The arts magazine for teachers

What a different world we find ourselves in! Having survived months of online teaching and endured the exams grading debacle, schools are now settling into the new term with an array of restrictions and guidelines to adhere to and more bubbles than at a foam party! Venues have been closed since March, however, at the time of writing, there are glimmers of hope that theatres may be able to reopen after enforced closure. Let us hope that this is not a false dawn and the beleaguered theatre industry can make plans for a full(er) programme in the months ahead.

I am surely not alone in wondering why it has been possible to go to the cinema or sit in a plane next to strangers for several hours, yet theatres have remained dark? Are theatres really that dangerous? Unfortunately, easing of restrictions has come too late to salvage most of the traditional Christmas shows and pantos on which regional theatres rely, but of course, if nothing else, the arts world is full of creative people. It is heartening to see how inventive producers have been, to adapt and utilise new technologies to keep producing ‘live’ performances. We round up several of these in this issue, offering you the opportunity to take in everything from school plays to Shakespeare, either at home or in the classroom, and hope you may be able to donate or subscribe to assist struggling artists.

Our Big Interview in this issue is with Alexia Khadime, who should have been staring in The Prince of Egypt, but who has spent ‘lockdown’ performing online to support those less fortunate in the theatre industry. Read her story from page 6 and in other features this issue, discover how colleges, schools and producers are making use of new learnt skills to get us through this. After all… the shows MUST go on!

John

Passionate Artisite

Passionate Artisite  

Alexia Khadime is a talented actress of stage and screen, taking time to support others during the enforced closure of theatres. Susan Elkin caught up with her for a chat.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland  

RCS in Glasgow is the cultural beating heart of the city. Susan Elkin discovers more. Glasgow is an artistically vibrant city. Of course we all think first of Edinburgh and its famous festivals  but based, and thriving in, solid, elegant Glasgow are Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and Scottish Symphony Orchestra along with Citizens and Tron […]

Adapting to Digital

Adapting to Digital  

Finding new ways to sustain revenues, support actors and provide content for schools, Blackeyed Theatre has been quick to evolve and find creative solutions to survive the pandemic. Adrian McDougall gives us an insight. It’s a bit of a cliché but when times are hard, creativity thrives. And for those working in the arts, the […]

Graeae Beyond

Graeae Beyond  

Graeae, a cutting edge disabled-led company, has launched Beyond: a new initiative designed to remove barriers and transform the careers of Deaf and Disabled artists across the country. Susan Elkin is our guide. Eight regional theatres have signed up to offer development support, advice, training, mentoring and the use of creative spaces at every stage […]

Romantics Anonymous

Romantics Anonymous  

Funny, tender and painfully awkward, Romantics Anonymous is a delicious love story about breaking the mould and finding the courage to be happy. Emma Rice discusses the production After the disappointmentof the Romantics Anonymous tour being cancelled how does it feel to share the work again, in an albeit slightly different way than expected? It’s hard to […]

Teaching remotely. Potential for the future?

Teaching remotely.  Potential for the future?  

As schools return for the autumn term, Susan Elkin looks at how ‘lockdown learning’ has adapted and whether new methods learnt can be incorporated into teaching practices. 2020 has become the year in which innovation and technology has driven learning. There has been criticism of teachers who have allegedly sat at home and done little. […]

Incredibly MADD!

Incredibly  MADD!  

Susan Elkin took a virtual tour around the wide array of courses on offer at the Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama, Nottingham. In 1967 Frances Clayton founded the Midlands Academy of Dance & Drama (known affectionately as ‘MADD’) to provide dance classes for children and young people in Nottingham. She is still its principal.  […]

Natural Selection

Natural Selection  

Braving the elements, but enjoying the lack of crowds, Graham Hooper guides through a couple of nature-inspired exhibitions

Talking Heads – BBC iPlayer

Talking Heads – BBC iPlayer  

Talking Heads – BBC iPlayer Review by Susan ElkinIt was an inspiration to recreate during lockdown the series of twelve monologues which Alan Bennett wrote for TV in 1998. The original series – and the printed text – will be very familiar to many secondary English and Drama teachers as a way of teaching what monologues...

Book Review: Run, Rebel

Book Review: Run, Rebel  

Amber has an abusive, drunken father and a terrified mother who works in a menial, low paid job. Neither of her illiterate parents speak English. An arranged marriage, like her sister’s, will be Amber’s future rather than the higher education she craves...