Charge: OB’s theatre work post-Bedales

Charge - Eve AllinBy Phil King, Director of Drama, Dance and Bedales Arts Programme

It was with a great sense of pride in recent Bedales drama and theatre studies graduates that I went to see Eve Allin’s play Charge performed at University of Warwick over the long leave weekend.

When here at Bedales, as drama Don, Eve won a major award at the National Student Drama Festival for reviewing live theatre and acted in, wrote, directed and assistant directed wonderful work while she was here.  Eve was a student who made the most of the panoply of theatrical options on offer here and Charge itself was part of the National Theatre New Views enrichment course.

The National Theatre said of Eve’s final draft that it was “a play with a great sense of the visual dimension, playing with fire and light both literally and metaphorically” and this excitement was captured in a converted Chemistry lecture theatre for the recent staging.  Seeing Charge as part of the week-long festival, Fresh Fest, offered me a chance to witness the energy, passion and drive great universities and great university students have for their subjects.  In an age where finance seems to sadly dominate most discussions about higher education watching a focussed army of directors, producers, technicians, actors and writers put on eight plays (that had to win a competition even to get to that point, selected by other students running the societies behind the scenes) was hugely heartening.

Even more heartening was watching Eve not only holding her own but being master of her world as a sharp-elbowed and highly knowledgeable first year (who is having to be highly selective of her drama courses to avoid repetition of the grounding she received whilst with us).  Well done Eve, from all of us.  We very much look forward to you making your mark, first on Warwick and then beyond.

Arts and Crafts movement

Geoffrey Lupton Constructing the Library  Edward Barnsley

With an exceptional retrospective exhibition currently in the Bedales Gallery, it seemed an opportune moment to give an assembly on the Arts and Crafts movement and the intertwining of its heyday and the early history of Bedales School. The alumni list of Old Bedalians from the early years of the school is littered with the children of influential craftsmen and makers of the movement, and others who went on to become makers after starting their making journeys in the Bedales workshop.

Amongst these pioneers and advocates of the movement were Geoffrey Lupton and Edward Barnsley, both of whom were educated at the school. Ernest Gimson, one of the most distinguished and well respected designers of the period, was commissioned to draw up plans for the buildings of the school in 1906 of which the Hall and the Library were constructed. The Lupton Hall was constructed (and financed) almost entirely by Geoffrey Lupton and the Memorial Library built later after the great war to these plans. The furniture in the library was designed by Gimson and made by Edward Barnsley in the workshop that now bears his name in Froxfield.

Plans for the ladderback chairs made for the Library

As a community we are hugely privileged to have this grade one listed facility at our daily disposal and it is of enormous satisfaction that the legacy of the Arts and Crafts period remains flourishing in these parts. The relationship between the Barnsley workshop and Bedales remains strong with the Barnsley Scholar annual award to an upper sixth Design student cementing that relationship.

The exhibition of the furniture of the Edward Barnsley workshop  and some fine paintings inspired by the local landscape by renown artists working in the area can still be seen until 6 December. Further details on the gallery website.

By Ben Shaw, Head of Design

Pictured:
1) Geoffrey Lupton constructing the Library
2) Edward Barnsley
3) Plans for the ladderback chairs made for the Library


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

Olivier Theatre welcomes OB Martino Tirimo – book your ticket

“A true giant of the keyboard” returns on 24 September. Remarkably, Martino Tirimo conducted seven performances of ‘La Traviata’ featuring soloists from La Scala, Milan at the age of 12! At 13, his family moved to London from their native Cyprus and he studied at Bedales until he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. After further studies in Vienna he won the Munich and Geneva international piano competitions. He will play works by Chopin, including the Sonata in B minor, Op. 57, and Tchaikovsky’s Concert Suite ‘The Nutcracker’ (arr. Pletnev). For tickets (£14/£12 concessions), please call 01730 711511 or email tickets@bedales.org.uk.

Martino Tirimo

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Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

Arty OBs and new Art and Design Centre

Students follow a wide variety of careers after leaving Bedales, a significant one of which is art. We have recently spoken to Old Bedalians about their time at Bedales, including professional sculptor Simon Hitchens (OB 1985), artist/painter Anna Dickerson (OB 1991) and figurative painter Diana Armfield (OB 1937). To read their interviews click on the links above or visit the Bedales website. Reminder: An exhibition to reveal plans for a significant milestone in Bedales’ history – the new Art and Design Centre – will be held on Friday 17 May, 6pm to 8pm and Saturday 18 May, 11am to 1pm in the Reading Room, Orchard Building. All parents and their wider families, students, OBs, current and former staff are welcome. The exhibition will remain open on Monday 20 May, 11am to 4pm for students only.

Simon Hitchens OB

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Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.