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A Place to Express

The 300 seat Layard Theatre is home to the busy Drama Department, which currently has around sixty pupils studying Drama and Theatre Arts at GCSE and A Level.  The theatre is a dynamic space - an exciting environment in which to study and explore both practically and academically. It is a hub for creativity.

With 6 major productions a year as well as many smaller scale plays and ad hoc pop up performances such as Friday Foyer gatherings, there are many opportunities both on and off stage to continue the love for the subject a pupil may have and also to give pupils who have not had the opportunities before, to try something new whether it be acting, writing or perhaps working backstage with our brilliant technical crew.

Drama at Canford is highly inclusive and pupils from all years work and collaborate together whenever possible. The idea of ensemble is at the heart of our what we do and each year we programme a season of plays and events that we hope will have something for everyone, whether it be a full scale musical, a panto, some comic relief or a play with greater gravitas. We aim to challenge and entertain our audience as well as our performers and backstage crew.

Drama both in and out of the classroom provides a unique platform for individuals to explore their creativity and express themselves through various artistic elements such as acting, improvisation, storytelling, and stagecraft. It encourages pupils to step out of their comfort zones, discover their own voices, and develop their unique artistic talents. Pupils learn to cooperate, compromise, and contribute to a shared creative vision. They develop skills such as negotiation, problem-solving, and conflict resolution, which are crucial for success in various aspects of life. Participating in drama builds confidence and self-esteem. Through rehearsals, performances, and feedback, pupils gain a sense of accomplishment and develop a positive self-image. They learn to trust their abilities, take risks, and overcome stage fright or public speaking anxiety. This confidence extends beyond the stage, benefiting pupils in various areas of their lives.

The words Courage, Tolerance, Laughter, Energy, Passion, Commitment, Chaos are to be found on a wall in the theatre foyer and these 7 words, selected by drama pupils, are our manifesto to how we approach our work on a daily basis.

Drama Friday foyer



major productions a year


Friday foyers a year


lighting cues in Little Shop of Horrors


awards in the House Film Competition

Canford Drama - Little Shop of Horrors production

Drama Programme 2023 - 24

“Drama at Canford has helped me feel much less anxious in social environments and it's given my confidence a big boost.”

Canford Drama pupil