Drama at MCS offers something for everyone,  with a huge range of opportunities available for pupils of all ages.

The school enjoys exciting partnerships with the Oxford Playhouse and the Pegasus Theatre, giving access to impressive performance spaces and professional direction. During the course of the year MCS stages as many as twelve productions, some specific to certain year groups, others open to all; the underlying principle is that every pupil should be able to take part in two shows during the year. Usual highlights of the annual programme include a Greek play, a large-scale musical, various studio productions including an Edinburgh Fringe transfer, a mainstage production at Oxford Playhouse and an outdoor Shakespeare on the banks of the Cherwell. The aim is to expose pupils to a mixture of classic texts and new writing, and older pupils are encouraged to gain experience of directing, producing and even writing their own pieces of theatre. With an equal emphasis on enjoyment and quality, there is definitely something to suit all tastes and abilities.

A professional touch

Through constant performance opportunities, LAMDA provision and our Theatre Academy, MCS aims to develop pupils’ stagecraft as well as their general confidence and collaborative skills. The MCS Theatre Academy was introduced in 2011 in tandem with two one-year residencies offered by the School and Oxford Playhouse to young professional directors and producers. These residents provide a professional edge to many of our productions, and Sixth-Formers benefit greatly from their expertise and advice as mentors, whether as actors or aspiring directors/producers.

Our resident professionals have gone on to have remarkably successful journeys in the theatre industry. Ellen Havard is Resident Director at the National Theatre, Alice Malin is Associate Director for ATC (Actors Touring Company), Rosie Banham (RSC and Lipsink) has just directed an acclaimed production at the Vaults Festival, Polly Tisdall directed the award-winning  ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family’ (National Tour 2016/17) and Francesca Murray-Fuentes is Assistant Director on a commercial tour of ‘84 Charing Cross Road’. Zak Khan is on the production team at the National Theatre, Ashleigh Wheeler runs The Yard, Sam Julyan’s company is behind the recent celebrated productions of ‘Room’ and ‘No Villain’ and Ciara McCafferty is currently one of the prestigious Old Vic 12.

The Academy has also produced exceptional actors, several of whom stand poised to enter the profession:

 ‘It was whilst working with the Theatre Academy that I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in the Performing Arts; the opportunity to work with professional directors in professional venues has gone a long way to preparing me for acting at university and beyond – Hugh Tappin, Oxford University


Drama Scholarships

Drama scholarships are available for boys and girls entering the Sixth Form, please click here for details.

What’s On:


Big School, Magdalen College School, OX4 1DZ

Thursday 10 – Friday 11 October 2019, 7:30pm

‘Cyclops’ explores the frequent opposition of man and nature. When a group of impetuous outsiders invades the Cyclops’ island, awash from a long voyage in search of food and wine, come face to face with a monster. The play looks at otherness, isolation, deception and inhibition, in an enthralling mix of song, Greek Tragedy and New Writing.

Adapted from PB Shelley’s 1819 translation of ‘The Cyclops, The Myth of Odysseus ’ by Euripides. MCS Drama revives this 200-year-old version of the only satyr play to have survived in its entirety, first performed at MCS.

About PB Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the major English Romantic poets who is regarded by some as among the finest lyric and philosophical poets in the English language.

Branded as a rebel of Oxford University Percy Bysshe Shelley was expelled for, as the College Register of the time put it, “contumaciously refusing to answer questions proposed to [him], and for also repeatedly declining to disavow a publication entitled “The Necessity of Atheism”. At the time, the university thought it had washed its hands off a troublesome student; only to realise later that it had expelled one of England’s greatest ever romantic poets.

Adapted by (Director) Eleanor Warr & (Producer) Alex Lui, devised and performed by the company of MCS.

To book tickets please call the Box Office: 01865 253488

What’s On:

Guys and Dolls

Big School, Magdalen College School, OX4 1DZ

Thursday 28 – Saturday 30 November 2019, 7:30pm

Guys and Dolls is a sizzling New York tale of gamblers, gangsters, nightclub singers, and a missionary.

The story follows Nathan Detroit’s attempts to evade the authorities and find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town. Meanwhile his fiancée Adelaide laments their 14-year engagement and big-time gambler Sky Masterson chases after strait-laced Sarah Brown, who is desperately trying to prevent her Salvation Army mission from being closed down. Will their gambles pay off? Will they find the dough?

Join MCS as we roll the dice and swagger through the heart of Times Square to the cafés of Havana, Cuba, and even into the sewers of the City that never sleeps …

About Guys and Dolls

Book by Abe Burrows & Jo Swerling

Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser

Based on The Idyll of Sarah Brown and characters by Damon Runyon

Performed by the company of MCS. Directed by Mr Thomas and Produced by Mr Lui, with Choreography by Mezze Eade, Set by Rachel Twyford. Musical Direction by Mr Cullen and accompanied by the MCS Orchestra.

To book tickets please call the Box Office: 01865 253488

A Midsummer Nights Dream awarded
"Five Stars"

The Drama department’s 2019 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was recently awarded five stars by The Oxford Times, who called the piece “utterly beautiful” and “a theatrical triumph.”

Read the review