Nan Wills (Past Staff)

Friday 16 July 2021

Submitted by Duncan Noel-Paton ( CH Director of Drama 1972-1999 )

Nan Wills was a pioneer of dance education for boys as well as girls. When CH friends (on Facebook) were informed of Nan Wills’ death  there were warm messages from a large number of her Old Blue pupils, some of whom, inspired by her, had gone on to careers in Theatre.

Away from CH, she devised and directed the Musical Theatre Course at the Guildford School of Acting where her pupils included Brenda Blethyn, Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy and Michael Ball. At Christ’s Hospital, in addition to her inspired teaching, she directed her own Every Woman is a Science and Epsom Downs and choreographed many of our larger-scale musical and operas including Oliver, Bugsy Malone, Guys and Dolls and La Traviata. She also devised a dance piece, Samuel Palmer at Sunrise, which was performed by her pupils before an audience that included the directors of the Royal ballet.

I  first worked with Nan on West Side Story nearly fifty years ago and will miss her blend of warm concern and uncompromising professionalism.