‘Drama here is outstanding'
The Good Schools Guide, 2017
We take our drama seriously at LEH, whilst making sure that everyone is having a great deal of fun. Whether touring Roald Dahl musicals to local primary schools in their lunch breaks; tapping their way through epic musical numbers with the boys from Hampton School, or running a show backstage with a team of well-trained techies, all girls are encouraged to take part, test themselves, and enjoy all the department has to offer.
In recent years we have staged musicals ranging from Chicago! to Anything Goes; we’ve commissioned new work from a contemporary performance poet; we’ve produced a series of works championing feminist histories and cultural representation, and we’ve even fired a confetti cannon or two. Meanwhile, in the drama studio, our GCSE and A Level candidates have consistently excelled: their practical work was picked out for special praise by the Chief Examiner for an incredible three years in a row. We pride ourselves on teaching beyond the curriculum, using the medium of drama to open our students' eyes to new worlds and experiences.
Our team of full-time, visiting and freelance staff are specialists in their field: we draw on a pool of professional companies and see the best work that London, one of the world’s foremost theatre capitals, has to offer. We also keep ourselves fresh by regularly hosting workshops and training from leading theatre practitioners. We’re also not above running the odd tour abroad: 80 students took part in our last Performing Arts tour to New York City.
The Jane Ross Theatre
All of this work takes place in and around our stunning 330 seat theatre: opened in 2012, it is an extremely flexible space at the heart of the Arts Centre, which also includes a rehearsal suite, studio theatre, green room and seminar room, as well as the Music and Art Departments.
The extra-curricular programme is designed to combine open access to all activities with the pursuit of excellence, however that may be defined for the age-group and students involved. Regular clubs include:
Tech Club: two afternoons per week, students are trained to crew the full range of Performing Arts events, from Front of House through to wardrobe, lighting, sound and stage management.
Fun drama clubs for Years, 7, 8 and 9.
A Year 10 project exploring a diverse range of age-appropriate genres.
Musical Theatre Dance Club, which also includes boys from Hampton School, our neighbouring school.
Although many other events can be scheduled, the core production programme consists of:
An annual musical production performed with Hampton School, which the schools produce and host on alternate years;
A main school production;
A Year 10 production, which in the recent past has been an especially commissioned work from an emerging performance poet. Sometimes, but not always, with Hampton School.
A Sixth Form production (produced and directed by students, and open to the boys at Hampton School).
A Year 9 “Theatre in Education” tour to local Primary Schools.
A Lower School Musical (Years 7 & 8): a large scale production with 50-70 students in the cast.
Speech and Drama Lessons
Approximately 160 students follow the Trinity Guildhall specification, drawing on the full range of options available as individuals, in pairs or in small groups. These sessions are hugely popular, with many students opting to follow the Communication Skills syllabi to develop essential life-skills for the world of work, and beyond. Over the course of the last year over 80% of all results have been a Distinction, and an increasing number of students are taking the professional Diploma examinations: we routinely place students into world-class conservatoires to continue their training.