Ink Pellet’s book review section covers an eclectic selection of new fiction, teachers’ guides, audio books and classics.

Many of our reviews are written by teachers, so we have an expert eye on how texts will work in the classroom. We hope to create a useful archive of reviews so that you can use this as a reference. If you would like to join our panel of reviewers, please join in or email the editor We hope the section inspires you to share new fiction with your pupils or to revisit old favourites yourself

  1. Holes on stage

    Holes on stage  

    Adam Penford, Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse, has a passion for storytelling. As he prepares to bring a much-loved story about friendship and doing the right thing to the stage, he shows our imaginations ensure there are no barriers to bringing great tales to life. For the 1.5 million-plus people who have bought the book […]

  2. Piers Torday

    Piers Torday  

    Piers Torday, 45, is the adaptor of A Christmas Carol and The Box of Delights for stage as well as the author of eight children’s novels. Susan Elkin chats to him.

  3. THE BIG INTERVIEW: Composed Comfort

    THE BIG INTERVIEW: Composed Comfort  

    Paul Fincham is a composer whose carol Ring The Bells will be sung in concerts all over the country this Christmas and whose opera The Happy Princess got good reviews last summer. Susan Elkin meets him.

  4. A Rye Gem

    A Rye Gem  

    Susan Elkin met with Theatre Peckham AD Suzann Mclean, discovering this hub has much to offer Founded 33 years ago, Theatre Peckham is an unsung jewel tucked away in the back streets of Southwark about ten minutes walk from Peckham Rye station and close to the centre of Camberwell. Mountview Academy, one of the country’s […]

  5. Free at last!

    Free at last!  

    Fourth Monkey Actor Training Company announces accredited BA (Hons) Acting course and the introduction of audition fee wavers for all.  Fourth Monkey Actor Training Company, founded in 2010 enters its tenth year in 2020, and to mark this milestone, the highly acclaimed School is validating its Two-Year actor training programme in partnership with TEF Gold […]

  6. Changing Lives

    Changing Lives  

    Lou Stein, AD at Chickenshed, chats to Susan Elkin about his achievements and aspirations for this life-changing arts centre Nearly four years ago Lou Stein was appointed artistic director and chief executive at Chickenshed, the famously inclusive, diverse North London producing company which functions as a higher/further education college as well as a youth theatre. […]

  7. Getting Physical

    Getting Physical  

    For over 50 years, East 15 has produced actors, directors, theatre practitioners and technicians. Expanding its range of courses, Susan Elkin looks at the new BA (Hons) in Physical Theatre. East 15 Acting School, founded by Margaret Bury in 1961 grew out of the work of Joan Littlewood’s famous Theatre Workshop based Theatre Royal Stratford. There’s now […]

  8. EXHIBITION: Looking Closely

    EXHIBITION: Looking Closely  

    Two contrasting exhibitions caught the eye of our Graham Hooper He shaves with an old school razor, using a paint brush to apply the soap. The photograph, taken of Lucian Freud, grandson of Sigmund, who did in 2011, accompanies the first information board as you enter the Royal Academy’s exhibition. His long-time assistant David Dawson […]

  9. Drama school advice

    Drama school advice  

    Susan Elkin explores the various options now available to students looking for actor training. It’s always been a minefield. There you are quietly about to mark a pile of essays having dismissed the class and a student sidles up to you. “I want to be an actor. What do I have to do?” Any teacher […]

  10. What makes a good pantomime?

    What makes a good pantomime?  

    An annual tradition or perhaps the first visit to the theatre, going to a Christmas show should be a truly memorable experience. Susan Elkin has some pointers. No. It isn’t behind you. It’s all before you. As Ink Pellet goes to press the Christmas Show season is about to get underway. Teachers, teaching assistants, parents, […]