Eternal thanks to Keith Johnstone Credit where credit is due, is a maxim that I always included in the final session of all the drama courses that I delivered. I then went on to credit Keith Johnstone. Keith died on 11th March 2023 aged 90. He was born in Devon and worked in education and … Continue reading The man who wrote the book that changed my life has died
The Alphabet of Artaud
This is a memory aid to help students learn about thirty key ideas associated with the French actor and director Antonin Artaud. It can also be used in part, or in full, as a warm-up for drama classes.
What’s the Drama?
It was always a tumbleweed moment. I considered it vital, upon meeting a new drama class, to make the first lesson active and fun. The final fifteen minutes would be allocated for a sit-down discussion. The question was simple enough. “So, what is drama?” Some of the participants were new to drama, others had done it for two years, or five years or in some cases – if they’d been to drama clubs – ten years. The answer was invariably. . . Silence.
An appreciation of Illyria Theatre's production of Peter Pan at Lytham Hall, Lancashire in August 2022.
New molecules please
Why you should not ‘support’ theatre “Theatre is like sex,” so said director Sir Richard Eyre in a TV interview that I used to show to drama students. That statement demonstrated why he was such a good director. In just four words he got the attention of the audience and had them wanting to know … Continue reading New molecules please
How to know it backwards
A simple and invaluable tip to help you to prepare for a public performance.
YOUR FACE MASK NEEDS YOU
And it won’t take “no” for answer No matter how good your facemask is it will not protect you against the slyest infection of all: the personality of the mask itself. Wearing any mask changes your mind. There is no doubt. If you do doubt it, it matters not; your mask will still have its … Continue reading YOUR FACE MASK NEEDS YOU
Mr Dionysus was not at home
Mr Dionysus always danced out of doors. That was his natural environment. I smiled as I recalled the parties he had thrown. Wild did not come into it. They were out of doors and out of control.
Mea Culpa Cleopatra
Private investigations and public humiliation It felt bizarre to be sponsored by a firm of private detectives. Somehow it also seemed apt that a performance that peered into the private lives of three of the most publicly known ancient figures, Octavius Caesar, Mark Antony and Queen Cleopatra, should be partly funded by hireable spies. … Continue reading Mea Culpa Cleopatra
The Transgender Mysteries
Making a crisis out of a drama
On 16th January 1997 a free newspaper bearing the front-page headline BLASPHEMY! plopped through every letter box in the municipality of Preston in Lancashire, England, and in many of its surrounding districts. It caused a local media storm, made headlines in national newspapers and sent ripples right around the world. This is an account of how the furore was created, contested and concluded.