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Home / Courses / Enrichment / Drama
5 reasons to study at Xaverian College

1. High Performing

Top 10% nationally for student achievement.  Excellent results at all levels, from Level 1 to University Science courses and in both academic and applied subjects.  Always above national averages.

2. Friendly & Welcoming

A genuine community where every individual is cared for and supported to success.  Our caring ethos is central to college life, and at Xaverian you will be welcomed into a diverse and exciting community that values every individual and an environment that will support you in every way.

3. Unique Campus

Set in the heart of Manchester and with a rich history going back over 150 years.  A mixture of new and modern buildings together with historic grade one listed buildings, superb facilities and lots of space makes this an attractive and successful sixth form college.

4. Teaching & Learning

Dynamic, engaging lessons delivered by enthusiastic staff, passionate about their subjects and their students.  Teachers providing extensive academic, pastoral and extracurricular activities to ensure students fulfil their potential and achieve their goals.

5. Raising Expectations

A college environment that seeks to prepare students for the next stage in their careers by fostering their maturity, encouraging independent learning skills and seeking to develop the whole personality.

Drama

Xaverian Drama department is an exciting place to study. We are one of the biggest centres for A level Drama in the country with over 120 students in the current cohort.

Each year, the department stages over seventeen productions, including one-hour plays for lower sixth exams and half-hour devised productions in the upper sixth. There are also college productions – and even the staff put on an end-of-year play!

Enrichment

Unusually, Xaverian does two annual productions, one at Christmas and one nearer Easter. The Christmas production is light-hearted and  has recently included 39 Steps and Twelfth Night. Drama is available to all students whether you study it or not, and as well as the many productions you can act or assist in many ways – working backstage, helping direct, designing sets, lighting and sound and so on.

Life after Xaverian

Xaverian has an outstanding record of success in Drama, and many former students are to be seen on stage and television. Wunmi Mosaku is a British actress of African origin. After two successful years at Xaverian College, she secured a place at RADA – the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.  She’s best-known for her roles in Joy and Silent WitnessFather & Son and played the lead role in the drama I am Slave on Channel 4. Other students who have gone on to professional careers have included:

  • Abdullah Afzal has now completed two series as one of the leads in Lunch Monkeys on BBC3 and this year will play one of the leads in a BBC 1 series: Citizen Khan.
  • Gemma Hodgson is part of the directorial team on Strictly Come Dancing.
  • Happystorm Theatre: sell-out performances for this month’s performances of The Crypt Project at the Lowry with former Xavs Drama student, Matthew Ganley as co-director/performer.
  • John Steciuk, Elliot Hughes and Jerusha Green are all on highly prestigious ‘Writing for Performance’ courses at the University of East Anglia.

This summer, the Drama staff had the pleasure of visiting the Edinburgh Festival where four former students were performing in major venues: Yasmin Marciniak (now in her second year Edinburgh drama degree), Mairi Hayes (Central School of Speech and Drama graduate) who was in two productions. Nick Birchill (Sheffield University Drama graduate) in an exciting physical theatre project and Fisayo Akinade in a stunning production that won the Amnesty International Award. Phil Hawkins, whose film: Being Sold won Best Film at the London Film Festival award last year and is making two other large budget films this year: all of this following on from his success with the Xaverian film of The Women of Troy that won the best director award in the New York International Film competition.

What kind of students do drama at Xaverian?

One answer is – all kinds, including those who have never studied drama before and those who have been in lots of productions and already done GCSE. But they all have one thing in common – they are serious about what they do. Drama is fun – for those who love working at it to the best of their abilities.

Keeping Links Alive

We are very fortunate in having so many of our former students keep in touch with us and being willing to share their expertise with our current students. Over the past three years they have run workshops for us: Fiona Gordon on voice, Charles Swift on script analysis, Fisayo Akinade on physical theatre, Matthew Ganley on audition techniques, Mairi Hayes on devising and Sarah Macdonald-Hughes on scripting. Our Xavs Drama Facebook group ensures that we keep up to date with past students and that they share feedback on their Drama degree courses so that we can advise current students.

Professional Workshops

Every year, there are visits from professional actors and drama schools graduates who run exciting workshops for the students which are targeted to help them with the unit they are working on. In the past, we have had days on Berkoff, Physical Theatre, vocal techniques and non-vocal communication.




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