Theatre is one of the most powerful ways of developing your English outside the classroom. It’s also fantastic fun!
Each week, in addition to English lessons, excursions and evening activities, students have 12 hours of theatre practice. During these theatre sessions, we work towards an adaptation of a famous musical from London’s West End: Matilda, The Lion King, Wicked or School of Rock. Check out our adaptation of Matilda below (well done to all our actors!), or read on to find out more about the course.
Our English & Theatre course is for students aged 11-17 and takes place at our Southampton Summer Junior Centre. The sessions are led by a drama professional. All students are welcome, regardless of their level of English.
We usually start the sessions with fun activities to help warm up the body and the voice (Zip-Zap-Boing, Tableaux and Tongue Twisters are particular favourites!). These activities also help to bond the group, who are going to get to know each other pretty well over the coming week.
As the week progresses, we introduce students to the story and script, working on performance techniques and character-building to aid their confidence and understanding of their story. In their script, students also receive background information about the show and the book or film it comes from.
How Theatre Helps your English
The benefits for students’ English are considerable. The script develops their vocabulary and as they practice delivering it we guide them towards better diction, intonation and pronunciation of English sounds. All of this greatly enhances students’ confidence with speaking English.
Theatre provides an ideal context for language practice as students can express themselves in a manner very different to the classroom – they are not studying, but they are certainly learning! What’s more, the act of working towards a theatre performance develops vital soft skills. Leadership, teamwork, improvisation, commitment – all of these skills are developed on the programme as we work towards our final goal.
The Final Performance
As the end of the week approaches, we offer students two options for the performance. They can either perform in front of an audience – their fellow students – or have us film the performance privately in indoor and outdoor locations around the school. Either way, completing a performance is a hugely satisfying and rewarding experience, and the results can be recorded as a record of achievement and shared with friends and family.
More about our English & Theatre summer course >
Watch interviews by English & Theatre students >
Lewis Theatre Programmes
The Lewis School specialises in English through theatre. Here’s what we offer.
English & Theatre (Summer)
A mix of English lessons, theatre sessions, trips and other activities. All levels of English welcome.
Theatre Camp (Summer)
As above, but with no English lessons! This 2-week course is for UK and international students and a minimum level of Higher Intermediate (B2) is required. Students write and perform in their own show.
English & Theatre (Year-Round)
Available at any time of the year to junior groups at our main school.
Can’t come to the UK? Let us come to you! Our theatre professionals visit your school and guide your students towards a final performance.