St Columba’s College runs a very active extra-curricular Drama programme.
Boys in Forms 1 and 2 can attend workshops at lunchtime, where they learn the skills required to perform: voice development, working in teams, learning lines, spatial awareness and physical and mental self-control.
Each year, the College enters the Bushey and South Herts Drama Festival and has been successful on several occasions, with boys scooping awards for Best Actor in both the junior and the senior categories. Christmas is celebrated with a reading of one of Dickens’ favourite tales – ‘A Christmas Carol’ – supplemented by an atmospheric reading of one or two ghost stories. All this is performed on a small stage and lit by candlelight, creating a delightful way to enter the festive season.
In the Trinity Term, the school presents the College Musical. This is produced in conjunction with Loreto College for Girls. The Musical gives students the opportunity to act, sing, dance in both principal and chorus roles. It also presents a chance for students to contribute backstage, controlling lights and sound, as well as performing in the accompanying band or orchestra. Recent productions have included ‘Return to the Forbidden Planet’, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, ‘Guys and Dolls’ and ‘Carousel’.
One of the extra-curricular days in the Lent Term for Form 3 is dedicated to more extensive drama workshops, where the boys have the opportunity to practise the techniques used by professional actors and work towards producing a short scripted play.
The Sixth Form join together with the girls from Loreto College each autumn to form The Extras and perform at the Abbey Theatre. The very high standards attained by the students have receive numerous plaudits over the years, and the material performed is often challenging. Recent productions have included ‘Amadeus’, ‘Black Comedy’, ‘Improbable Fiction’, ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ and ‘The Real Inspector Hound’. Plays are rehearsed during an intensive five week period and the College is delighted to be able to use the excellent facilities of the Abbey Theatre. It is a tradition that is now deeply entrenched in the school calendar.