There are two ways to rehearse for a play; either you have a long period, with sporadic rehearsals and people slowly learning their lines, or you can blast out a play, rehearsing every evening and weekend for about five weeks. The second way is a slightly terrifying experience but the one I’m more familiar with at Winchester. You never really know how the play will turn out and the sense and meaning of it fall into place in the final week. You end up living and breathing your character; you can’t stop pondering your character’s motivations or the best way to block a scene, during lunch, on you way to lessons, or even in your dreams.
To do all of this with a full-length Shakespeare play was even crazier than normal. But truly, The Merchant of Venice, was a wonderful experience, made so much easier and more fun by the amazing staff who help us. Mr Baddeley and Mr Dakin guided us through all the difficulties of the language, Mrs Kight and Mrs Webster made us look very dapper in our costumes and makeup, and the backstage team made sure nothing went wrong. Without them we’d flounder. The hard work is always worth it - taking that final bow on the last night, you feel you’ve really achieved something, knowing the production is of a really high standard.
The most wonderful thing about doing theatre here is the camaraderie that exists between the actors. This amazing atmosphere encourages pupils to do play after play, to sign up for the LAMDA program here, to do the monologue showcases, to direct their own plays, and to do make-up or tech. Drama can be a huge commitment but the rewards, both throughout the process and seeing the final performance, are immense.
20th October 2020
In the final instalment of our focus on Wordsworth, in this 250th anniversary year of his birth, we reveal a previously undiscovered treasure within the school's collection.
13th October 2020
The texts pupils study in Div, English and other lessons provide springboards for discussion about a range of topics. Ensuring there is content that is both diverse and international in outlook encourages depth of study and understanding.
9th October 2020
As the school considers how it celebrates the diversity of its community, Black History Month provides an opportunity to focus on how pupils are learning about different voices and cultures, and their inseparability from our "own" histories and experiences.
29th September 2020
To mark the 250th anniversary of the poet's birth, Fellows' Librarian Richard Foster explains the importance of one of the school's latest acquisitions.
19th September 2020
Science School has a diverse collection of fascinating objects, from an 18th-century microscope, fossils and taxidermy birds, to apparatus used to teach physics in the early 20th century. Twenty-four of the most interesting and unusual objects from the collection are now online.
26th June 2020
There is always something to celebrate at Winchester College and the last couple of years have been particularly full of significant anniversaries - the opening of the boarding houses and the conversion of Commoners into classrooms - and this summer sees the 150th anniversary of the opening of Moberly Library.