The man who wrote the book that changed my life has died

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

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.

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.

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.