The aims of Sutton High Drama are threefold: enjoyment, innovation and self-expression. It has a unique place in the school curriculum. We aim to give every Drama student skills that are transferable and useful in the wider world, such as cooperation, self-control and, most importantly, self-confidence, through a wide and varied curricular and extra-curricular programme. In a nutshell, drama is serious fun.
We stage at least two productions per year, involving girls from every year group within the Senior School. The style of each production varies to ensure we show a range of comedies, tragedies, modern and classics. Every other year, the school stages a musical in conjunction with the boys at Sutton Grammar School. Recent productions have included a promenade production of Grimm Tales, Annie, The Comedy of Errors, Grease, The Beauty Manifesto and The Addams Family. Girls are encouraged not only to act but also to help in other areas of theatrical production, such as stage management, costume, make-up, lighting and sound.
As well as having timetabled lessons once a week, there is a wide variety of options available for the keen Drama student who wants more. Each year, Sutton High stages the House Drama Competition, which is always fiercely contested. There is also a weekly Drama Club and a Circus Club. The work undertaken at each of these often leads to public performances at various shows, assemblies and the prestigious end-of-year Performing Arts Showcase. A week-long Drama School, run by the Head of Department, takes place at the end of the summer term.
Theatre visits and workshops
There are at least four theatre trips organised annually as GCSE and A Level Drama pupils are required to experience live theatre performances as part of the course. The older pupils also take part in at least one bespoke workshop by an outside practitioner each year. Most recently, we have welcomed Splendid Productions, Gecko and Frantic Assembly (pictured above) to Sutton High.
Stretching our most talented pupils
The Drama department regularly enters nationwide initiatives, such as the National Theatre Connections Project, where most recently we performed Gargantua at the Albany Theatre in London. We also entered the Shakespeare Schools Festival, where we have produced The Tempest and Twelfth Night, which toured to the Leatherhead Theatre and Secombe Theatre respectively.
Pupils are guided through auditions for outside companies such as the National Youth Theatre, Monologue Slam UK and for television work with casting agencies. They are also encouraged to create projects for themselves.
Many students choose to study GCSE and A Level Drama and produce work of an extremely high quality.
LAMDA and Speech & Drama
Speech & Drama is a very popular extra-curricular subject at Sutton High School. Five highly-experienced and qualified teachers work with small groups of students in a dedicated building to develop their communication and performance skills.
Students are encouraged to work creatively and sympathetically with each other to acquire knowledge, develop technical skills and have fun in a relaxed, positive atmosphere. The ability to express themselves articulately, whilst remaining relaxed and confident, is an invaluable life skill.
LAMDA examinations are held at Sutton High twice a year and Grades 6, 7 and 8 earn UCAS tariff points. In spring 2018, we achieved some truly exceptional results, with two Year 13 girls gaining their LAMDA gold medals with scores of 98% and 100%