Drama is a cornerstone of life at Oakham. It is a popular subject in the academic curriculum and forms the backbone of extra-curricular activity within the School.
Now in its 32nd year, the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (the QET) and its surrounding rehearsal spaces host an eclectic line-up of productions, students’ own experimental pieces, cutting edge drama, full-scale musicals and house plays each year.
Under the tutelage of our dynamic and experienced staff, students learn all aspects of theatre work, including design, lighting, sound, stage management, wardrobe, make-up and front of house. Dance, an essential for any would-be actor, is part of the curriculum up to Form 3 and anyone can join the free weekly classes held on Wednesday evenings.
Each year we prepare and support students through the audition process for the National Youth Theatre, universities or specialist drama schools, such as RADA, LAMDA and Guildhall and enjoy great success in this area.
It is testament to the dedication of our talented staff in nurturing the ability and ambition of our students that so many Old Oakhamians pursue successful careers in the performing arts. Numbered among our talented alumni are: Katie Mitchell (director), Thomas Hescott (actor and director), Matthew Macfadyen, Greg Hicks, Richard Hope (all actors), Miles Jupp (comedian), Andy Harries (film producer) and many more. Between them these OOs cover the country's great theatre institutions (The National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company), the cutting edge of modern theatre companies (Complicite and Shared Experience); they bridge stand-up comedy and eclectic Channel 4 drama and they include an Oscar winner.
We strive to give our students as many opportunities as possible to watch live theatre and regularly take them on theatre trips. Particular highlights for our Upper School students are visiting the National Student Drama Festival (NSDF) in Scarborough and touring with our biennial production at the Edinburgh Fringe. Both occasions offer students an excellent opportunity to engage in an extended cultural and theatrical experience.
To see photographs of our recent productions please see the Drama Gallery.