Pilgrims delight in performing and the Drama Department creates as many opportunities as possible for them to do so, be that a full scale production, a studio performance, a workshop, dramatic reading or a drama lesson. Moreover, we aim to stimulate and develop the self-confidence of every boy, enabling him to speak or perform comfortably to an audience.


The Curriculum

In the Pre-Prep, Drama is integrated into the weekly routine, where narrative and imaginative play form an important part in the development of each boy’s sense of self and empathetic understanding of others. Reception have free access to a permanent Role Play Corner, the theme of which changes in response to the boys' current interests. It has been variously a space station, a vets' practice, a doctors' surgery, a secret den, a post office, a corner shop, even a dinosaur's lair. A nativity play is performed by the Pre-Prep each Christmas, with a musical production in the summer term. The costumes are lavish and the enthusiasm boundless!

Drama has dedicated curriculum time for Years 3-5. In these lessons, the boys learn the many techniques required to inhabit the thoughts and feelings of the characters they may play. Through improvisation, through cross-curricular stimuli, through text work, through learning the history of the theatre, they become articulate and confident actors, the on-going product of which they share with friends and family at the annual Junior Showcase.

Extra-Curricular Performances

Pilgrims’ has a strong tradition of staging dramatic productions in the awe inspiring buildings and open air surroundings of the Close and Winchester College. There have been whole-school productions in the Cathedral, more intimate performances in the Pilgrims’ Hall, technically-supported musicals in Winchester College’s theatre and open-air Shakespeare in the school’s own Quad. Rehearsals take place during the Performing Arts Commoner (an after school club), and the boys quickly display an impressively dedicated and professional approach to their art.


A highlight of the boarding year is the Christmas cabaret, with acts devised and performed by the boarders, and one or two offerings from the braver members of staff. Christmas also sees the Choristers’ cabaret, an age-old tradition, performed by the senior Choristers during Choirtime.

Theatre Trips

There are number of excellent theatres near to Winchester who stage their own productions as well as receiving many West End touring shows, and we ensure that the boys frequently experience a variety of live performances. Our close links with Winchester College enable our boys to attend the multitude of plays in the QEII theatre, many of which are directed and performed, we are delighted to note, by ex-Pilgrims!