The arts magazine for teachers

I’ve lost track of how many gender classifications there are now – upwards of 21 at the last count (Facebook offered 71!) – so it is important that the performing arts industry is embracing more gender-fluid roles, which will hopefully allow for more leading roles for women. The imbalance between the number of women entering arts colleges and the profession and the number of prominent roles on stage or screen has been well documented. There are, of course, champions for more leading female roles; such as Amanda Whittington, who writes for predominantly female casts, and directors such as Moira Buffini, the subject of our Big Interview in this issue, who has cast Olivia Dowd as Macbeth in the NYT Rep production at the Garrick, or Amy Leach directing Hamlet at Leeds Playhouse with a female lead. As your students enter the audition period, perhaps suggest they think about gender-fluidity and offer something less ‘conventional’ (see p26 for more audition monologue ideas).

In this issue, we also take a look at a couple of the colleges offering performing arts opportunities – the established Mountview (p14), which has upped sticks and opened a fabulous new building in Peckham and the Wimbledon Arts College, offering two new BA’s (p17) from next September.

We drop in on a National Theatre production of Curious, on a tour of schools (p10), with an abridged but equally superb production and find out how the Oldham Coliseum Theatre is reaching out to its diverse community through its schools’ outreach programme (p 12).

If you have time, head to the Tate Modern to take in Clocks (p20), and if you’ve just time for a coffee break, join actress and musician Stephanie Rutherford (p30) for a quick catch up!

And a reminder, for any of your students interested in a ‘behind the scenes’ career in the theatre, try to get to the TheatreCraft day at the Waldorf on November 19th – a review of which will be in the January issue.

John

Curious Schools

Curious Schools  

Susan Elkin visited a school in north London to see the National Theatre’s abridged version of The Curious Incident, touring schools nationwide, aiming to bring high quality theatre into schools to enrich teaching and learning. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one of the National Theatre’s most successful shows of recent […]

Above and Beyond

Above and Beyond  

After changing their approach to school engagement six years ago, Oldham’s Coliseum Theatre’s secondary education partnership scheme is thriving, benefitting its wonderfully diverse community. Mark Glover headed to the town to find out more. As I wait to meet Carly Barclay, Head of Learning at the Coliseum Theatre, suddenly, there’s a huge clap of thunder, […]

Mountview in Peckham

Mountview in Peckham  

Mountview has moved to Peckham. Forget the notion of north and south London being in different countries. Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, whose name derives from its old London phone prefix, has cheerfully crossed the divide and is now a proud Southwark resident in a sparkling, spacious new home. Susan Elkin went to explore. Founded […]

New courses at WCA

New courses at WCA  

Long famous as an art college, Wimbledon College of Arts – part of University Arts London – is diversifying. From next year if will offer two new courses: BA (Hons) Acting & Performance and BA (Hons) Contemporary Theatre and Performance and the current college site is being upgraded and developed site to accommodate this work. Susan Elkin paid a visit.

Pause for thought… Food for thought

Pause for thought… Food for thought  

Susan Elkin puts the case for arts teachers to encourage students to embrace healthy eating and lifestyle. Hardly a day goes by without a hand-wringing news item about worsening obesity and the trouble it is likely to cause if it isn’t already doing so: not least unaffordable NHS costs. In the last month alone, we’ve […]

EXHIBITION: Passing Time

EXHIBITION: Passing Time  

Graham Hooper took time out during half-term, watching The Clock at the Tate Modern. I’m queuing to watch a film. Nothing unusual there, except this film is 24 hours long. Yes, that’s right, a whole day and night of big screen action. I say action, it’s mainly people looking at their watch, or a clock. […]

Nativity! The Musical

Nativity! The Musical  

Writer and director Debbie Isitt tells us about bringing the much-loved festive movie to the stage. For anyone who hasn’t seen the hit Christmas film, what is Nativity! The Musical about? It’s a classic story about a group of underdog kids in a challenging primary school trying to put on the best nativity play they […]

THEATRE REVIEW: Calendar Girls The Musical – UK Tour, Marlowe Canterbury

THEATRE REVIEW: Calendar Girls The Musical – UK Tour, Marlowe Canterbury  

Do not miss this gem of a production! Calendar Girls The Musical is on tour around the UK (currently dates through to August 2019) and will make you laugh and cry in equal measure. The production, based on the true story, the film and the award-winning play by Tim Firth, features musical numbers written by […]

THEATRE REVIEW: The Nutcracker and I – Alexandra Dariescu & Desiree Ballantyne – King’s Place

THEATRE REVIEW: The Nutcracker and I – Alexandra Dariescu & Desiree Ballantyne – King’s Place  

The Nutcracker and I is a very engaging piano recital with attached ballet, both actual and projected. I caught it at King’s Place in London before it embarked on a worldwide autumn/early 2019 tour   There are some further UK dates in December. It’s an enticingly imaginative concept and a real joy to see/hear some […]

THEATRE REVIEW: Consensual – National Youth Theatre Rep Company – Soho Theatre

THEATRE REVIEW: Consensual – National Youth Theatre Rep Company – Soho Theatre  

This year’s NYT rep season opened with a timely revival of Evan Placey’s fine, topical 2015 play which asks many more questions about the complexity of sexual consent than it answers. The first half takes us to a school where married, mother of one, pregnant teacher Diane (Marilyn Nnadebe) is trying to “deliver” sexual relationships […]