Head of Academic Drama
Before pursuing a career in education, Liam set up Bridges Arts Group in 2010. As its Artistic Director, Liam ran arts projects predominantly in schools, pupil referral units and detention centres both nationally and internationally. He completed this work alongside attending the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, graduating in 2013, before completing his PGCE at the Institute of Education, London in 2014. Liam is particularly interested in Drama-in-Education methodologies and child-centred pedagogies, thinking about Drama not just as a subject but as a fundamental means of knowing and understanding the world around us. His specialist subject interests include 'In Yer Face' and physical theatre forms. Liam is also the current Chairman of the National Association for the Teaching of Drama, a position he has held since 2014.
Drama is a thriving art form at Hurst and there are numerous opportunities for students to engage in the theatrical life of the school. Whether students want to take part in one of more than 20 annual extra-curricular productions, or simply study Drama as an academic subject, we believe that one thing is certain: they will leave us with greater self-confidence, and an abundance of theatrical skills.
At Hurst, students will improve their practical performance and technical skills, develop an appreciation of live theatre, and learn how to communicate meaning through various styles and genres. They will study a range of theatrical texts, from Ancient Greek comedies to modern-day classics, fostering a love of drama in all its guises.
A-level Drama & Theatre demands practical, creative, academic and communication skills in almost equal measure. Students will extend their ability to create drama and theatre, either in a performing or production role. They will also be required to write about drama and to develop their powers of analysis to become an informed critic. The course involves taking part in drama productions, as well as studying plays, playwrights and practitioners. They may be keen on acting, writing or on the visual and technical side of theatre and wish to develop their skills in some or all of these areas. Equally they will be interested in going to the theatre to see plays performed by different theatre companies. We follow the EDEXCEL specification which is split into three components, studied across the two year programme.
The department has access to some amazing facilities, including a brand new, state-of-the-art theatre; a drama studio; two newly-built teaching/rehearsal classrooms; drama rooms for one-to-one LAMDA lessons; costume and props stores and access to sound, lighting and staging technology (overseen by two resident technicians).
Extra-curricular opportunities are extensive. Each year we stage more than 20 productions, from large-scale musicals with a professional orchestra, to small-scale scripted and devised plays. All productions offer students the opportunity to act, provide technical support or direct.
The department runs practical workshops for those wishing to study Drama in higher education. In the past few years, several students have gone on to read Drama at top universities, with others gaining places at prestigious Drama schools both in England and the USA.