Surprise visit by television and film star Roger Allam

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The Christ’s Hospital Year 10 English students had a unexpected visitor to their English lessons this week, West End television and film star Roger Allam.

Roger Allam, who was himself a pupil at Christ’s Hospital in the late 1960s and early 1970s, took time out of his busy schedule to visit Christ’s Hospital to hold a question-and-answer session with the pupils.

A familiar face from his roles on TV (The Thick of It, Endeavour, Parade’s End) Roger Allam is also a giant of the West End stage and is currently appearing as Prospero in the Shakespeare’s Globe production of The Tempest.

“The pupils were able to get a unique insight into the decisions made in creating the particular focus of a production,” said Stephen Walsh of the Christ’s Hospital English Department.

“They were particularly interested in the way Roger Allam’s Prospero was first and foremost a father-figure rather than a politician or a necromancer, and they were fascinated to hear how this reading of the play had developed.”

They were also interested in how Allam’s Prospero related to Colin Morgan, from TV’s Merlin, who plays Ariel.

There was time for more general questions too. One pupil asked whether CH had been a help in Allam’s career and he brought the house down with a ringing answer of ‘Not at all!’ However, he was quick to point out that he left in 1972 - three years before the completion of the school’s professional-class theatre, and that he still had strong memories of his time as a pupil at Christ’s Hospital and of regularly seeing house and school plays.