The arts magazine for teachers

I’ve recently been exhibiting at an education show and it was wonderful to be ‘out’ amongst like-minded souls, free of restrictions and masks after the past couple of years hibernating. Despite all that is going on elsewhere in the world, there was definitely an uplifting feeling at the event and I realised how much I’d missed interacting with real humans and seeing smiles! For those in education and the performing arts world, it is this positive human reaction that drives you to inspire and perform, bringing joy and an escape from reality, or perhaps to challenge and provoke thought.

The ‘Big Interview’ in this issue is with the talented and determined Dame Floella Benjamin, who recounts her journey from Trinidad to the House of Lords and is currently looking forward to the opening of Coming to England, a musical adaptation of her Windrush inspired 1995 book.

Determined to extend training opportunities around the UK, we pay a visit to The Bamboo House, Fourth Monkey’s new regional training centre in Bristol and chat to Musical Theatre International about the introduction of a new app set to revolutionise your rehearsal process.

We catch up with Evan Placey, taking his Jekyll & Hyde to more than ten thousand pupils for the NT spring schools tour and grabbed a coffee with Toby Olié, whose latest incredible puppetry creations will be starring in the latest UK tour of Animal Farm.

Plus we have a thought provoking ‘Pause for Thought’ on To Kill A Mockingbird from Susan Elkin, along with a selection of Book and Theatre reviews.

John

Global Entertainment

Global Entertainment  

Kenny Wax is one of the country’s leading theatre producers with Six and The Show Goes Wrong series under his belt among many other productions. Susan Elkin meets him. Kenny Wax, 54, is a very focused man. Yes, the pandemic has made his life quite difficult, but the long gap means, he tells me, that […]

Going down the Pub

Going down the Pub  

Exploring some of the smaller spaces offered by pub theatres, Susan Elkin suggests you keep them in mind when looking for alternative live theatre school trips. I seem to spend a lot of time in pubs. And no, it isn’t because I’m succumbing to football or alcohol dependency. It’s because there are so many flourishing pub […]

Energetic Educator

Energetic Educator  

Composer, educator and producer, Chris Passey, 35, believes passionately in taking and making every opportunity which comes his way. Susan Elkin talks to him. Chris Passey has always written songs on piano, but it wasn’t until he sat in the audience at Sister Act in London that he was so deeply moved by the music […]

Postwar Modern

Postwar Modern  

Featuring 48 artists working in a range of different mediums, Graham Hooper was enthralled by this collection of postwar artworks and urges you to visit. The Barbican’s latest landmark art exhibition – “Postwar Modern, New Art in Britain, 1945-1965” – is a magnificent and timely undertaking. Encompassing painting, sculpture, studio ceramics and installation, I am […]

Frantic Studio

Frantic Studio  

Established almost 30 years ago, Frantic Assembly has launched an online subscription platform to benefit students and drama teachers. Susan Elkin investigates… When Scott Graham, then a student at Swansea University, saw Volcano Theatre Company’s early 1990s production of Christopher Hampton’s Savages the scales fell from his eyes. “I had no idea that theatre could […]

Advice for the determined

Advice for the determined  

Susan Elkin proffers some sage advice for those exploring the options for drama training and looking for a career in the theatre. So what do you tell a talented, theatre-loving student who wants to be an actor? Traditionally parents and teachers simply dowsed her or him in cold water by observing that actors spend most […]

The Case of the Smuggler’s Curse 

The Case of the Smuggler’s Curse   

by Mark Dawson Published by Welbeck Flame Mark Dawson (who has co-written this with Allan Boroughs) lives in Southwold which is where he sets the first in his children’s adventure series. It’s clever stuff. Overtly inspired by the Famous Five the protagonists are four gloriously modern children and a feisty dog named Sherlock. Lucy is […]

The Curiosity Index

The Curiosity Index  

Les Enfants Terribles is a theatre company founded by Oliver Lansley in 2002 and named after Jean Cocteau’s famous novel.  Now celebrating its 20th birthday and having played worldwide from Edinburgh to Shanghai, the company has always aimed to be experimental, playful, physical and “different” as well as immersive. No one who saw (took part […]

THEATRE REVIEW: Hamlet – NT Dorfman Theatre

THEATRE REVIEW: Hamlet – NT Dorfman Theatre  

This pared down Hamlet (65 mins – who needs Horatio or Gravediggers?) for young audiences has some of the clearest story telling I’ve ever seen. Sticking closely to Shakespeare’s play and using a fair bit of his language, Jude Christian’s version ensures that every child in the audience is fully involved but none is patronised: […]

Beth Hinton-Lever

Beth Hinton-Lever  

Beth Hinton-Lever, 28, is very busy actor who describes herself as “a constant liability with 1.52 arms” Susan Elkin met her How did you get into acting? My sister (15 months older than my twin and me) was keen so we all did Saturday morning classes and so on – very much a trio. But […]