The arts magazine for teachers

Bad habits are difficult to break, good ones need to be nurtured. And so it is with theatre bookings and group visits that we need to reassert the many benefits of taking a school party – or indeed the whole school – to see a production, especially as we head towards the pantomime season. For many kids, the annual school trip to the local panto is their first and often only opportunity to experience this cultural learning experience. It has been particularly challenging over the past couple of years to entertain taking a school party to the theatre, but now is the time to get back into good habits! Without the revenues from packed festive houses, many theatres will continue to struggle, and it is imperative they are given as much support as possible, to ensure we do not lose these fabulous cultural centres.

Another recent tale of overcoming adversity is the success of The MTA to raise sufficient funds, not only to stay open for the coming year, but with the tremendous support of benefactors, to offer 10 fully funded places for the current year. From the brink of disaster and the threat of losing a previous dual winning ‘School of the Year’, this is great news that this school has been able to remain open, but it doesn’t hide the fact that more could be done to support students training in similar establishments.

Annemarie Lewis Thomas, principal and CEO of The MTA, said: “We are aware that we still have a fight on our hands, and we’d value your support moving forward as we continue to fight not just for us, but for all the independent colleges that like us, know that it’s training that creates careers, not an arbitrary piece of paper that says ‘degree’. We call on Spotlight and Equity once again to re-visit their criteria around entry to their graduate list, thereby giving students the opportunity to at least apply for some of the bursaries that they manage.www.themta.co.uk

The September issue has a lively selection of interviews and reviews for you to dip into…

John

Manchester School of Theatre

Manchester School of Theatre  

In this month’s feature on drama schools, Susan Elkin takes a look at the opportunities available at the Manchester School of Theatre.

ROH Apprenticeships

ROH Apprenticeships  

Offering another route into the industry, apprenticeships are flourishing and Susan Elkin examined the opportunities offered by the Royal Opera House.

Fourth Monkey expands to Bristol

Fourth Monkey expands to Bristol  

Fourth Monkey Actor Training Company is offering a course in Bristol. Susan Elkin talked to founder and artistic director, Steve Green about this new development.

NDT Broadgate

NDT Broadgate  

So just how do you support an industry which is on its knees – economically, theatrically and emotionally – after a pandemic which has almost felled it? Step forward New Diorama Theatre, its artistic and executive director David Byrne, and – most importantly – British Land, a real estate investment company with British holdings worth £10.3 billion. Susan Elkin investigates.

EXHIBITION: Brutal Beauty

EXHIBITION: Brutal Beauty  

Making use of alternative mediums, Jean Dubuffet’s career spanned many genres and the latest retrospective at the Barbican caught Graham Hooper’s eye.

ENO Outreach

ENO Outreach  

Determined to reach out to a wider, younger audience, the ENO is actively engaging with schools and supporting those recovering from illness. Susan Elkin discovered more.

Teaching Shakespeare

Teaching Shakespeare  

Don’t ignore the bard, implores Susan Elkin.

Book Review: The Lamplighters

Book Review: The Lamplighters  

By Emma Stonex Published by Pan Macmillan In 1900 three lighthouse keepers disappeared from a lighthouse in the Outer Hebrides. And that mystery is the inspiration for Emma Stonex’s oddly compelling and highly original novel set in 1972 and later. Three men, Arthur Black, principal keeper, William “Bill” Walker, assistant keeper, and the much younger […]

THEATRE REVIEW: Animal Farm – National Youth Theatre Rep Company

THEATRE REVIEW: Animal Farm – National Youth Theatre Rep Company  

Very clearly reimagined as muscular, vibrant, ensemble-based physical theatre, supported by John Elliott‘s relentless, menacing soundtrack, this riveting take on Animal Farm opens with a mock Pathé News item. It’s immaculately voiced by Will Stewart, who also does a simpering, comfort-loving pragmatic Mollie, and introduces each character. Then we’re into the timeless story about the […]

Vivid Direction

Vivid Direction  

Matthew Parker is a theatre director. His recent Henry V in the Roman Amphitheatre for Maltings Theatre, St Albans wowed Susan Elkin, herself a Henry V veteran, so she met him to find out more. I fell in love with theatre when I was four years old – and it was for life”, Matthew tells me, […]