A King Edward’s Witley pupil is heading for the bright lights of London after securing a place at the world-renowned Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Jonathan Chan, an Upper Sixth A-level pupil, will read BA in Production Arts on the Theatre Technology Pathway from this September.
Jonathan, with the early encouragement of his School drama and LAMDA teachers, has supported his academic drama and theatre studies with practical work experience among top industry professionals at theatres across the West End, including placements with Olivier and Tony Award winners Neil Austin, Peter Mumford and Ken Billington.
Drama and theatre play a leading role at King Edward’s Witley and Jonathan’s achievement comes at a time when the School is expanding its Drama provision to include Technical Theatre. King Edward’s new Director of Drama Mrs Lynsey Cleaves, has introduced ‘Tech Club’ – open to all ages – to extend pupils’ theatre skills to embrace lighting and sound equipment with practical experience in School productions and exam performances. Mrs Cleaves is also transforming the backstage Green Room of Charter Hall into a 60-seater theatre studio. The increasing variety of drama and theatre on offer, together with an increasing number of productions, is ensuring an opportunity for every member of the School community to get involved.
Mrs Cleaves believes, “Theatre is not just about acting; there are so many career opportunities to be pursued and transferrable skills to be learned. When a pupil expresses a desire to be an actor, writer or designer it is my job to nurture their skills and guide them on their journey into a very competitive industry. Jonathan’s achievements are testament to the belief that, given the right environment, mentoring, experiences and work hard dreams become reality.”