Year 13 English students at Oxford High School were thrilled to receive a visit from Nina Raine (OHS 1994), whose award-winning play 'Tribes' they are currently studying. Nina, whose latest play Stories is currently playing at The National, gave up a whole morning to discuss the key themes, inspirations and obstacles in staging her 2010 play, which won, among other plaudits, the 2012 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award. It was a priceless opportunity for our A Level students to engage with literature and enjoy the opportunity which established literary critics spend a lifetime dreaming of – namely, to speak directly with the author of a text and have her answer all their unresolved questions. To hear an author demystify literature whilst simultaneously speaking so inspiringly about how great writing is achieved was an inspiring and empowering experience that they will never forget.
Nina also attended our Year 11 Book Group for a discussion of life in the theatre. Here she provided a packed room of aspiring playwrights, directors and actors with some incredibly practical and hard-won lessons on how to succeed as a female creative in the contemporary theatre. It was a privilege for us all to meet and listen to Nina, and we hope it was also a pleasure for her to return to OHS and catch up again with Miss O’Neill, her A Level teacher, whose residential trip to the Lakes to rhapsodise about Wordsworth Nina still fondly recalls!