Drama has a unique place at Bradford Grammar School, both as a learning method in the English and Drama Department and as a means of celebrating artistic projects. The Hockney Theatre, complete with lighting and sound system, projection facilities and moveable seating, is an outstanding venue and the focus of dramatic performance in the school. Drama brings together the diverse skills of large numbers of pupils. Some may be involved in lighting and set building; others in writing, dance and musical performance; and of course every production needs pupils to help in promotion, back stage and front of house. The full-time Theatre technician coordinates the work of these teams of pupils and holds production meetings and training sessions for pupils.
The Dramatic Society produces an annual programme featuring large-scale and smaller scale events and at least one major production every year brings together pupils from all year groups in the school. Other productions are generated by the Lower School and Senior School Drama Clubs and by the well-established A Level Theatre Studies group. By encouraging pupils of all ages and all talents to work together, drama has a pivotal role in building and maintaining a sense of community at Bradford Grammar School.
In recent years productions have included: the musicals Blood Brothers, Grease, Little Shop of Horrors, Oliver!, Return to the Forbidden Planet, The Wiz and We Will Rock You; modern classics like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Cinderella, Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, On The Razzle, Our Day Out, The Real Inspector Hound and Sweeney Todd; the Shakespeare plays As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, and The Winter’s Tale; prestigious productions like The Mystery Plays and Peer Gynt and A-Level set texts such as The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Hedda Gabler, Medea, Oedipus Rex and Our Country’s Good as well as staging plays written by staff and showcase performances of both devised and scripted work by examination and extra-curricular groups.
There is a thriving Theatre Visiting Club with evening visits to venues like Bradford Alhambra, Manchester’s Royal Exchange and theatres in Leeds, Harrogate, York, Newcastle, Nottingham, Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon and London; in addition we try to organise trips to see ex-students in university productions in places like LIPA, Nottingham and Cambridge.