The arts magazine for teachers

What a fabulous summer! Perfect weather for many of the outdoor productions around the country (most of the time) and an opportunity to recharge the system before the new term started. Hopefully your last cohort did you proud in their exams, especially those tackling the new 9-1 GCSEs. I’m delighted to report a good crop of high numbers for my son on the 23rd, before he took the rite of passage to Reading for a ‘celebratory’ weekend!

It seems to be a recurring theme, but recent figures published by the Joint Council of Qualifications show a significant decline in uptake in all creative subjects at both A-Level and GCSE. Uptake in all creative subjects has declined by 11% compared to a decline of 2.6% in A-Level entries overall in the last five years.​ Of even more concern, uptake in all creative subjects at GCSE has declined by 10.2% in the past year in the UK. This is against a background of the government claiming that the EBacc is not detrimental to the take up of arts GCSEs, which the figures indicate is simply not true. Lend your support to the campaign to protect arts subjects on the curriculum by using #BaccfortheFuture and read our feature on why Drama matters.

Also in this issue, the Big Interview is with the inspiring Darren Raymond of Intermission Theatre, proving there are many alternative routes into the industry, and our ‘Coffee Break’ interview is with the irrepressible Nick Hern, celebrating 30 years of the eponymously named publishing company.

Looking at how we might encourage more young people into non-performing roles in the industry, we feature the Inspiring the Future campaign headed by UK Theatre and you should direct your students to visit the TheatreCraft careers event on November 19th.

Also in this bumper issue are features on voice training, a collab between RCSSD and Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, touring productions, regional theatre, the Into Film festival, theatre rights, reviews and more.

John

THE BIG INTERVIEW: Unlocking Potential

THE BIG INTERVIEW: Unlocking Potential  

Darren Raymond, artistic director of Intermission Theatre in Knightsbridge confounds every stereotype. Any preconceived idea of what a theatre director “should” be evaporates as soon as you meet him. Susan Elkin did. For a start Darren, 37, is employed by the Church of England and Intermission Theatre is based at part-converted St Saviour’s Church which […]

Outreach Collaboration

Outreach Collaboration  

DNA – a collaboration between Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Susan Elkin discovers more. It is very unusual for a regional theatre to collaborate with a drama school as Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch is doing with Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. The joint project is a production of […]

Mind the gap

Mind the gap  

An initiative encouraging young people into non-performance roles by bridging the gap between schools and theatres was launched in the summer. Mark Glover speaks to Cassie Chadderton, Head of UK Theatre, a membership body spearheading the campaign, to find out if the project can really address this long-standing issue. In 2017, the theatre and performing […]

Free cinema for all

Free cinema for all  

“The Into Film Festival presented wonderful opportunities for our students, most of whom rarely visit the cinema. It was more than just a cinema visit, it was an entire package. I would recommend the Festival to all teachers.” Leila Hinks, St Andrews Primary School Free cinema trips and resources to engage young minds through the […]

Voice Training

Voice Training  

Susan Elkin chats to James Grimsey, vocal coach and Creative Director at Arts1 School of Performance, about training a voice and dispelling a few myths. The human voice is a very subtle and complex thing. And James Grimsey is utterly fascinated by it. “The more you learn about the voice and how it works the […]

The Sign of Four

The Sign of Four  

Susan Elkin interviews script writer Nick Lane about his adaptation of The Sign of Four for Blackeyed Theatre’s latest nationwide tour. “There are two initial challenges when you adapt a well known Victorian novel for the stage” says Nick Lane, script writer for Blackeyed Theatre’s The Sign of Four which tours nationwide from this autumn. […]

The Yorkshire Way

The Yorkshire Way  

Mark Glover speaks to Rebecca Winwood, Special Projects Producer at Huddersfield’s Lawrence Batley Theatre and discovers a venue that cares deeply for its community, working closely with other initiatives to bring art to its surrounding areas. I’ve been living in the North of England for six months now having swapped the sweeping fields of the […]

Theatre Rights Worldwide

Theatre Rights Worldwide  

Susan Elkin went to the UK offices of Theatre Rights Worldwide five floors above Regent Street to talk to TRW vice president, Drew Baker, about licensing and performing musicals. If you have written a musical – perhaps for your own students – then maybe you’d like it to have an afterlife in other schools. If […]

Drama Matters: Does It?

Drama Matters: Does It?  

Drama teacher and member of the National Drama executive committee Zeena Rasheed puts forward a strong case for Drama in schools and urges you to act in its defence. So why should we keep championing Drama, as an entitlement, more joyfully, and more powerfully than ever? Why should more arts lovers, liberals, politicians, educationalists, academics, […]

EXHIBITION: Friendship

EXHIBITION: Friendship  

Two separate exhibitions this autumn have similar themes. Graham Hooper visited both and gives us his insight into the friendship and relationships, as presented through art. One academic year ends, another begins. Older colleagues retire and new staff fill their roles. Students leave school for college and leave college for work or another course. This […]