You may have heard about the ITV mini-series “Quiz”, based on the true story of Charles and Diana Ingram who were accused of cheating on Who wants to be a millionaire? Quiz was one of the most successful series of 2020. But did you know that two Old Oakhamians worked on this show? Andrew Harries (OO 71) was one of the series’ producers, and Mathhew Macfadyen (OO 92) was Charles Ingram on screen. In this month blog post, we will look closely at their school career.
Andy spent four years at Oakham School, between 1967 and 1971. He was in School House. During his time at school, he played different sports including Hockey and Swimming. In the Swimming Gala in 1969, he finished 3rd place in the 1 ½ lengths free style (under 14) race. He was also a keen cricketer, playing successively for the school’s Under 15, Under 16 and Second XI teams.
From 1969, he was in the Editorial board of the Oakhamian Magazine. He wrote reports on the School Societies, some Drama reviews and Opinion articles on the Palestinian Crisis and the influence of Television.
Three of Andy’s poems, published in Oakhamian Magazines.
He spent much time in the Drama department as well, being on stage or helping backstage. In 1969, he played L/Cpl A.J. MacLeish in The Long & the Short & the Tall, the first play performed in the Shakespeare Centre (Old School).
A rehearsal of The Long & the Short & the Tall in the Shakespeare Centre.
He directed Hodge Wing’s play in the 1971 House Drama Festival. The review read: “Harries had conceived the production intelligently, he obviously had the whole of the house behind him, and his production was, without real qualification, a great achievement.”
Andy is listed in the cast of The Long & the Short & the Tall and in Make-up in the 1971 production of The Revenger’s Tragedy.
Matthew started at Oakham School in First Form in 1985. He was a boarder in Peterborough House in Lower School, then moved to Wharflands, a Middle School boarding house. He finished his school career in School House, the Seventh Form boys’ house.
Peterborough House in 1987. Matthew is standing in the middle row, fifth from left.
He was a prolific sportsman. He played Squash in the Jerwoods’s teams between 1985 and 1987. He was in several Swimming teams, successively the Jerwoods, Junior and Intermediate teams. He was Captain of the Jerwoods First XI hockey team and played in the School’s Fourth team in 1992. In Athletics, he became County Champion in the shot putt (intermediate) in 1991. He started to play Rugby in the Junior Colts in 1985, then moved up the age group teams and played in the Jerwoods 1st XV, the Junior Colts A team, the Under 15 A, the Senior Colts A, the Second XV and finally the School’s First XV in 1991. He played as a forward, and is recorded in the magazines as a no.8 in the Junior teams, a blind-side flanker in the Senior Colts and a second row in the 1st XV.
Oakham School Rugby 1st XV, 1991 – Matthew is standing in the middle of the second row.
He appeared on stage in his first year at school. He was in the chorus of the Jerwoods musical Super Toad. The following year, he played the role of Emma Purslow in the Jerwoods production of Crowds. In 1987, he played Macduff’s son in the whole School production of Macbeth, performed for the first time in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. He then performed in the Fourth Form GCSE class’s production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle in 1988, as well as in the Wharflands-Buchanans staging of The Real Inspector Hound in the 1989 House Drama Festival. When he was in Fifth Form, he appeared in no less than three plays: he played Sir Toby Belch in the school production of Twelfth Night, played Jerry in The Zoo Story, and in the 1990 House Drama Festival, he was Terry in the Wharflands-Stevens production of Mother Figure. He played another Shakespearian character in 1990 when he appeared on stage as Demetrius in the school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He also played the role of Johnny in the play Touched.
Matthew as Johnny in the play Touched (above) and the stage of Crowds (below).
In his last year at Oakham, Matthew played Rosencrantz, one of the two main characters in the school production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, alongside Stuart Helmer.
The programme and the poster for the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.
Matthew and Stuart Helmer as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, respectively, in 1991.