Drama is highly regarded at Monmouth School Boys’ Prep as an invaluable vehicle for encouraging and nurturing many essential attributes and skills – it requires courage, focus and commitment, collaboration with others, problem-solving and decision-making, engenders confidence in public speaking, as well demanding a high level of reading and listening skills.
All boys are offered one lesson a week under the guidance of Mr Murray, himself a professional actor with a huge range of experience in different genres of performance. He shares his knowledge and passion with each class and seeks to encourage the boys to sample and explore a variety of performance options, from spontaneous improvisation to tightly scripted pieces, from William Shakespeare’s tragedies to Harold Pinter’s comedies. The boys are also encouraged to create and perform their own devised scenes based on a variety of given impulses. These short small-group scenes are frequently given an airing as part of the class with the boys acting as audience. The beauty of Drama is that it can offer so many of the learning opportunities already mentioned and be enjoyable! It can perhaps most succinctly be described (borrowing a phrase of the American writer Kurt Vonnegut) as “important fun”.
As well as the weekly classes, the boys of Years 5 and 6 can opt to sign up for a weekly Drama Club where many of the themes and exercises are explored in more detail and depth.
Every two years we hold an all-school musical production which offers the opportunity for all boys to be involved in a large-scale production which is given two performances in front of a paying audience at the Blake Theatre in the Senior Boys’ School. In 2018, audiences were treated to a dynamic and vibrant production of Oliver! which involved a professional live band, video projections, imaginative set and costumes and, above all, a highly convincing and imaginatively engaging group of singers and performers from Year 3 through to Year 6 who left the audience truly astounded by their energy and professionalism.
Noye’s Fludde, 2016
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 2014