There are many opportunities to participate in drama and dance at Clifton College, whether you are an academic drama pupil, or simply enjoy performing.

Those choosing drama as an academic course will have the chance to develop their acting skills and understanding of stagecraft. Those choosing dance will have the opportunity to learn a wide range of styles and, as part of the A Level course, will study both physiology and anatomy.

Studying drama and dance encourages pupils to develop their teamwork and communication skills, and to build their confidence and become accustomed to public speaking.

View our Drama Scholarships and Bursaries


As well as learning the practical skills of performance, drama pupils will study playwrights such as Shakespeare, Miller and Bernard Shaw, and participate in workshops throughout the year.

Each year, the Third and Fourth Form have the opportunity to work on a full length production of their own on the Redgrave Theatre stage, for example, David Copperfield. We use physical theatre or musical theatre in these productions to teach the younger pupils a variety of theatre styles and skills. This gives confidence and an opportunity to experience the responsibility and collaboration which comes with performance.

Our staff have the experience, qualifications and connections needed to guide pupils towards further training with organisations such as the Royal Ballet or RADA.

Why Study at Clifton College?

The department has use of the College’s own 300-seat proscenium arched theatre and two purpose-built dance studios. We work closely with the Bristol Old Vic Theatre, the Bath Theatre Royal, RADA and Shakespeare’s Globe in London.

The academic study of drama and dance at Clifton College is complemented by the wide variety of co-curricular opportunities and House activities available to all pupils.

The Annual Musical is a huge event at Clifton College, with pupils tackling all elements of putting on a big show under the careful direction of Karen Pickles (Director of Drama) and Dan Robson (Director of Music).

As well as singing in either a lead role or in the ensemble, pupils can also play in the band that accompanies the show, while others help with the PA system or run the sound desk. Over the last few years, the College has put on Les Misérables, Evita, Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon.

School Shakespeare productions have included Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.