Noticeboard: October  

The appeal of The Lion King is unabated; as well as being a fantastic example of artistry and creativity, the show themes are used by teachers up and down the land to inspire pupils. Now you can add a new education resource to your toolkit: The Spirit of The Lion King. Designed for Key Stage 2 and 3 it explores the themes of community and responsibility. The project will help pupils understand what defines a community and explore the roles and responsibilities they have within them. The Spirit of the Lion King is designed to work with the existing education programme over two lessons and a visit to production. Find further information at

Here’s one for your own pleasure – a lovely collection of poems inspired by the seductive sparkle of jewels and jewellery and the emotions they arouse selected by Janie Hextall and Barbara McNaught. Called Strings of Pearls, it’s the second collection created by the two ladies and brings together more than 50 poems from an engraving on a 17th century watchcase through to T S Eliot. A little gem at £10 published by Lautus.

It’s amazing what being found in a car park in Leicester will do for a play…you know what’s coming. Yup, it’s Richard III, the Shakespeare play of the moment; a collaboration between York Theatre Royal and Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company which is ‘bringing home the king to his rightful place’. Multi-award nominated director Loveday Ingram directs her husband, Ian Bartholomew, in the eponymous role in a production that fully exploits the sinister, paranoid and charming nuance of Shakespeare’s version of Richard of York. See it from November 19. Tickets online or by phone 01904 623568.

Down the road at Sheffield’s The Crucible, the stage is set for a winter classic – Lionel Bart’s Oliver! Daniel Evans is in the director’s chair. Tickets are now on sale for the show that kicks off on November 29 and runs until January 5.

For the panto lovers among us who cannot decide whether to see Jack and the Beanstalk or Cinderella, head to London’s Vaudeville for Potted Panto and see seven shows in one. The celebrated creators of Potted Potter bring their talents to crunching down Christmas classics into 80 minutes. A great idea for a festive bash…or ahem…a look at clever adaptations, your hosts Dan and Jeff, directed by Richard Hurst, will keep you entertained. Oh yes they will. (Sorry.) Book now at 0844 482 9675 for shows from December 8.

It’s all change in Wales where Gareth Lloyd Roberts takes the reins as director of Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Gareth is leaving his role as a producer at Wales Millennium Centre for this exciting new challenge. His experience includes working as a director, script writer and researcher for Welsh language television producers, acting and creating the acclaimed annual Blysh Festival of circus, cabaret and street art which is now in its fifth year. Good luck in your new role Gareth!  

Watch out Swamp Thangs: Shrek The Musical® goes on the road from July 2014. Hot on the heels of the mega-successful, charming and bonkers London show, the production’s first Lord Farquaad Nigel Harman will direct. He won the 2012 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical and says: ‘Shrek is very special to me with its dizzying blend of great characters, a hilarious script and sublime music. The story has the magic ingredient of moving at great pace while still being surprisingly intimate. Watch out for more news in Ink Pellet and beyond.

The Owle Schreame theatre company is carving out a niche exploring oral storytelling and Medieval and Renaissance English Theatre Practice. The company, founded by Brice Stratford, is in the middle of its 2013 Cannibal Valour Repertory Season which features The Cannibal Valour of Bussy D’Ambois, The Unfortunate Mother by Thomas Nabbes and Honoria & Mammon, by James Shirley. The latter pair are being performed for the first time in their 400-odd year history. The plays have in common swordfights, sex, torture, death, deceit, the summoning of devils, psychopathic evil and the merciless kidnap of women. A quiet night out then. The plays are being performed in St Giles-in-the-Fields church, the burial site of all three of our playwrights. The seasons runs until December 13 – check the website at

You know, we’re with Her Maj when it comes to books. We love the real thing and so we’re delighted to support Alma Classics, a new literature series beautifully and stylishly made for sale at £4.99. The launch list includes Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (including an extensive section on Emily Brontë’s life and works) and Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary (with visual material). My goodness, look! They’re lovely! IP