The arts magazine for teachers

A new initiative, Theatre in Schools Scotland, should ensure all primary aged children in the Auld country get the chance to see at least one live theatre production each year and there are calls for the remainder of the UK to follow suit (The Stage).  Admirable though this certainly is, and recognising the high quality of touring companies taking theatre into schools, seeing a performance sitting in the school hall just won’t recreate the excitement and ‘magic’ of actually going to a theatre to take in a show.

Many children still only get to experience the theatre if their school organises a trip and despite budget constraints and logistical hurdles to overcome, surely we should be trying to give pupils every opportunity to experience live performances in a theatre? Cheaper tickets for schools certainly help, but a greater emphasis on the benefits of the arts in every child’s education must be a priority.

In this issue: our Big Interview is with prolific author Adèle Geras, giving us an insight into her life and works, we pay a visit to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School as it reaches 70 and feature the NT Connections youth theatre festival as it marks 21 years. We take a look at the Chichester Festival Theatre and its emphasis on nurturing young talent and profile the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme, offering support and training opportunities for aspiring directors. You will also hopefully enjoy the interviews with Daniel Raggett, director of 1984 as it returns to the West End, and with Lou Stein, the new Artistic Director at Chickenshed, plus a trip to the Prunella Clough exhibition currently showing at the Jerwood in Hastings. A little something for everyone, until we meet again in September, ready to ‘go’ once again!

Cosmopolitan Writer

Cosmopolitan Writer  

SUSAN ELKIN is enchanted by the multi-faceted and prolific writer Adèle Geras, still writing – at her own pace – at the age of 72. Most interviewees elect to meet journalists on neutral territory such as a coffee shop, hotel or reserved space at a theatre or publisher’s. It is typical of the warmth and [...]

Seventy and getting stronger

Seventy and getting stronger  

SUSAN ELKIN pays a visit to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School as part of its anniversary season to discover a thriving septuagenarian. It’s anniversary time in Bristol. 250 years ago, in 1776, the city’s Old Vic Theatre opened, probably now Britain’s oldest surviving theatre still in business. It has a long and illustrious history [...]

Raggett thoughts

Raggett thoughts  

JOSEPH BIRD interviews Daniel Raggett, Associate Director of 1984 at the Playhouse Theatre, about his inspiration, the new cast and his thoughts on the book ahead of its return to the London stage this summer. What inspired you to go down the career path of becoming a director? I was lucky enough to be taken [...]

Young Directors Given a Chance

Young Directors Given a Chance  

The Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme is aiding more aspiring directors to gain experience and find their feet. SUSAN ELKIN discovers more. Many young people fall in love with theatre but soon discover that, for whatever reason, acting is not for them. Yet they want to be very actively involved in what happens on stage [...]

Connections comes of age

Connections comes of age  

As NT Connections reaches 21 years, SUSAN ELKIN offers an insight into its continued success and hopes your school will participate next year. I saw and enjoyed Blackout by Davey Anderson at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury in April. It opens dramatically with 30 or so teenagers staring silently and balefully at their phones and then unravels [...]

The Power of Youth

The Power of Youth  

Susan Elkin visits the Chichester Festival Theatre to chat with Dale Rooks and discovers a strong emphasis on nurturing young talent Chichester Festival Theatre’s recent production of The Enemy of the People featured two boys, alongside Hugh Bonneville and the rest of the cast. Alfie Scott and Jack Taylor are both members of CFT’s thriving [...]

Prunella Clough: Unknown Countries

Prunella Clough: Unknown Countries  

GRAHAM HOOPER tears himself away from exam marking to take in the retrospective at the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings.

Theatre Review: Running Wild

Theatre Review: Running Wild  

Remember Joey from War Horse? Well, meet Oona the elephant. She’s full size and spectacular. Puppeted by four people, three inside her and one on her serpentine expressive trunk, she flaps her ears, rocks her head, farts and responds to everything going on around her. There’s also a magnificent tiger, pounding and snarling, a terrifying [...]

Book Review: BU21 by Stuart Slade

Book Review: BU21 by Stuart Slade  

Published by Nick Hern Books BU21 by Stuart Slade is the touchingly topical story of six people of all different backgrounds and ways of life and how a single tragic event on Friday the 22nd July 2016 brought them all together. In writing BU21 (which is also the name of the airliner that is shot [...]

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF… Lou Stein

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF… Lou Stein  

Chickenshed, whose slogan is “Theatre changing lives” is an inclusive theatre company in north London which also runs further and higher education courses. Since 2000 it has established 19 “sheds” in the UK and two in Russia to develop inclusive theatre elsewhere. Susan Elkin talks to Lou Stein who took over as director in April.