Caldicott Drama Scholar’s Tour of the National Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe

03 December 2019


‘My favourite part was going backstage at the National Theatre and seeing the crew put the set together in the Olivier Theatre. We were also able to watch them make props and scenery in the workshop backstage.’ - Edward M (Year 8)

Boys who are sitting drama scholarships this year, along with those considering sitting drama scholarships in the future, were treated to a private backstage tour of the National Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe on Friday 29 November.

The tour of the National Theatre took the boys backstage in one of the world’s busiest working theatres; with three auditoriums and an extensive array of workshops, the boys were given quite an insight into how a play is brought to life, from the page to the stage. After an insightful introduction to the building’s history and Sir Laurence Olivier, held in the incredibly impressive Olivier auditorium whilst a set was being constructed on the stage, the boys then made their way to the Lyttleton theatre where they had the opportunity to watch a technical rehearsal of the upcoming production Three Sisters taking place. With their hard hats and high-vis jackets, they ventured on backstage into the carpentry, props and paint workshops where a large number of staff members were busy working in their area of expertise. Here they had the chance to handle some of the rather realistic props and helped the boys realise the years of planning and work that goes into producing each production and the huge variety of skillsets that are needed.

‘The brilliant tour guides brought the experience to life with their knowledge. The best part was the Olivier auditorium where we watched them build the set for ‘Translations’.’ - Ollie R (Year 8)

‘The Olivier stage at the National Theatre was cleverly designed. They positioned the seats to fit a human’s peripheral vision so that everyone could have good sightlines. As an actor, you can address every person in the audience without the slighted head turn. It is based on the design of the old Roman amphitheatres which were all about promoting democracy.’ - Freddie M (Year 8)

Next on the boys’ tour was a step back in time 400 years ago into Shakespearean London as the scholars headed to the Globe Theatre. Their guide shared his encyclopedic knowledge of London theatre in the 15th Century and the boys were amazed to hear about some of the most influential thespians of the era. They learned how the class system dictated where people sat and how Shakespeare would have approached the writing of his plays.

‘I learned so many facts about the Globe theatre such as; the candles used to be made of animal fat in Shakespearean times, the current walls of the Globe are made of cashmere and that in Shakespeare’s time people drank more beer than water.’ - Charlie S (Year 7)

‘At the Globe Theatre I enjoyed learning about the Dutton brothers who were like gangsters. It was really interesting to see the difference between a modern theatre and a theatre from Shakespearean times’ - Animesh K (Year 8)

It was an incredible day out with the boys asking a huge number of questions to both of the guides at each theatre. They were eager to learn and can now bring this new knowledge into their own studies and future endeavours.


Caldicott Drama Scholar’s Tour of the  National Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe

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