Harrow’s distinctive Drama programme maintains an ethos of inclusion, and builds on the School’s strong theatrical heritage. Our Drama and Theatre department offers a wide range of curricular and co-curricular pursuits, with ensemble, empathy, clarity and discipline as core principles running throughout.
A boy’s experience of Drama at Harrow begins with a clear pathway in the Shell year. All new boys participate in the Shell Drama Festival, just before the autumn half term. Drama is also taught on the curriculum, and regular co-curricular workshops culminate in the Junior Rattigan Society’s major annual production in the Summer Term – most recently Treasure Island in 2018.
Boys in the Remove and Fifth Form (age 14 to 16) can opt for Drama at GCSE level, but all boys in these year groups also follow Elective courses that teach collaboration and communication skills through Drama. The keenest dramatists are able to pursue A Level Drama and Theatre in the Sixth Form.
There are performance opportunities aplenty for boys of any age. Each boarding house stages a House Play at least every two years. The tradition of performing Shakespeare dates back to 1941. In March 2019, the School’s production of Twelfth Night plays at Shakespeare’s Globe, 25 years after Harrow’s first appearance there. Some of the actors who performed in that 1994 production are part of the thriving OH Players, a company of Old Harrovians professional and semi-professional actors, who present at least one production annually.
As well as acting, boys may be involved in design, production and technical work, and are also encouraged to write and direct. A production for five-to-seven-year-olds devised by Harrow boys toured local primary schools in spring 2018 and, in May this year, Harrovians staged the first Harrow Fringe Festival, to showcase their own writing. As well as working in the School’s newly refurbished Ryan Theatre and Drama Studios, boys regularly create site-specific work in spaces around the School’s estate.
Harrow offers Drama scholarships at ages 13 and 16, and members of the department regularly visit prep and primary schools to run workshops. For more information, contact the Director of Drama, Mr Adam Cross.