Woodhouse College
Alica Derome Rebecca Saul

Playwright Dennis Kelly receives dramatic welcome

Dated: 10 May 2018

 
 
Renowned playwright (and Barnet local) Dennis Kelly kindly visited Woodhouse College on the 3rd of May to talk to our drama students about his life, his creative process and to answer their questions about writing, acting and the theatre business.
 
Student Eray Yilmaz summed up his talk for us 
 
"Dennis talked about his journey from working in retail jobs he despised, to attending weekly sessions at the Barnet drama centre, where he developed his love for drama. Initially, he had his eyes on acting, however, in Kelly's own words, he wasn't very good.
 
After dropping out of education at the age of 16, and unsure about what to do, Kelly continued to work. He always had a deep passion for English literature, he emphasised that it was one of the only subjects he excelled at and enjoyed during his time in compulsory education. He spent many years working and writing plays and eventually at the age of 30, he graduated from Goldsmiths College, University of London with First Class Honours in Drama and Theatre Arts.
 
 
 
Dennis Kelly is now one of the most influential playwrights in the UK, with his 2008 play 'DNA' being added to the GCSE drama syllabus and his play 'Girls and Boys' being recently performed at the Royal Court, with Carey Mulligan taking the lead.
 
Kelly's journey highlights the importance of not feeling rushed and pursuing your options, he took many years to figure out what he enjoyed and has now formed a name for himself.
 
On behalf of the students that attended the talk and Woodhouse College, we are incredibly thankful to have had Dennis Kelly speak so candidly to us and give us some brilliant advice in regards to our own writing. It is incredibly inspiring to see someone who has pushed the boundaries of theatre, with brilliantly absurd, but equally important and unique plays, from the likes of his 2004 play 'Debris' to 'Love and Money' and 'Matilda the musical'." 
 
 
 
Head of drama and theatre, Hannah Johnston echoed Eray's thoughts ...
 
"A massive thank you again for coming to talk with us today. We found it fascinating, very inspiring and really interesting to hear your views on the creative process and the journey of making mistakes... and keeping going. I think the students could have gone on with their questions for hours! We look forward to reading and watching more of your fantastic work in the future (and Leo particularly is very excited about the forthcoming World War Z sequel!) Many many thanks for giving up your time, it really means a lot to us."
 
And Dennis seemed to enjoy the afternoon equally, he said  
 
"Thanks for inviting me, they’re a lovely bunch of kids, very smart and engaged so it was a real pleasure talking to them."
 
 
 


Woodhouse and Imperial College London maths school gets government go-ahead
Ambitious new plans by Imperial College London and Woodhouse College to develop a new maths school have been approved by the government.
8 July 2020
Student Khadijah makes links with Linklaters
And wins £1000 award for her college in Making Links Schools Challenge
15 May 2020
Next stop Poughkeepsie, New York!
Woodhouse student Luise earns $320k USA scholarship at Vassar College
13 May 2020
Student Margot secures squash scholarship in USA
We spoke to Margot during lockdown about what it takes to be a full-time student and athlete
23 April 2020
Valencian odyssey
Our annual Spanish language trip visited the third largest city in Spain
11 March 2020
Next Steps Careers Day and Career Fair
Two of our biggest careers events took place over the last few weeks...
9 March 2020
A taste of Cambridge
More of our students continued to explore the Oxbridge route last week when 29 of them took a trip to Cambridge Uni
3 March 2020
Oxford on the horizon
Over 30 of our aspirational students took a coach to Oxford last week, for a tour of Christ Church College.
10 February 2020
Career Ready 2020
January saw the launch of our latest Career Ready programme, now in its 11th year
31 January 2020
Ema wins Aspire Rising Star award
...at the upReach Student Social Mobility Awards in the House of Lords
11 December 2019