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  1. Coming to England

    Coming to England  

    Floella Benjamin is an actor, singer, writer and member of The House of Lords with a major commitment to children’s welfare. Susan Elkin spoke to her about her work, life and forthcoming family stage show Coming to England Like many people of my generation, I have fond, warm happy memories of Floella Benjamin entertaining my […]

  2. Digital Scripts and Scores

    Digital Scripts and Scores  

    Enhancing their services, Susan Elkin enquired about the launch of a new app by Music Theatre International, offering an interactive digital rehearsal notebook specially tailored for the UK. Anyone who has ever put on a school production of an established show will know that the first thing you have to do is to find out […]

  3. Regional Excellence

    Regional Excellence  

    Susan Elkin was invited to The Bamboo House, Fourth Monkey’s new regional training centre in Bristol and jumped at the chance to discover more. “This is one of the best decisions I have ever made” says Rosie who is talking to me in a comfortable meeting room at Fourth Monkey’s new training centre, The Bamboo […]

  4. Power and Repression

    Power and Repression  

    Evan Placey’s adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde, produced by National Theatre is currently touring secondary schools. Susan Elkin caught up with the playwright. Evan Placey and I have history. I last interviewed him for Ink Pellet six years ago in a chain coffee shop in Catford. Just for old times’ sake we’ve met in the […]

  5. EXHIBITION: Man and Beast

    EXHIBITION: Man and Beast  

    Drawn to the Royal Academy for its latest major exhibition, Graham Hooper was captivated by the paintings of Francis Bacon. IMAGE ABOVE: Francis Bacon, Second Version of Triptych 1944, 1988 Oil paint and acrylic paint on 3 canvases, 198 x 147.5 cm (each) Tate: Presented by the artist 1991 © The Estate of Francis Bacon. […]

  6. Pause for thought…

    Pause for thought…  

    To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the 20th century’s most important novels. Published in 1960, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, it stated firmly that black lives matter very much – eight years before the death of Martin Luther King and 60 years before the death of George Floyd. Yes, the issues are still […]

  7. The Key in the Lock

    The Key in the Lock  

    by Beth Underdown Published by Penguin Random House This novel has been widely dubbed a homage to Daphne du Maurier. Yes, there are fires and houses and we’re in Cornwall. Beyond that I didn’t find too much similarity although it would be a good wider reading recommendation for A level students who are studying Rebecca. […]

  8. Animal Farm – Cambridge Arts Theatre and touring

    Animal Farm – Cambridge Arts Theatre and touring  

    Toby Olié’s puppetry (see our interview on page 26) are what this show will be remembered for. If life sized puppets are to live, they must never be still. Designed and directed by Olié these jointed creations are magnificently controlled by a team of fourteen skilled puppeteers, they move continuously in a convincingly equine, canine, […]

  9. Coffee Break Toby Olié

    Coffee Break Toby Olié  

    Toby Olié created and directed the puppets for Animal Farm which is currently touring nationwide. Susan Elkin spoke to him. How did you get into puppetry? I enjoyed Sesame Street as a child because the puppets exist within a human world and no one thinks anything of it. Then when I was eight years old […]

  10. Adapting with Pride

    Adapting with Pride  

    Isobel McArthur wrote, appears in, and co-directs Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) which is running at the Criterion Theatre in London. Susan Elkin met her. They are rehearsing in an additional understudy. And I sit at the back of the empty stalls and watch the meticulous work until there’s a short “tea break” and Isobel […]