Drama

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.

“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

Les Trois Mousquetaires

On Friday the 11th October, the Years 4 to 8 had the opportunity to participate in a bilingual play entitled “Les trois mousquetaires” by Alexandre Dumas.

The actress (Emily Grant) is part of the Theatre Company “FreshWater”.

The children witnessed, and were engaged in, an enthusiastic and... interactive telling of the tale of D’Artagnan. The story started with D’Artagnan as a young noble man leaving his parents with a few gold coins, an old yellow mare and a letter of recommendation. As he is making his journey to Paris to fulfil his dream and become a musketeer, the story started to unfold and the children shared the different turns that took D’Artagnan’s life until he became a musketeer.

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Year 6’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Having been lulled to sleep, you, the audience, are lured into a magical wood, in which fairies play havoc with the lives and loves of mortals.

Year 6’s fun and fanciful take on this, one of Shakespeare’s most loved plays, centres around the deeper theme of relationships and the power struggle between... the sexes. Theseus of Athens has defeated the Amazonians, the last powerful matriachal society, and brought their queen, Hippolyta, home to be his trophy wife. Egeus, a lord, brings his disobedient daughter, Hermia, before Theseus to beg that she be put to death if she refuses to marry the boy he wants to give her to. Hermia is in love with another boy, and the two run away into the woods outside Athens; the boy she was to marry follows her, and is pursued in turn by his old girlfriend. Into the woods also come a company of foolish actors, thrilled at the possibility of putting on a play for Theseus on his wedding day, and wishing to rehearse in peace. But there is little peace in the woods; naughty fairies live in the woods; and the king and queen of the naughty fairies are fighting. Beware all, mischief is afoot:

‘Lord, what fools these mortals be!’

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Matilda Review: Children are Maggots

Rounding the corner of a Covent Garden street one evening in late June, the Year 6 students were met by a sign which caused them to leap in the air and race towards a theatre:


“Matilda”

Safely in our seats, munching on sweets, we were transported into the wonderful world of Roald Dahl:

“The set... exploded with letters.

The stage burst with song.

Rooms materialised out of the floor.

Lasers bounced around the theatre.

Confetti lept from the walls.

Swings descended from the skies.

Buildings slid in from the wings.

Children flew through the air.”

“The choreography was amazing.”

“I loved the librarian.”

“We liked the depth of the characters.”

“The only bad thing was that the microphones distorted so we could sometimes not understand the words.”

We understood enough of the words, however, to allow for a volumous sing on the way home through the darkening streets of London. A brilliant night out.

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Year 5 Trip to Les Misérables

Year 5 went on a London adventure travelling by train to central London to see Les Misérables. We managed to stop on the way to see the London Eye, Big ben, Trafalgar Square and China town. Once at the Queen theatre, everyone was excited. The children did not move from their seat for 3 hours! Tissues... were passed around. It was intense and beautiful.

And these are their reactions on the way back in the train:

“I loved when they got married.”

“It was so funny when the Thénardier came to the wedding, univited!”
“The fighting was loud and the guns scared me.”
“I found it clever when the bridge turned into the barricade.”
“Sometimes we could not see properly, there was not enough light but it was to make it more dramatic and more realistic.”
“I saw the orchestra and the conductor under the stage.”
“The see-through curtains were very clever”
“When Fantine was dying, a white light made her look very pale, the same for Jean Valjean at the end.”

A fantastic day out with fantastic children! Merci!

Gallery

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Ophelia: A Film by Year 10 Media Enhancement Coming Soon

This week Year 10 have worked together to produce the short thriller – Ophelia. Based on the Pre-Raphaelite painting by J. W. Waterhouse, the short film tells a detective story of two dead bodies and a bottle of poison. The class worked extraordinarily hard by organising themselves into departments... of camera, sound, cast, set design, props, wardrobe and production, and took on the challenge with vigour and professionalism. The film will be edited and ready for it’s preview next half term. Well done Year 10!

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A Summer of Shakespeare

As the Duchess of Malfi garners rave reviews at the Old Vic and Julius Caesar awes audiences in Stratford. A Jacobean Revival sweeps out of theatre land and through Hampton Court House this summer with no fewer then five mini-productions of plays either by The Bard or based on his work hitting the stage... in the next four weeks. Year 6, who previewed ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ as part of The Spring Show are now nearing completion of a punk, disco setting that looks set to challenge audiences used to sanitized summer Shakespeare. Gone are the glitter, the laurels and poesies and in come guns, danger and very modern music. This lively, vibrant living production to be performed in the round seems set to recapture the almost combative atmosphere the play must have enjoyed when played to a packed Globe theatre in a sweltering sixteenth Century Summer.

Another treat for audiences will be provided by three short comedic outings currently being rehearsed by Year 7. These three orignal plays written and directed by the students aim to follow the conventions current during the Bard’s lifetime – when comedy was a little more then one liners. Details of each production are listed below.

Enemies of Love
Sometimes when three people play only two can win…
Crash
Holiday of a lifetime…

I Do or I Don’t
A journey for love

Finally Year 10 have started rehearse ‘Macbeth’ but I’ll refrain from saying too much about that at this point – in point of fact it will be startling if nothing else.

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