Year 12 Pitlochry Theatre Trip

Earlier this term we took our Year 12 Theatre Studies students for a great overnight trip to Pitlochry to see three plays at the Festival Theatre. With the theatre holding its annual reparatory season, we were able to see three very contrasting plays – Alan Ayckbourn’s ‘Improbable Fiction’, Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ and the musical ‘A Little Night Music’ by Stephen Sondheim. It was a lovely trip with┬álovely weather, really enjoyable shows and a great atmosphere at the Festival Theatre.


More Year 12 Theatre Studies Tour

What a fantastic week it’s been! We’ve performed at Solihull School and at Bloxham School, We’ve seen four amazing plays, all different to one another and yet all really fantastic, we’ve toured the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, we’ve been to the Theatre Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum and we’ve had really, really great time!

Ready to perform at Solihull School

Ready to perform at Solihull School

Working with pupils at Bloxham School

Working with pupils at Bloxham School

The students at the two schools we visited really enjoyed our production. Our play showed images from the First World War, through a discussion between three great theatre practitioners of the early 20th Century – Stanislavski, Brecht and Artaud. We presented the scenes in the piece using techniques that these three practitioners might have used in their different approaches to theatre.

At Bloxham School

At Bloxham School

At Solihull School

At Solihull School

In Stratford-Upon-Avon we visited the RSC where we were given a really fantastic tour, seeing both Front of House and backstage areas and learning a little of the fascinating history of the theatre. During the evening we attended a production of ‘Titus Andronicus’ in the RSC’s Swan Theatre. This was Shakespeare meets Tarantino in perhaps the most violent of all of Shakespeare’s works. With 20 litres of fake blood being used in the production we were astonished by the final fight scene, as several major characters died in quick succession!

Arriving in London we went straight to the Duchess Theatre to watch Bertolt Brecht’s ‘Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’. This allegorical play parodies the rise of Adolf Hitler and the powerful ending reminds the audience that the rise of such tyrannical characters is indeed, often resistible.

Early the next day we had a very interesting visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum to explore the Theatre Exhibition and then took the chance to examine the Elmgreen and Dragset exhibition ‘Tomorrow’ which allowed us access into a stage play with no script where we were able to explore the life and home of an imagined architect, meeting the staff of his house and examining his belongings as we tried to piece together what had happened to him.

The Strange world of Elmgreen and Dragset’s ‘Tomorrow’

Students dressed up in costumes at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Students dressed up in costumes at the Victoria and Albert Museum

During the afternoon we went to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane to see the Musical of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory directed by Sam Mendes. This lavish show with extraordinary costumes and sets was a wonderful spectacle. We all enjoyed the Umpa Lumpas and we were astonished by the flying Great Glass Elevator.

Check out those Umpa Lumpas

After a brief rest and a bit of time to take on fuel… we attended our final show of the tour, the spine chilling ‘Woman in Black’ at the Fortune Theatre. This was a great way to end the tour, we were all frightened out of our wits by the simple yet effective staging used in this long running production. The audience jumped and screamed through the show and the eponymous Woman, caused many serious shocks to the system!

It doesn’t look scary…

We crammed so much into this fantastic trip and the students we took with us were absolutely fantastic, working really hard, presenting their own work and giving great feedback on the productions we saw in London. This trip will have given them so much that they can use for their A Level work, both in the compulsory review that they have to write and towards the practical productions they will be staging next term.

Here’s a short video I’ve made which shows a little of what we got up to as well as extracts from the work we performed whilst we were there… Enjoy.

Recent Shows in the Ogstoun Theatre


We’ve had two excellent visiting Theatre Companies with us during the past two weeks, with Dogstar Theatre bringing the dark and compelling drama, ‘The Baroness’ and Catherine Wheels Theatre bringing the vibrant and energetic play, ‘Lifeboat’.

Both plays were performed just for our exam students and the Ogstoun Theatre was filled with our GCSE and A-level students, who proved to be receptive and well focused audiences.

It’s wonderful to have such high calible companies bringing their work to us and we’re really pleased to have been able to host them.

The set of Lifeboat in the Ogstoun Theatre

The set of Lifeboat in the Ogstoun Theatre

Our Year 13 students also had a real treat last week with a visit to Eden Court to see the NT Live production of Othello beamed live to the cinema screen from the National Theatre. This was an amazing production with outstanding central performances from Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear. It really got the Year 13 students thinking about the Shakespeare work they’ll be studying later in the term.

Next week the Year 12 Theatre Studies students will embark on their mini tour to the South East of England. We’ll be taking work to show in schools down there and taking the opportunity to see several West End theatre productions. Whilst we’re there we’ll blog regularly about our adventures!

Visiting Productions This Term

We’ve got a very exciting term of live professional theatre ahead of us so I thought a little preview was in order…

On Thursday 19th September we’ll have Dogstar Theatre performing their production ‘The Baroness’ by Thor Bjorn Krebs here at the Ogstoun Theatre. It’s a brilliantly written play about an extraordinary friendship between the ageing writer of Out of Africa, (Karen Blixen’s pen-name was Isak Dinesen) and a young poet, Thorkild Bjornvig.

On the 26th September we’ll be travelling to Eden Court with our Year 13 students to see the National Theatre production of Othello broadcast live to the screen in the cinema. The production stars Olivier Award winning actors Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear as Othello and Iago and is directed by Nicholas Hytner.

Finally on 2nd October we have Catherine Wheels Theatre Company in the Ogstoun Theatre performing their production ‘Lifeboat’ written by Nicola McCartney and directed by Gill Robertson.

On Friday 13 September 1940, a ship, The City of Benares, set sail from Liverpool for Canada. On board were 90 evacuees escaping the relentless bombing and dangers of war torn Britain. Four days into the crossing, the ship was torpedoed and sank. Only eleven of the evacuees survived.

Two fifteen year old girls, Bess Walder and Beth Cummings, spent 19 terrifying hours in the water on an upturned lifeboat. They willed each other to survive. Lifeboat tells their story.