Full name:

Oliver William Pengelly

Where did you grow up?

Plymouth, Devon, with long summers on the North Coast of Cornwall.


Devonport High School for Boys followed by BA (Hons) Acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

Your previous role and place of work:

I was previously Drama Teacher and Head of a Girls’ Day House at Berkhamsted School, Hertfordshire.

What are you most looking forward to about working at King’s Ely?

I can’t wait to get into the rehearsal room and work with staff and students to maintain King’s Ely’s reputation as a school that produces incredible productions.

Hobbies/interests outside of school:

I’m an avid sports fan (Plymouth Argyle, if you’re interested) but I’m a very average sportsman. I try to play a bit of golf and football. I completed the hottest London Marathon on record in 2018, raising money for Crohn’s and Colitis UK. As a family, we take regular trips to Cornwall where I can relive my childhood passion for surfing.

Any pets?

One cat (Clover). My children are desperate for a dog and ask me every day, but I have managed to resist so far…

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I came very close to studying Law at University, but I think I always wanted to be an actor. After graduating from Drama School I worked in the acting industry for seven years, including two seasons with the Lord Chamberlain’s Men with visits to Ely in 2010 and 2012.

What is your favourite meal/food?

Good calamari (but bad calamari can be awful).

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Teleportation. I have family all over the world, so being able to get to them without having to go through border controls would be helpful!

Who is your hero?

I am frequently inspired by the story of Janusz Korczak; a selfless educator who believed passionately in the spirit and hope of young people even when facing unimaginable horror.

What was the last book you read?

Plays, plays and more plays! The last script I read is a potential production for December 2022…

What song are you most likely to sing at a karaoke?

Frank Sinatra’s ‘Come Fly With Me’.

What is your favourite film?

‘Back To The Future’. The new West End production is pretty good too!

Do you have any phobias or fears?

No phobias but I have always hated the idea of being buried alive!

Name three things you would want with you if stranded on a desert island for a week:

A knife,
My illustrated copy of the ‘Complete Works of Shakespeare’,
A ball.

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