Lancing offers a rich and varied programme of Drama, reflecting an illustrious cast of past pupils which includes Christopher Hampton, Sir David Hare and Sir Tim Rice.
Our 180-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.
The school play or musical forms the centrepiece of each dramatic year. Recent large cast productions include Amadeus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Coram Boy and Lady Windermere’s Fan, One Ma, Two Guv'nors, Guys & Dolls and Legally Blonde. There is also an open air theatre in the school grounds, seating 400, where the Founder’s Day play is performed each Summer Term. Houses regularly produce plays and the Donald Bancroft One Act playwriting competition offers a further outlet for dramatic creativity with pupils directing their own work. Those interested in the technical aspects of 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 makeup and wardrobe.
The Drama and Theatre A Level (Edexel) provides an opportunity to study a range of drama from the points of view of a performer, director, designer and critic. Students acquire a knowledge and understanding of the language of drama and theatre and develop performance and analytical skills – on the stage and on the page. Individual creativity is nurtured together with the challenges of collaboration both practically and academically. The course is supported by an extensive co-curricular Drama programme. This diverse and popular activity is open to all and proves invaluable to Drama students in terms of understanding how a production is brought to the stage and an audience. There are opportunities for Sixth Formers to direct productions and this can be as part of an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). The majority of the teaching will be based in the College Theatre or Cherry Hall Drama Studio, but there will also be a significant number of classroom-based lessons.
The course aims to engage students through encouraging creativity, focusing on practical work which reflects 21stcentury theatre practice and develop skills that will support progression to further study of Drama and a wide range of other subjects. The performance texts that will be studied for the exam will require students to articulate how they would perform in certain roles, design for certain scenes and interpret a text for performance, putting practical work at the heart of the specification. Texts previously studied include: That Face by Polly Stenham, Top Girls by Caryl Churchill, Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel, Speaking in Tongues by Andrew Bovel, The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh, Antigone by Sophocles, Colder Than Here by Laura Wade, Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo, Machinal by Sophie Treadwell, King Lear by William Shakespeare.