Drama, Film and Media

Drama and film are thriving at Abingdon. We are one of only a few schools that has its own Film Unit, the AFU, which has produced well over 100 short films many of which have won awards. 

Each year-group has the opportunity to be involved in an extra-curricular drama production every year. In recent years we have tackled everything from Shakespeare to new pieces specially commissioned for the school. We are very lucky to have the support of a full time technical and design team, who help our talented actors produce first-rate productions at all levels of the school. We collaborate with our neighbouring girls’ school St Helen and St Katharine on most of our senior drama productions, which often feature large-scale musicals.

Besides our Lower, Middle and Senior School productions there are plenty of related clubs and activities to get involved with. See examples below.

Recent productions include:

Lower School:

  • 2019: Futures
  • 2017: Black River Bridge 
  • 2016: Treasure Island
    (Both of the above specially commissioned for the school, written and adapted by Andy Cargill)
  • 2015: Calamaties: A Sketch Show

Middle School:

  • 2018Lord of the Flies
  • 2017: B12: A School Story 
  • 2016: And Then There Weren’t Any Left
    (The above was specially commissioned for the school, written by OA Edward Rowett)
  • 2015: Brainstorm


  • 2019Loserville
  • 2018Fiddler on the Roof (@ SHSK), A Matter of Life and Death
  • 2017: London RoadMuch Ado About Nothing (@ SHSK)
  • 2016: The Caucasian Chalk CircleAnything Goes (@ SHSK)
  • 2015: Les Miserables

Aimed primarily at the Lower School, this clubs watches and discusses recent and topical TV documentaries. No one particular genre of documentary is favoured but rather a wide variety - historical, cultural, geographical, economic, natural history and the topical. Hopefully awareness is increased about the world around us.

The Abingdon Film Unit was formed in 2003. Since then its members have produced over 100 short films, a number of which have won awards and been screened at the National Film Theatre in London, and at festivals in France, Sweden, Hong Kong and throughout the UK. The Unit enables students to make their own films under the guidance of industry professionals. Please note: membership is offered to boys in Third Year and above after a process of applications and interviews that take place during the summer term for entry in September.

Once accepted, students become members of the Film Unit for the whole year. Films are researched and planned in the first part of the Michaelmas term; shooting usually begins around November; editing occupies much of the Lent term. The finished films are screened the following September.

Members of the Unit can also be invited to make films for others, whether within the school or the wider community. They can also undertake special film projects abroad. AFU members have made films in Cambodia, Moldova, China and Hong Kong, for example.

Trips may also be organised to cinemas, exhibitions or film studios.

You can view material on the Abingdon Film Unit website.

Members gain experience of all aspects of technical theatre from the design stages to implementation. They are regularly involved in the preparation and running of drama productions, concerts, school events and external hires. Wednesday afternoons are put aside for the main bulk of the work but due to the large number of events, much of the work happens on other afternoons, evenings and weekends and therefore a high level of commitment is required.

In Creative Smartphone Photography Club boys get the opportunity to explore the capabilities of the camera and image processing apps on their smartphones. They are taught the basics of good compositional skills such as 'rule of thirds', leading lines and cropping before being set themes for their photographs like shadows, unusual viewpoints, structure and nature.

Boys use apps to enhance their photos, adding a filter or high dynamic range and cropping their images for example. At the end of the term, boys choose their favourite images to put into an online gallery on the school website.

We will investigate several aspects of digital SLR photography, including: technical settings (aperture, ISO, etc.) and the effect they have; technique (e.g. lighting, focus effects); post-processing on a computer. We will have a test camera to use, but students will get the most out of the activity if they are able to bring and use their own DSLRs.

Join us to watch, discuss and review films. We will watch a rich variety of films in different genres - including classic and more modern films, documentary, foreign language, short and archive film. If watching, discussing and reviewing films appeals to you join us! You'll be able to enhance your knowledge and appreciation of film, and may even be inspired to write a script or make a film of your own. 

Come and make a short film in German or French a la Wallace and Gromit using plasticine and your iMotion App. Get creative and develop your languages in a hands-on way. You don’t need to be an artist or an expert in technology - just bring your ideas and enthusiasm and be a team player.

Podcasting at Abingdon is growing in popularity.

The Lower School Podcasting Club explores the medium of radio programme production, the most popular format to date is quiz making.

In the Third Year Podcasting Club we look at radio programme production, using news casting, sports reporting and possibly even making jingles.

Members are involved in the creative side of technical theatre focusing on the current term's production. The workshop's aim is to give participants an idea into the design aspects of technical theatre which is then applied in the Wednesday afternoon Amey Theatre Technical Crew activity.

Tweet by @AbingdonDrama

A great joy & privilege to see @HuwParmenter in the stunningly beautiful production of The Lovely Bones @BirminghamRep. This is a mighty show, hugely life affirming despite its dark subject matter. Poetic storytelling of the very highest order. Go see! https://t.co/wBXXlmiwV16 hours ago