We were delighted to welcome the esteemed playwright, Simon Stephens, to open our brand-new drama studio.

Simon Stephens, who has won seven Lawrence Olivier Awards and five Tony Awards for his work, also hosted an ‘Ask Me Anything’ question and answer session with our boys as well as pupils from schools across Bedford at the event on Thursday 21 November. Simon is best known for his play adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time for which he won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play.

Simon, who revealed that his first job was as a teacher in Essex, told us why he felt it was so important to give young people the chance to talk to him about his journey from teacher to award-winning playwright.

He said, “I’ve always tried to write as honestly as I can about kids because they moved me when I was a teacher; they inspired me. They were difficult, and it was difficult teaching. There is nothing I’ve experienced as a playwright that was anywhere near as difficult as that year and a half teaching. It’s defined the person I am.”

He added, “I was thrilled to be asked to open Bedford School’s new drama studio – it’s a bit like going full circle for me and connecting once again with young people.”

Work on the studio began at the start of summer to transform it from a canoe store to a bright and airy drama studio. The new room provides an alternative space to our 282-seated Quarry Theatre to teach GCSE and A-Level theory lesson as well as one to one LAMDA lessons. The studio has been specially designed with floor to ceiling mirrors for movement work and to help boys with ensemble work in shows.

Head of Academic Drama at Bedford School, Antoinette Keylock, said, “We’re thrilled to have welcomed a playwright as prestigious as Simon Stephens to open our brand-new drama studio.

Simon is a huge source of inspiration for many of our students and to have him not only open the studio, but also answer their questions, was simply phenomenal.

The studio has been a much-needed space and the boys can’t wait to finally explore it!”

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