested by the Court of Pie Powder, a pop-up court dispensing summary justice at St Bartholomew’s Fair. To avoid further “inducement” (in the reporter’s chilling understatement), Gray informed on his friends. It emerged that he was part of a vagrant gang of child thieves, who travelled around England’s fairs, robbing and pickpocketing, whom the police had been hunting for two years – led by the magnetic, murderous child thief “Captain” Ned Stirrick…


Director: Jeremy James Taylor OBE
Musical Director: Kieran Brunt
Producer: Adam D’Souza
Co-director and Voice Coach: Kathryn Sumner

This production is presented in association with Music Theatre International (Europe)

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‘Play in a Day’ Workshop

Years 2 and 3 enjoyed a visit from the Polka Theatre for a ‘Play in a Day’ workshop.

Del introduced pupils to many dynamic warm ups which got them moving and their minds working.

Activities were focused on the theme of ‘Pandora’s Box’ which led to many discussions of the plot and views of what... it means to be curious. Pupils then practised their miming skills, leading and beckoning someone to open a box. They memorised scenes, performed them as a Greek chorus and created their own puppet that had to be co-ordinated and moved by a number of people.

In addition to this students were also put in small groups where they had to create a unique scene using Pandora as inspiration, but in a different context. This led to stories of dolphins being caught by aquariums, and the consequences of going to bed too late after watching a film without parents knowing!

At the end of this action packed day, pupils were able to share their performances With Year 4.

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Nursery Children Enjoy French Songs and Games

The Nursery children had an interesting and fun drama session on Friday 28 April as they learnt a new French song and discovered two new games. They enjoyed singing “Docteur, je suis malade” which can be found online. They also loved taking turns when playing “Little Co-operation” and “Mon premier verger”. These two games require an awful lot of patience and the children did so well.

Fairy Tales in Year 1

Last week, Year 1 explored the realm of fairy tales with Ciara from The Rose Theatre. They thought about the ‘ingredients’ needed to create a compelling story and acted out, with puppets, Little Red Riding Hood, but they came up with a fantastical new ending.

They then worked in teams to create their own fairy tales using their own ‘ingredients’. Their modern take on this genre included sharks, turtles and monster eating tigers!

Impromptu Concert

On Friday afternoon, students from HCH put on an impromptu concert in the Main Hall. Year 1 sang Never Smile at a Crocodile with Rupert going on to perform a solo of the Teddy Bears’ Picnic. He did this a capella which, as the headmaster pointed out, is a very difficult thing to do. Year 2 sang confidently... in French. The whole school enjoyed piano recitals from Cyrus in Year 4 and Vivian in Year 5 who played Pachelbel’s Canon beautifully. Some students chose to do more contemporary performances with Summer, Electra and Eleanor in Year 2 displaying some very modern dance moves.

The genre of theatre was not overlooked with Julie, Louis and Zacharie in Year 5 performing a dramatic comedy set in a doctor’s surgery, while Thea and Lily in Year 5 performed a sketch which displayed a strong Monty Python influence. Natasha, Avalon and Victoria in Year 7 did an interpretation of Little Red Riding Hood which had such a contemporary twist that possibly Charles Perrault the author would not recognise his own work!

Thane in Year 6 played the saxophone very well while other Middle Years students sang solos including Matthew, Amelia and Najeebah.
The Upper Years and Sixth Form also joined in with Alisa reading a poem, Alex playing the piano and Scarlett playing the guitar and singing.

It really was a great way to end the first week back at school.

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Noye’s Fludde

Hampton Court House staged its first opera this summer. Noye’s Fludde by Benjamin Britten tells an adapted story of Noah and his drunken, reluctant wife from the medieval Chester Miracle Plays. However in the hands of conductor Kieran Brunt, the students and staff of Hampton Court House produced a... show that was fresh and vivid.

The production was a milestone in collaboration between departments: music, drama, art and ballet all came together. The show included bespoke animation of the storm.

The chorus of animals, each complete with their own personal animal mask, was performed by the Middle Years students. The children sang and acted with great presence. The soloists and chorus had the opportunity to work alongside professional singers and instrumentalists from London, including the formidably-voiced Michael Mofidian as Noah.

Professional theatre critic Susan Elkin reviewed the production: http://susanelkin.co.uk/articles/fludded-tears-joys-memories/

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