A hugely experienced figure in the stage world, Mr Ian Trafford, is joining us as Artistic Director after Half Term.
The newly-created, full-time position has been described by the Head, Dr Earps as ‘something quite unique to a school environment’.
As well as overseeing all school productions, Mr Trafford has been charged with launching Queen’s On Tour – our own travelling theatre company.
He said: “Having visited Queen’s and met some of the amazing students, my mind is already racing with dozens of exciting ideas for diverse performance opportunities.
“I look forward to a huge explosion of creativity and fun!”
Dr Earps added: “We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming Ian to join us in June.
“Queen’s has an outstanding reputation for Performing Arts and the introduction of an Artistic Director to develop the creative vision for the arts will enable us to enhance our provision further.
“The opportunities which will be available for our students to work alongside an experienced professional director on projects, both here in our amazing theatre and on tour, is something quite unique in a school environment.”
Mr Trafford trained at the University of Exeter and Central School of Speech & Drama.He has a Master’s Degree with Distinction in Directing and Drama Education, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Directing Text with Young People.
Having started his career as a child actor in London and won the National Student Playwriting Competition with an adaptation of Orwell’s 1984, it was probably inevitable that a theatrical career beckoned.
Rated among Mr Trafford’s favourite professional directing credits are national tours of Godspell, Amadeus, Educating Rita, An Inspector Calls and My Baby Just Cares For Me.
He also inaugurated the Exeter Rep and a career highlight was teaching Dani Harmer (CBBC’s Tracy Beaker) to perform Shakespeare in Twelfth Night.
Having gained a PGCE in Drama, Mr Trafford has led workshops for the National Youth Music Theatre, RSC On Tour and National Theatre Connections.
Most recently, as Head of Drama at the multi-award-winning theatre training school, Stage by Stage Academy, he has directed everything from Much Ado About Nothing, Mother Courage and Waiting for Godot to Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors and Sweeney Todd in Devon, at the Edinburgh Fringe and in London’s West End.
News of Mr Trafford’s appointment comes in the week England Women cricketer Katie George joined our Sports team as a coach.