George Peck (theatre)

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George Peck is the founder and principal of The Oxford School of Drama.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Peck was born in Nottingham. He attended Uppingham School and studied English at St Catherine's College, Oxford. He trained on the Arts Council's Regional Trainee Directors Scheme.


Peck worked for The 1970 Nottingham Festival, organising the outdoor spectacular in Wollaton Park. Theatre credits as an actor include Twelfth Night directed by Yvonne Mitchell at The Open Space and seasons at the Royal Theatre, Northampton.

He was artistic director of the Royal Touring Company for whom his productions included Sherlock's Last Case, Pericles, Prince of Tyre, The Duchess of Malfi.

In 1981 he established The Oxford Drama Programme which ran summer courses in acting for university students.[2] In 1987 he created The Oxford School of Drama at Sansomes Farm Studios in Woodstock and became its Principal.[3] The school received accreditation from the National Council for Drama Training in 1995, and was accepted as a member of the Conference of Drama Schools in the following year.The school was picked as one of the top five drama schools in the UK by the BBC in 2004 and in 2006; it was the first drama school to receive "Beacon" status from the minister for higher and further education.

As a teaching Principal, he continues to teach Shakespeare as well as directing productions including the first ever stage adaptation of Ted Hughes' Crow poems at BAC, Volpone at Royal Court, After the Fall at Hampstead Theatre and The American Clock at Pegasus Theatre Oxford.

Over recent years students at the School have won a number of awards, including The Society of London Theatre's Laurence Olivier Bursary Award,[4] the BBC's Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award [5] and The Spotlight Prize.[6]

Notable graduates of the school include: Catherine McCormack, Charity Wakefield,[7] Annabel Scholey, Claire Foy, Will Adamsdale, Penelope Skinner, Luke Barnes, Christina Cole, Andrew Gower and Sophie Cookson.

Peck was instrumental in running the Cameron Mackintosh Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University from 1990–2003. Professors included Stephen Sondheim, Sir Ian McKellen, Thelma Holt DBE, Arthur Miller, Michael Codron CBE and Sir Richard Eyre.


External links[edit]