Ms N Maher BA (Hons), Acting Dip
Director of Drama
Our aim is to help you learn how to express yourself, to explore your unique creativity and ultimately to become a confident performer. Studying Drama will help you develop many important skills – co-operation, concentration, listening and appreciating the perspective of others. The kinds of skills that you will use for the rest of your life.
The Drama department is housed in The Beardwood Centre, which consists of a number of studios and a 130-seat black box theatre. It’s a well-equipped, versatile place to host the wide variety of productions that take place throughout the year. Recent productions have included James and the Giant Peach (Year 7-9), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Return to the Forbidden Planet, The 39 Steps (Years 11-13), School of Rock and a promenade performance of Romeo and Juliet (Years 7-10).
All pupils in Years 7 and 8 study Drama. From Year 9 it is optional and you can decide to go on to study Drama at GCSE and A-level. It is a hugely popular co-curricular activity at Colfe’s and we set out to involve the largest possible number of students in our productions either as a performer or musician, backstage or as part of the technical team.
During Years 7-9 pupils are introduced to a variety of different historical styles of theatre. They explore Improvisation, Devising Theatre and Scripted Performance (which range from Shakespeare to contemporary playwrights such as Alan Ayckbourn). Each year group goes to a West End matinee performance, most recently including Matilda, School of Rock, Les Miserables, Wicked and Come From Away.
GCSE Drama (Eduqas) is a popular option and involves Devising Theatre, with supporting written evidence and a performance from a text. Pupils can also be assessed on a performance element such as costume, set design or lighting. At the end of the course there is a written examination on a set text and pupils must write a live theatre review.
During AS and A-level pupils study Drama and Theatre Studies with Edexcel. There are regular workshops and Q&A sessions for these classes, which enable pupils to explore a variety of texts from different periods, such as The Tempest, Equus, Machinal and Woyzeck, and perform both scripted and devised work. Pupils also learn how to write informed critical analysis of plays that they have seen at the theatre.
During the GSCE and A-level years, there are regular theatre visits which enable students to experience a wide variety of theatrical styles, for example: Witness For The Prosecution, Death of a Salesman, Grown Ups, Things I Know To Be True, Network, The Tempest and 4.48 Pychosis. Workshops with visiting theatre companies are also frequent – Frantic Assembly, Splendid Theatre and Punchdrunk to name but a few.
Past pupils who have studied Drama A-level at Colfe’s have gone on to attend competitive drama schools such as RADA, Central, Guildhall, Rose Bruford Drama School and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. In keeping with our recent success rate in 2017-2018 where 6 pupils from the Senior School fought off fierce competition to be invited to join the prestigious National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, Colfe’s put forward 28 pupils for the auditions in 2019.
Pupils may also opt to sit the LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) examinations or audition for the National Youth Theatre. Scholarships are available for Year 7 pupils based on previous acting experience and a workshop audition.
A-level course details:
All pupils are also encouraged to take part in co-curricular Drama – examinations, productions and House competitions.