Berkhamsted on the Stage

Posted by Berkhamsted Admin on 19 May 2023

Modified by Berkhamsted Admin on 19 May 2023

Portraits, framed replicas were used for the stage

Two connections to Berkhamsted school on the stage; one close to home, the other in London.

The first; Mrs Gunary (former Director of Performing Arts Development) had obviously had a major clear out during the summer holidays and a parcel of past programmes were sitting on my desk when we returned to school in August. A welcome addition: the School Drama category contains programmes that date from 1879. Hopefully the school production selection shown here, will jog a few happy theatrical memories.

The second; an enquiry about Snail House, a very recent production at the Hampstead Theatre. An OB and friend of the writer and director Richard Eyre had tickets for the show. Backstage, after the performance, they asked about the portraits of the headmasters that had been used in the set design and he said they had come from Berkhamsted School. The OB was intrigued and wanted to confirm this was true, which it was.

It started with an enquiry then a visit to the school in May, from Tim Hatley, award winning set designer for recent shows such as Life of Pi and Back to the Future the Musical. He was looking for older portraiture for a school interior set design and knew of Berkhamsted through another OB. With permission granted, Tim came and photographed the portraits, then recreated framed replicas for the stage and the rest as they say is history.


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