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. 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 […]

  2. The Washing Line

    The Washing Line  

    Chickenshed’s new spring show, The Washing Line, opens in March and explores the world of cults, through the story of Jim Jones and The People’s Temple, its ideals and aims and, ultimately, its horrific end. “We were looking for a better world. We found a nightmare” The cast includes 150 students, studying on Chickenshed’s inclusive […]

  3. Fully Rounded

    Fully Rounded  

    Forty years since its inception, Susan Elkin pays a visit to the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London to find out how this successful establishment is evolving. It’s always a pleasure to visit Sylvia Young Theatre School. Its astonishingly attractive building is a light, bright, lofty former church just off Edgware Road. Complete with stained […]

  4. Tenacity Wins Through

    Tenacity Wins Through  

    Mark Farrelly is an actor with four solo shows under his belt. He tours them continually, sometimes concurrently. Susan Elkin talks to him about his life and career to date. There is a dark depth in Mark Farrelly’s work which has struck me each of the three times I’ve seen him on stage. And it’s […]

  5. Not to be missed

    Not to be missed  

    A dozen not-to-be missed exhibitions around the country this coming year selected by Graham Hooper. As is traditional now for me in Ink Pellet, wishing you new year’s greetings for 2022, it gives me great pleasure to bring you the best of the year ahead in art. It’s another bumper year, back to the good […]

  6. Pause for thought… Diversity = Inclusivity

    Pause for thought… Diversity = Inclusivity  

    Susan Elkin makes a case that cultural diversity should not be at the expense of inclusivity. I live in the London Borough of Lewisham. It is, I learned recently,  London’s most diverse borough. And that is one of the many things I love about it. When, five years ago, I moved back to my native borough […]

  7. Coffee Break: Isabel Adomakoh Young

    Coffee Break: Isabel Adomakoh Young  

    Isabel Adomakoh Young, 28, describes herself as a queer actor, and writer of English and Ghanaian origins with a determination for social change. She played Juliet (Black British Theatre Awards lead actress winner) in Open Air Theatre Regent Park’s Romeo and Juliet in summer 2021. Susan Elkin spoke to her. How did you get into […]

  8. Manchester School of Theatre

    Manchester School of Theatre  

    In this month’s feature on drama schools, Susan Elkin takes a look at the opportunities available at the Manchester School of Theatre.

  9. ROH Apprenticeships

    ROH Apprenticeships  

    Offering another route into the industry, apprenticeships are flourishing and Susan Elkin examined the opportunities offered by the Royal Opera House.

  10. Fourth Monkey expands to Bristol

    Fourth Monkey expands to Bristol  

    Fourth Monkey Actor Training Company is offering a course in Bristol. Susan Elkin talked to founder and artistic director, Steve Green about this new development.