Every member of a group is seen as a potential Producer (of Drama), a potential artist.
Drama plays an important part in the life of the College and one of the consequences of choosing a small school means that everyone has a role to play whether behind the scenes as a technician or centre stage in a starring role.
There are two school productions every year. In the Michaelmas Term there is a full-scale production, which, in recent years, has been a full-scale musical. Open auditions are held for this and they generally feature pupils from every year group. Previous productions have included Daisy Pulls it Off, A Christmas Carol, Return To The Forbidden Planet, We Will Rock You, The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, Striking 12 and Wyrd Sisters. In the Lent Term we put on a Studio Production where there is more onus on the pupils to work as an ensemble, assistant direct and organise many design aspects. A Human Write and How We Begin were presented to great acclaim, both plays were written by Amy Sutton, a Brighton-based actor and playwright.
Drama also plays a significant part of the Festival of the Arts which is held during the last week of the Summer Term. Over the course of three days, pupils have the opportunity to learn a new skill, to perform a ‘play-in-a-day’ or join various dance, drama and music workshops. They then have the opportunity to showcase their work to friends and family.
There are also regular trips to the theatres in Plymouth, Exeter and further afield and with the Theatre Royal Plymouth on our doorstep, pupils have been lucky enough to see many world premieres of top shows such as The Lion King and Phantom of the Opera.
Speech and drama lessons are available at Mount Kelly with our experienced teacher and LAMDA examiner. Our pupils have had impressive successes in external exams, with many achieving the highest accolade of Distinction.
The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) syllabus is followed, which gives pupils a choice of disciplines to pursue, including Public Speaking, Acting, Mime, Reading for Performance and Speaking of Verse & Prose, and Mount Kelly is one of the largest private LAMDA examination centres in the country. We hold exam sessions at least three times a year. A pass at Grade 6 or above in any of the LAMDA disciplines as either a solo or duologue attracts UCAS points. As well as LAMDA examinations, in the Michaelmas term pupils are offered the opportunity to compete in the City of Plymouth Festival. Pupils over the age of fourteen who are interested in acting are encouraged to audition for the National Youth Theatre (NYT) and the Youth Music Theatre (YMT). We have had superb results with both of these national institutions, and over the last twenty years a high number of pupils who have auditioned have either gained places with the NYT on their summer courses or have performed in YMT productions. Through LAMDA, pupils are encouraged to develop self-confidence whilst gaining further qualifications. Many of our older pupils have used the lessons as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Awards, whilst many Year 12 pupils have found that timetabled Speech and Drama lessons have helped with a range of school duties, including reading in public and speech-writing and delivery, as well as preparation for university interviews. Lessons are available from Year 2 upwards and the confidence gained can be seen to be reflected across a child’s life.