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.
Trailing The Last Intake
An appreciation of: Preston Catholic College The Last Intake 1977-1982, The End of an Era by Jim Clune and Adrian Gawain Jones with the Old Boys of '77. Plus an added personal perspective.
It was uncomfortable to read that some people half my age were happy for me to be slowly suffocated so that they might “get our lives back”. They seemed content that I might receive my last orders so that they could get served at the bar a little sooner. They didn’t put it like that, … Continue reading 2020 Hindsight
Cotton tithes matter
Preston, and scores of other Lancashire towns, prospered exponentially from the first wave of the Industrial Revolution. Their streets were paved with gold (for a few) because their sheets were plied with cotton. The cotton was cheap because the labourers who produced it were not paid. They were purchased. How should we declare our debt and pay our dues?
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.
Nine from ‘Nineteen
The most popular uneasywords of 2019 Another year of blogging done. Here, in reverse order, are the most popular uneasywords posts of 2019: At number 9 is a post from November 2018 explaining how the paintings of Jack Vettriano inspired a musical theatre show: Swinging with the Singing Butler. Number 8 is also … Continue reading Nine from ‘Nineteen
What I owe the Open University Fetishism was not a personal priority upon applying to the Open University, but it proved too much of a temptation subsequently, when it was the title of an optional lecture at one of the residential summer schools. Despite being on the final half day of our week-long stay that … Continue reading I.O.U.O.U.
All STEM and no flowers
The word 'academic' is the bane of creative subject teachers' lives, yet it is an unjustified means of establishing a hierarchy of learning. It is usually defined by the proportion of cerebral to practical activity. Subjects with a high practical content are deemed less worthy. That is lazy thinking. The academic is ultimately worthless without practical application.