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. Training to Stand-up

    Training to Stand-up  

    Susan Elkin delves into the world of stand-up comedy to discover an MA course in Canterbury to help you refine your skills Stand-up comedy doesn’t, at first glance, seem the sort of thing you could train for in a university. Surely, if you have the innate talent you’ll just get up and do it? Then […]

  2. Having a knees-up

    Having a knees-up  

    From playing village halls to touring Los Angeles, Kneehigh has come a long way since it began as a schools’ theatre company in the early 80s, yet its Cornish origins run deep and continue to influence its productions. Mark Glover finds out more about this extraordinary touring company. Thirty-seven years ago, a primary school teacher […]

  3. Mystery men…and a dog

    Mystery men…and a dog  

    Susan Elkin meets up with two of the leading actors in the latest revival of The Woman in White… and a dog. Iam sitting in the bar at Charing Cross Theatre in the early afternoon. With me are two engaging men and a delightful dog named Peety. Tea is laid on for me along with […]

  4. 3 Into 2 Does Go

    3 Into 2 Does Go  

    Bucking the trend… or perhaps at the forefront of a new one, Fourth Monkey are now offering an intensive two-year actor training course. When formed back in 2010, Fourth Monkey were looking to challenge what was perceived to be at the time and still in many circles today the tried, tested and only means of […]

  5. 70 years of Youth

    70 years of Youth  

    Celebrating its 70th anniversary, Susan Elkin looks at the National Youth Orchestra, which continues to excel and expand. Ruth Railton, later Dame Ruth, was a pioneer. When she founded the National Youth Orchestra 70 years ago in 1948 she was doing more than building an orchestra. She was launching a world movement and, as she […]

  6. EXHIBITION: Taking it all in

    EXHIBITION: Taking it all in  

    Our regular exhibition correspondent, Graham Hooper, marks your card for the wonderful array of exhibitions across the country this coming year. Every year seems to bring ever-bigger exhibitions. Each venue competing for higher profiling and each time it feels as though tickets get more expensive. I used to walk in off the street, no need […]

  7. PAUSE FOR THOUGHT… Eating and drinking

    PAUSE FOR THOUGHT… Eating and drinking  

    Susan Elkin champions the case for banning food and drink in theatres If you want to picnic then go to a park. In a theatre “The play’s the thing” in every sense. Eating and drinking are for elsewhere. Traditionally gentlemen bought rustly chocolates to impress the ladies they wanted to impress. Theatres sold said expensive […]



    Susan Elkin meets up with Ebony Feare, 36, an actress currently playing Tortoise in Pied Piper’s touring production of Hare and Tortoise



    Barry Drummond, 26, is appearing in English National Ballet’s Nutcracker at the London Coliseum over Christmas. In 2008 he won the Lyn Seymour award for the most expressive dancer and in 2012 he was nominated for the Emerging Dancer award. How did you get into ballet? I’m from Callander in Scotland. I started ballet there […]

  10. Having a Healthy Voice in Musical Theatre

    Having a Healthy Voice in Musical Theatre  

    By Jamie Read, Co-Director of READ College   here are so many myths surrounding healthy voice use for today’s Musical Theatre singers that it can be difficult to know what to believe. The constant worry about damaging your voice, and the stigma often unfairly placed on singers who sustain a vocal injury, can lead to […]