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  1. You can handle the truth

    You can handle the truth  

    Throwing away a script and using real words from real people from real events can seem daunting; yet verbatim theatre can engage students in ways that traditional forms cannot. Directors, playwrights and theatre companies are offering a genre that uses honesty, truth and authenticity as its foundations. Mark Glover finds out more. Robin Belfield’s first […]

  2. Pause for thought… Never dumb down words and stories

    Pause for thought… Never dumb down words and stories  

    Susan Elkin pleads the case for writers and publishers to help stretch the vocabularies and minds of young readers. I’m going to quote it in full: “[young readers] should be bombarded with words like gamma rays, steeped in words like pot plants stood in water, pelted with them like confetti, fed on them like Alphabetti […]

  3. Book Review: Little Guides to Great Lives

    Book Review: Little Guides to Great Lives  

    Nelson Mandela, Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo, Leonardo da Vinci, Amelia Earhart By Isabel Thomas Published by Laurence King Publishing It is never easy to get young readers interested in biography (although I read quite a lot of it but perhaps I was an unusual child). A warm welcome then for this new series Little Guides […]

  4. Book Review: We See Everything

    Book Review: We See Everything  

    By William Sutcliffe Published by Bloomsbury This tense, uncompromising dystopic novel takes us to what’s left of London – a few years on. We meet two young men through alternating first person narratives – Lex who lives on “the strip”, the bleak remains of walled off, bombed out London. “Desperation is everywhere” he tells us. […]

  5. THEATRE REVIEW: Me and My Girl – Chichester Festival Theatre

    THEATRE REVIEW: Me and My Girl – Chichester Festival Theatre  

    Daniel Evans, artistic director of CFT and director of this show, knows how to stage a spectacle and he’s in fine form with this one which could, I suspect, be Chichester’s next West End transfer. Me and My Girl is a gloriously old fashioned, feel good musical dating from 1937. Like so many of the […]

  6. Coffee Break: Nick Hern

    Coffee Break: Nick Hern  

    Thirty years ago, Nick Hern launched Nick Hern Books, one of Britain’s leading publishers of plays and drama books. Susan Elkin spoke to him.   How did you get interested in drama in the first place? I did three plays at my prep school because I was told to: I played Prince Hal in Henry […]

  7. THE BIG INTERVIEW: Dynamic Duo

    THE BIG INTERVIEW: Dynamic Duo  

    Steven Worbey and Kevin Farrell, both pianists, met at Royal College of Music. Worbey and Farrell, their unusual double act – four hands on one piano – combines virtuosic playing with family-friendly humour. Susan Elkin caught up with them in London on their way home to Edinburgh following a working week on a P&O Cruise […]

  8. Carnegie 2018

    Carnegie 2018  

    This year’s Carnegie shortlist has been announced with schools and reading groups around the country shadowing the process and providing valuable feedback. Susan Elkin is our guide. The CILIP Carnegie Medal, awarded annually for a children’s book, is the prize that most authors writing for young people covet above all others. The judges are librarians from […]

  9. Capital gains

    Capital gains  

    For over 20 years Mousetrap Theatre Projects has helped nearly 200,000 young people experience theatre in London through trips to West End shows as well as practical drama workshops. Mark Glover finds out how the charity continues to make venues in the capital more welcoming and the challenges that teachers face when trying to book […]

  10. School’s out – time for summer school

     

    Susan Elkin rounds up some of this year’s options. Some are residential. Others work on a daily attendance basis. Some (such as Dorset Opera Summer School: www.dorsetopera.com/summerschool) lead to a large semi-professional scale production. Others simply present work for family and friends at the end of the week. The summer school mix available across the […]