Lancing offers a rich and varied programme of Drama, reflecting an illustrious cast of past pupils which includes Sir David Hare, Christopher Hampton and Sir Tim Rice. Our 156 seat theatre, opened by Sir Tim in 1984, is an intimate yet versatile space, capable of different stage configurations, and complemented by the Cherry Hall drama studio which is used for smaller scale, workshop productions and exam pieces.
Two school plays or, in alternate years, a musical and a play, form the centrepiece of each dramatic year. Recent productions include Amadeus, Oliver!, Tis Pity She’s A Whore, The Crucible, Much Ado About Nothing, The Mobile Phone Show, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Journey’s End. The dramatic year begins with Curtain Raisers, two or three small scale studio pieces, text-based (sometimes pupil written) or improvised. There is an annual Junior Play for the Third and Fourth forms (Years 9 & 10). There is also a 400 seat open air theatre in the school grounds where the Founder’s Day Play is performed each summer term to a packed house. The annual House play festival and Bancroft one act playwriting competition offer pupils further outlets for dramatic creativity. Several Lancing pupils have won places with the National Youth Theatre in recent years and we are delighted that a few young OLs are currently training for or breaking into the profession. Ben Pope OL, 2014 President of the Cambridge Footlights, recently returned to the school with the Footlights Revue.
The Drama GCSE course investigates scripted and devised drama practically and in a written exam. Those interested in the technical aspects of the theatre can join the stage team to learn about light and sound from our full-time technical manager, working up to designing and operating these elements for performance. Others can learn the art of stage costuming and make-up. The Theatre hosts outside theatre companies and workshops from specialist practitioners as programming permits, most recently Splendid Productions, the Cambridge Footlights & the New Mutiny Theatre Company. LAMDA classes are offered in Acting and the Speaking of Verse and Prose.
Lancing offers drama awards for 13+ entry.