Rydal Penrhos Drama: Pupils Enjoy Series of Successful Theatre Trips
October 27, 2023

Rydal Penrhos Drama is off to a thrilling start this academic year, with an extensive offering of curriculum drama, Senior production rehearsals, and unforgettable theatre excursions.

Our drama enthusiasts embarked on a series of enriching theatre trips, including visits to the Scottish Play, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest,’ and ‘Horrible Histories – Barmy Britons.’

These excursions transported them to different worlds, where they witnessed the magic of live performances, from the captivating allure of Shakespearean tragedy to the uproarious humour of Wildean satire.

This iconic story, beloved by generations, will be brought to life on our stage by our incredibly talented young actors. Stay tuned for more details, including behind-the-scenes rehearsal photos, which will be shared shortly after the half-term break.

In the meantime, immerse yourself in the exciting world of drama at Rydal Penrhos.


To enhance their classroom learning, Rydal Penrhos pupils visited a modern interpretation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

On Thursday 14 September, Rydal Penrhos had the pleasure of attending a captivating performance of Macbeth at the Shakespeare North Playhouse. Nearly 40 pupils and staff were treated to an evening of theatrical brilliance that seamlessly merged tradition and innovation.

The performance began with a haunting opening scene, reminding the audience of the historic persecution of women believed to be witches. The portrayal of the weird sisters sent shivers down the spine, especially as they prophecies echoed throughout the play.

However, one of the most memorable moments for our pupils was when Mr Williams and Miss Earle were invited onstage during King Macbeth’s banquet, where they experienced the terror of Banquo’s ghost appearing beside them!

The exemplary behaviour of Rydal Penrhos pupils did not go unnoticed, with the Front of House staff at the Playhouse passing sending the following message: “Special shout out to Rydal Penrhos School, who were fantastic this evening. The teachers were well-organized, and the students were exemplary, thoroughly enjoying the show.”

Thank you to our pupils, teachers, staff, and in particular everyone at the Shakespeare North Playhouse who delivered this fantastic production of ‘the Scottish Play’.

A View from the Bridge

KS4 and KS5 exam candidates embarked on a thought-provoking journey to the Bolton Octagon Theatre to witness the gripping new production of ‘A View from the Bridge’ by the renowned Headlong company.

This play, a part of the AS exam syllabus, was brought to life in a semi-circular setting that intensified the atmosphere, with characters ensnared on three sides, subject to our unrelenting scrutiny.

With minimal set design, the power of Arthur Miller‘s poignant words and the depth of emotions were skilfully accentuated through the innovative use of space. Notable directorial choices, such as a looming swing, a balcony overlooking the drama, and a tantalizing dancer, added intriguing focal points, especially during climactic moments.

The narrative seamlessly drew the audience into a tragic tale, compellingly unfolding the protagonist’s descent into his own calamity. Additionally, the play’s ever-relevant theme of immigration resonated profoundly with pupils, enriching their understanding of the text.

Horrible Histories – Barmy Britons

On the final weekend of September, Year 7 pupils from Rydal Penrhos embarked on a delightful expedition to Pontio in Bangor to experience ‘Horrible Histories – Barmy Britons.’

The palpable excitement in the air was electrifying as pupils found their seats, and soon, the young audience was whisked away on a 70-minute journey spanning centuries, highlighting the most absurd and amusing historical moments.

Two remarkable actors effortlessly transitioned between characters with just a costume change, each adopting distinct physicality and voices. Together, we traversed through time, unearthing captivating stories, like the persistent intruder in Queen Victoria’s Buckingham Palace.

This entertaining escapade served as a wonderful follow up to the morning’s Open Day events, leaving Rydal Penrhos pupils with a shared sense of historical merriment!

The Importance of Being Earnest

On Thursday 5 October, a group of Year 10 GCSE pupils and staff visited Theatr Clwyd to watch ‘The Importance of Being Earnest.’ However, the performance was not the literary masterpiece the title might imply. Instead, the theatre company put the audience through an evening of chaotic catastrophe that had all the Rydal Penrhos contingent laughing uncontrollably.

At the outset, the main actor failed to appear on cue, leading to an unwitting audience member being recruited to participate. Several increasingly ingenious methods were employed to prompt the script and cleverly manipulate the volunteer’s responses, resulting in even more humour. As the performance continued, more and more actors became injured, incapacitated, or simply walked off the stage, until, by the end, all but one cast member were recruited from the audience.

Throughout the performance, the audience supported the hapless stagehand as he tried ineffectually to rectify the situation, and even booed the main actor when he finally arrived. The frantic play director added to the entertainment.

It was a superb evening of fun and fantastic improvisation by the real cast, which thoroughly entertained us all.

Sweeny Todd – the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Tuesday 17 October marked a memorable outing for Year 13 pupils from Rydal Penrhos, who gathered at the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale, Manchester to witness ‘Sweeney Todd – the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.’

Against a minimalist backdrop, the audience was effortlessly drawn into the narrative through the captivating melodies and poignant lyrics of Stephen Sondheim’s music. Richard Ross masterfully portrayed the eerie and lifeless Sweeney Todd, while Steph Nilland brought fervour to the role of Mrs Lovett.

The entire cast delivered a spellbinding rendition of the murderous duo’s escapades, evoking a spectrum of emotions, even inspiring empathy for Todd as he unravelled the truth about his wife’s demise.

Awe-inspiring lighting design was pivotal in shaping the story’s impact, and a live orchestra lent a hauntingly beautiful dimension to the vocals. This immersive theatrical experience marks a fantastic commencement to Year 13’s in-depth study of the play.