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"Drama helps you to see the world through someone else's eyes and gives you so much confidence, as well as improving your ability to be creative and encouraging you to think outside the box." Year 13 Drama Student

At Malvern St James we see the Arts as a vital and powerful component of our broad and balanced curriculum. Our commitment to the Arts is exceptional, with Drama taught throughout the school, supported by visiting practitioners and regular trips to the theatre, as well as the production of numerous performances, showcases and the participation in local and national Festivals.

In the Drama Department young Drama and Theatre Makers learn vital skills, whether as part of the Year 7 – 9 Curriculum, GCSE and A-level Drama, the Arts Awards, or the Clubs and Productions on offer to all throughout the school. Girls are encouraged to develop their performance and acting skills, but also, for those who are technically minded, to plot and run the lighting and sound for the shows. Sixth form girls may help with the directing of the school productions, as well as taking on stage management roles and we have Drama Scholars and Subject Ambassadors, all taking on leadership roles within the Drama Department.

Speech and Drama Lessons are an option, where girls can choose to work on Speech, Spoken language including poetry, public speaking, and prose reading, Theatrical and Performance Skills, and Life Skills, including confident self-expression, interview technique and personal communication and presentation. Girls can work towards LAMDA examinations and take part in Speech and Drama Festivals and Showcases, if they so choose.


  • A dedicated Drama Centre, with large Drama studio, lighting & sound gantry, dressing room/teaching room/pop up IT suite. The majority of the Examination lessons take place in the Drama Studio, although, we are fortunate to have two studio spaces to rely on
  • The York Hall - a large traditional Proscenium Arch stage, where big School Productions take place annually.  The York Hall also has the facility to turn into a ‘Black Box’ studio space, a second space for lessons and more intimate performances
  • Speech and drama teaching rooms  

Recent Productions 

  • Twelfth Night (2016) – performed at the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford as part of the National Schools Shakespeare Festival
  • Much Ado About Nothing (2015)
  • The Tempest (2014)
  • Merry Wives of Windsor (2013)
  • Big School Shows: Grease (2016); Mermaid (2015); Oh What a Lovely War (2014); The Caucasian Chalk Circle (2013); as well as an annual Variety Show
  • Smaller shows include: Fugue; Mercy Fine; Skellig; Aladdin; Girls Like That; The Penelopaid; numerous devised pieces

Expressive Arts Week

Each Summer Term Years 7 and 8 come off timetable in order to spend the week studying Expressive Arts. The girls study with a range of professional practitioners and the following year they put on a Show in a week (2016 – Disney’s Aladdin). An exciting and stimulating week for all, with excellent links with professionals, as well as a highly challenging and fast paced learning environment.


The Drama/Expressive Arts Scholars work towards additional shows over the year, taking part in the Shakespeare Festival, the School Play and the Variety Show. In addition, the Scholars attend all the School Shows over the year, in order to broaden their repertoire, and are invited to professional theatre productions. 

Theatre Trips

We regularly attend Malvern Theatres, Hereford Courtyard and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon. We also team up with other departments to share a broader range of theatre experiences. We go to theatres in Cheltenham, London, Birmingham, Oxford or Bristol, as well as welcoming visiting theatre companies to MSJ.

Some of the productions seen recently:

Things I Know to Be True – Frantic Assembly, Oxford Playhouse

The Rover – RSC, Stratford (including pre-show talk from Director, Loveday Ingham)

The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips – Kneehigh Theatre Company, Birmingham Rep

The Tempest – RSC, Stratford

Woman in Black – Hereford Courtyard Theatre

(plus live screenings from the National Theatre and the RSC)

Recent Alumni

Jennifer Kirby, actress (BBC 1's Call the Midwife) Sixth Formers recently went to Stratford to see her performance as Lady Percy in Henry IV for the Royal Shakespeare Company

Ellie Kirby, Casting Director (recently came to give a talk to girls about studying the Arts at University)

Samara Gannon (MA in Performance at RADA, going into theatre producing/directing)C

Saskia Osterloff (Went to Surrey/Guildhall Drama School and is working for The People’s Theatre, Camden. She recently visited MSJ to give a talk on the pros and cons of going to Drama School or reading Drama at University),