Dramatic advice: Alex lends his expertise to inspire young minds

Dramatic advice: Alex lends his expertise to inspire young minds

Leading theatre designer Alex Wardle (OE 1983–1990) has been advising QE how to get the very best out of The Robert Dudley Studio – the School’s new drama and spoken-word facility.

Alumni can still support the project – including helping to fund the all-important lighting and sound equipment – by joining the 450 Club. But, with the tiered seating due to be installed next term, time is running out if you would like your name on a studio seat!

Alex said: “I was keen to help the school make good decisions, as a well-planned drama space can be such an inspiration to young minds. As one of your alumni who hasn’t ended up being a multi-millionaire, I’m afraid all I can afford to give is advice!”

Work started this term on creating the 200-seat studio from two rooms towards the rear of Main Building. So far, a new roof has been installed and internal work done. The studio will come into use next term, with the tiered seating due to be fitted around the half-term break. The lighting and sound equipment has still to be purchased.

“I did have a good time at QE – but spent my time with music rather than drama,” said Alex. Hopefully my suggestions help to nudge the new drama studio in the right direction, supporting student drama and creativity, and perhaps producing some directors, actors or designers in the future.”

Assistant Head (Pupil Involvement) Crispin Bonham-Carter said: “Alex has been an invaluable source of information for our design of The Robert Dudley Studio. He has visited the site and offered us lots of practical advice, even drawing up detailed sight-line diagrams showing the effect of different seating choices. He was delighted to come back to QE and was thrilled to see how much theatre and performance is taking place.”

QE theatre trips this term included 40 boys in Years 9 and 10 going to see Red Pitch, an award-winning play at Soho House Theatre, which was  built by Alex’s company, Charcoalblue.

Alex provides theatre planning, consultancy on all aspects of theatre design. During more than 15 years of theatre consultancy, he has worked on high-profile projects including: the award-winning Dorfman Theatre at the National Theatre; the new Sadler’s Wells Theatre at London’s Olympic Park; and the first new London West End theatre since 1973, at Soho Place. In addition, he has 25 years’ experience as a lighting designer, production manager and technical stage manager.

  • Among other OEs supporting the creation of The Robert Dudley Studio, is Jay Shetty (OE 1999–2006), the podcaster, author and life coach with a huge global online following. Watch Jay’s appeal for The Robert Dudley Studio here.