The arts magazine for teachers

Welcome to the last issue of Ink Pellet for this academic year! As we hurtle towards the summer break, you’ll soon be saying farewell to another batch of lucky students who have had the privilege of your guidance… and perhaps a ‘good riddance’ to one or two! Before we all head off for a well-earned rest, there is still time to bring you a fab array of features, news and reviews; including our Big Interview with Neal Foster, as the Birmingham Stage Company he founded some 25 years ago, celebrates another successful year.

In this packed and varied issue, we also ponder the state of education in the UK today and how this is effected by arts subjects being squeezed from the timetable due to pressures from ‘above’. It will be interesting to see what measures and policies are introduced – or in the case of new grammar schools, shelved – by the new minority government over the coming months and how our exit from Europe will change the education system.

The NT Connections festival is celebrating its 21st anniversary, with performances by selected theatre groups and schools. See the full list of performances, along with details on how to enter the 2018 festival – but hurry, applications close July 10th!

Also in this issue, we visit the Rose Bruford College to delve into the courses they offer, examine gender inequality in theatre and review the Cornelia Parker exhibitions in London.

I am delighted that this issue’s Book Review pages include a selection submitted by students at The Malling School in Kent. We would love to receive reviews from your pupils – or you – for possible publication in future issues and if there is a production in a theatre near you, it is usually possible to arrange press tickets on your behalf, given sufficient warning! If this appeals, please contact me by email, john@inkpellet.co.uk, with an outline proposal.

Wishing you all a fabulous summer and hope you manage to see one of the touring open air performances on a balmy evening!

 

THE BIG INTERVIEW: Neal Foster

THE BIG INTERVIEW: Neal Foster  

The Birmingham Stage Comapany, one of the world’s leading producers of theatre for children, is celebrating its 25th anniversary and Susan Elkin met up with its founder Neal Foster We meet in his theatreland London office, a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus and not much further from the Garrick Theatre where Gangsta Granny is to [...]

The State of Education

The State of Education  

Susan Elkin participated in a panel discussion on the current state of education, focussing on the detriment to learning caused by the paucity of arts subjects in the curriculum. 1968 was the year I started teaching. My e-book memoir Please Miss We’re Boys, details it amusingly – I hope. By some mysterious coincidental synergy, I was [...]

Shed some light

Shed some light  

Sometimes great ideas spring from the unlikeliest of places. In 1974, an actual chicken shed on the very limits of North London was the venue for one of the first inclusive theatre companies in the UK. Mark Glover uncovers the routes of the Chickenshed. Susan Jamson, Chickenshed’s Press and PR Manager, has been with the [...]

Connections Festival

Connections Festival  

The NT Connections Festival celebrated its 21st Anniversary with a record number of participating groups. Susan Elkin looks at this year’s final performers. Our play is preferred” shouts Bottom gleefully to Peter Quince and the other rude mechanicals in A Midsummer Night’s Dream when he hears that that they’ve been picked to perform at the Theseus’s three [...]

The Kids are Alright

The Kids are Alright  

In the last issue of Ink Pellet, Mark Glover, reviewed Lucy Kerbel’s book All Change Please, a rally cry to achieving greater equality in the theatre. The book focused, in part on the influence of young people, and the impact they can make. Here, he delves into the work of the National Youth Theatre, to [...]

Exhibition: Art education

Exhibition: Art education  

GRAHAM HOOPER takes in the Cornelia Parker exhibition, combining visual and verbal allusions that trigger cultural metaphors and personal associations.

A confident choice

A confident choice  

SUSAN ELKIN visited Rose Bruford College to view first-hand the excellent classes offered to young people. Rose Bruford College is an unusual drama school. Operating without a city centre presence, it is tucked away in a quietly rural and very beautiful corner of Sidcup in the grounds of the old house (complete with lake!) which [...]

THEATRE Review: Running Wild – Marlowe Theatre Canterbury and touring

THEATRE Review:  Running Wild – Marlowe Theatre Canterbury and touring  

Having dropped in on rehearsals prior to the tour (IP114, Feb/March), I was intrigued to see the production in full and see how the show had evolved from its Regents Park open-air run last year. Although the stage production perhaps lacked the ‘jungle’ feel offered by the open-air surroundings, this touring production more than made [...]

Book Review: AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS

Book Review:  AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS  

by Jules Verne Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform Around the World in Eighty Days is an amazing novella written by Jules Verne. The story is about Phileas Fogg – a first class Victorian man, journeying around the world with his Parisian servant. I believe the storyline is well written and one of the best I [...]

Open to all

Open to all  

With, hopefully, warmer evenings set to continue though the coming months, Susan Elkin guides us through some of the open air theatre highlights available this summer. Open air theatre is one of those gloriously British triumphs of hopes over experience. At its best a night at Regents Park or in the grounds of a stately [...]