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Drama

Drama

For many boys at Radley theatre plays a significant role in their time here, as there are many opportunities for them to perform in plays, work backstage and/or take Theatre Studies, which is offered at both GCSE and A Level as an academic subject.

The Radley College Theatre, which opened in 2005, is a venue much admired in the theatre world. The theatre is extremely well supplied with technical equipment and backstage facilities. In addition to the theatre there is a Black-Box Studio, used for smaller productions, classes and examination performances.

There is a full complement of staff for Drama, who all have a professional theatre background, consisting of the Director of Theatre (Victoria Buse), Head of Academic Drama (Amber Wiles), Drama Teacher (George May), a Technical Manager (Matt Barker), Costume Designer and Supervisor (Lianne Oakley-Rowland) and Production Fabricator and Artist (Jon Goodall). Although members of staff direct and oversee the plays, pupils take full responsibility for the running of shows once in performance, taking on the roles of stage management, lighting and sound operation.

Major productions each year include: the biannual College Play and Musical in November and the annual Year Group Plays: 6.1 Play, the Remove Play, and the Shell Play. In addition to this there are exam performances for GCSE and A Level and student-led productions. There is a also an extensive co-curricular programme offering a variety of workshops in the performing arts: these range from Dance and Playwriting workshops to Opera masterclasses.

Recent productions include: Wonderland, The 39 Steps, Chariots of Fire, A Comedy About a Bank Robbery, The Crucible, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Oh What a Lovely War, Hangmen, Blackwatch, Oedipus, Richard II, Henry IV part 1, Henry V (The Henriad to celebrate 400 years of Shakespeare in 2016), The Producers, Under Milk Wood, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The International Inspector, Journey's End, Twelve Angry Men, Oliver!, The Laramie Project, Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, Treasure Island, Arcadia, The Madness of King George, The History Boys, L'Hotel de Paris (a Noel Coward compilation), Les Miserables, Richard III, Billy Budd, Julius Caesar, West Side Story and the Royal Hunt of the Sun.

All boys in the Shells take part in the Haddon Cup, an inter-Social competition, in which each Social produces and performs an original ten minute play directed and written by 6.1 boys. This is adjudicated by a visiting theatre professional and is a keenly fought event. The Haddon Cup takes place in early October, which means the Shells are thrown into preparing for this in their first few weeks at Radley, promoting a good team spirit.

There are also many theatre trips organised by the Drama and English Departments throughout the year to such venues as the National Theatre, the Globe, the RSC and a wide variety of local theatres. 

Wonderland

2020 03 Wonderland

 

The 39 Steps

2020 02 The 39 Steps

Chariots of Fire

2019 11 Chariots of Fire

Grimm Tales

2019 06 The Shell Play

A Comedy About a Bank Robbery 2019 03 A Comedy About a Bank Robbery

The Crucible

2019 02 The Crucible

How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

2018 11 How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Shell Play 2018 06 Shell Play Hangmen (6.1 Play) 2018 03 Hangmen

 

Victoria Buse
Victoria Buse
Director of Theatre
Promptly after completion of my Drama and English degree (Surrey University) I made my way to the Edinburgh Fringe, eager to see what this world renowned theatre festival had to offer. After an inspiring whirlwind week I returned to London and immediately auditioned for Drama School. I was cast in a 'Theatre in Education' tour a few months out of training. I hugely enjoyed the interactive post-show student workshops, so decided to sign up for my teacher training in Drama; I never looked back. I went on to join Hampton School as a Drama Teacher and over the course of 12 years became Head of Drama followed by Director of Performing Arts; I then embarked on a Gap Year where I returned to my performance roots working as an Actor and Drama Practitioner. I joined Radley College as Director of Theatre in September 2017. Radley provides a truly unique setting for productions and facilitates great theatrical opportunities. I feel very fortunate to work alongside such an imaginative and committed theatre team and such talented and creative students.
Amber Wiles
Amber Wiles
Head of Drama
After graduating from the University of Warwick with a degree in Theatre and Performance Studies, I embarked upon a job working in recruitment in central London. The experience was excellent but I soon wanted to move back into the world of the Arts, taking up a place at the music college Vocaltech and becoming a semi professional singer for a few years, alongside taking part in musical theatre productions and being an officer in the Army Cadet Force, a pursuit that shaped my teenage years. Soon I realised that my skills were suited most strongly to teaching, the profession of both my parents and other family members, and I trained whilst working at Riddlesdown Collegiate in Croydon as a Drama and English teacher. After a break to raise my children, I became Head of Drama at Mascalls Academy in Kent, before joining Radley in September 2019 as Head of Academic Drama. I still enjoy singing and songwriting and have been lucky enough to record some of my music and perform live on many occasions. I live with my children Kira and Lex and Eric the greyhound.