Performing Arts

Sir Lennox Berkeley

(1903 – 1989). Attended Gresham’s from 1914 to 1918 (Old School House & Howson’s).

Composer –  A contemporary of Walton and Tippett, Lennox Berkeley initially studied modern languages at Oxford University before studying composition in Paris. In 1928 he joined the Roman Catholic Church which was to inspire much of his vocal music. He enjoyed a long association with Benjamin Britten, with whom he collaborated on a number of works. In later years, his adoption of serialism marked a darker and more brooding style. During the Second World War Berkeley worked at the BBC in London as an orchestral programme builder. From 1946 to 1968 Berkeley was a Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Benjamin Britten (Baron Britten of Aldeburgh OM CH)

(1913 – 1976). Attended Gresham’s from 1928 to 1930 (Farfield).

Composer, conductor and pianist. Benjamin Britten is the most widely performed British Twentieth Century composer. In 2012 / 2013 the School is marking his centenary with an exciting programme of events, open to all which is taking place at the School. A commemorative brochure has been produced, featuring articles about Britten’s life and works as well as further information about the events celebrating his centenary. Gresham’s was featured in 2012 on BBC1 in a broadcast about Britten’s time at the School.
Photo courtesy of Steinway

Peter Brook CH CBE

Attended Gresham’s from 1939 to 1941 (Woodlands).

Peter Brook has been the most influential figure in British and European theatre for the last sixty years. His production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream changed ideas about Shakespeare and theatre for a generation and his book The Empty Stage became the Bible for young directors in its emphasis on clarity and simplicity of productions. He lives in France and became a Companion of Honour in 1998.

Olivia Colman

Attended Gresham’s from 1990 to 1992 (Oakeley).

(born Sarah Caroline Colman; 30 January 1974) Olivia (Sarah) Colman has become one of Britain’s most popular and well known actresses. She made her name in comedy in TV programmes such as Peep Show. Recently she has been acclaimed for more serious roles in films such as Tyrannosaur and The Iron Lady in which she played Carol Thatcher. She was given the Kermode Award for Best Actress in 2012. Olivia won two BAFTAS in 2013 – best comedy actress and best supporting actress.

Stephen Frears

Attended Gresham’s from 1954 – 1959 (Farfield).

After working in television Stephen Frears’s career blossomed with his production of My Beautiful Laundrette. His film The Queen, starring Helen Mirren, earned box office success and critical acclaim and with it he won his second Academy Award Nomination for Best Director. Success with Tamara

Drewe followed in 2011.

Sienna Guillory

Attended Gresham’s from 1991 to 1993 (Oakeley).

Sienna is an actress, and former model. Her film credits include RidersLove ActuallyEragonInkheart and the Resident Evil series. Sienna has also appeared in the critically acclaimed BBC drama Luther.

Julian Jarrold

Attended Gresham’s from 1974 – 1978 (Woodlands).

Actor, Director and Producer, Julian is a BAFTA Award-nominated English film and television director, whose films include Becoming JaneKinky BootsThe Girl and many others. He is a member of the family which founded Jarrolds of Norwich in 1823.

Ben Mansfield

Attended Gresham’s from 1990 – 2002 (Kenwyn/ & Farfield).

Ben is an actor, best known for playing Captain Becker in the ITV sci-fi drama Primeval, chief of a special unit from the military which works with the ARC. Ben was spotted for the role when auditioning for the part of Arthur in the BBC television series Merlin.

Paddy O’Connell

Attended Gresham’s from 1979 to 1984 (Farfield).

Paddy O’Connell began his career as a journalist on local radio. As the BBC’s Wall Street columnist he was in New York for 9/11 and fronted the coverage of the attack, interviewing survivors and eye witnesses. He is now the civilised voice of Broadcasting House on Radio 4 every Sunday morning.

Miranda Raison

Attended Gresham’s from 1990 to 1991 (Edinburgh)

Miranda is a screen and stage actress, and is best known to audiences for her role in the hit television series Spooks. She has also appeared in a wealth of other television programmes over the years, including Doctor WhoPlus OneMarried Single Other and the Woody Allen move Match Point. London stage audiences may recognise her for credits like Anne Boleyn at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2010, Henry VIII, in the same role, at the Globe in 2010 and The Man Who Came to Dinner at the Chichester Festival Theatre.

George Stiles

Attended Gresham’s from 1974 to 1979 (Howson’s).

Composer of musicals for stage and screen. George composed Moll Flanders, which won the Best Musical award in the 1995 TMA Awards. George has written four shows (Honk!TutankhamunJust SoPeter Pan) and also contributed to Mary Poppins and many others