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2016 · ISSUE 5



A Lifelong Dragon Partnership

We were delighted to hear that Naji Abu

Nowar (OD 1995) and Rupert Lloyd (1994)

were awarded the 'Outstanding Debut by

a British Writer, Director or Producer' at

the 2016 BAFTAs, and were nominated for

an Oscar, for their exceptional debut film,

see page 21. We were intrigued to find out

more about how their friendship, forged at

the Dragon, had developed into a creative

working partnership.

Rupert and Naji were friends before

they started their first term at the Dragon

in Baby School, having both been at Grey

Coat’s for two years. Naji said, “Our love of

sports and appalling ineptitude for Maths

and Science kept us together in the same

sets and so our friendship was maintained

throughout the Dragon. Our friendship was

only jeopardized once when we were playing

baseball and I accidentally slung the bat into

Rupert’s face. He needed several stitches and

still grumbles about it to this day.”

Even in Baby School, Naji and Rupert

shared a love of film. Naji added, “We were

either watching VHS’s in each other’s

houses or nagging our parents to take us

to the local cinemas.”

Although Naji left the Dragon after C

Block and moved to Jordan, his friendship

with Rupert stayed strong. Rupert and his

family would often come and visit Naji’s

family on holidays; Naji often returned to

spend holidays with Rupert’s family. Naji

We would love to hear about other

strong friendships or partnerships

forged at the Dragon – working

relationships, creative partnerships

and marriages too.

Hugh Laurie (OD 1972), Tom Hollander

(1980) and Tom Hiddleston (1994) all

starred in the BBC’s six-part series of John

Le Carré’s espionage drama

The Night


. We posted the story on the

Dragon School Old Dragons’ Facebook

page, delighted to be able to celebrate the

success of the trio. Two weeks later the story

was picked up by the

Oxford Times

, and

appeared in the

Sunday Times

on 27 March

2016, with the opening line: “This evening

at 9pm the Dragon in Oxford will become

the nation’s highest-achieving school.”

Hugh Laurie said: “I loved

The Night


when it was published and for more

than 20 years have yearned to see it realised

on screen. I am now thrilled and honoured

to have the frontest of front row seats.”

All media coverage about the Dragon

School can be found on the School’s website


) on the In the

Media page.

Three ODs star in The Night Manager

© BBC/The Ink Factory/Des Willie

© Richard Young / Rex Shutterstock

adds, “Rupert’s family is like my own

family to me; as are mine to him. That will

never change.”

The two friends didn’t think about whether

or not they should work together, nor did they

discuss it. They just began working together

naturally; there was nothing to discuss.

We are delighted to hear that the Dragon

helped Naji and Rupert’s natural creativity

Hugh Laurie (OD 1972), Tom Hiddleston (OD 1994), Elizabeth Debicki, Olivia Colman and Tom Hollander (OD 1980)

to flourish and we wish them every success

for the future.