Theatre figures feature in New Year honours

66ème Festival de Venise (Mostra)Leading figures from the theatre industry have been recognised in 2013’s New Year honours.

Scottish actor Ewan McGregor is to receive an OBE for his services to drama, as will Adrian Lester, who will play Othello in Nicholas Hytner’s new production at the National later this year.

Other recipients include: RADA registrar Patricia Myers, for her services to higher education; Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington; theatre producer and chief executive of Nimax theatres, Nica Burns; and Talawa Theatre Company’s artistic director Patricia Cumper.

Topic of the day – To Edinburgh or not to Edinburgh?

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a valued tradition amongst theatre enthusiasts. As we head further into the warmer months of the year, theatre companies, students and schools begin to hatch their plans for this year’s performances. However 2012 is not like every other year.

The Olympic Games is set to completely take over London during the summer. But with the Edinburgh Fringe so removed from the chaos that will descend upon London, will it really put off the usual suspects of attending this year’s festival? The Guardian reports that the Fringe have been proactive in preparing for this year’s festival – they have decided to bring forward the release of their brochure by two weeks and have already listed 15 shows, including big names such as Jimmy Carr, on their website to entice visitors. This summer an estimated 5 million visitors will descend on the UK for the Olympic Games. Today The Guardian has been asking: Is it worth performing at Edinburgh this year? The West End has already begun bracing itself for a tough summer. Andrew Lloyd Webber has said that the Olympics will cause a ‘theatre bloodbath’ this summer and he claimed that bookings have been 10% below their usual number.

What do you think? Will you be avoiding the Edinburgh festival this year? Or will the Olympics provide you with even more of a reason to head north? Let us know what you think.

If you are going this year, as a performer or a spectator, have you started to think about all the preparation? In Teaching Drama Summer 1 (out 2 April) we will be reviewing Mark Fisher’s The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide. Make sure to get your copy to read our verdict.

To read the original article, visit:

Topic of the day – should we all be campaigning for the arts?

Today The Guardian are asking in their poll – Do we all have a duty to campaign for the arts?

Do artists have to be activists? How much responsibility do performers and artists have to keeping the cause alive?

What about your position as a teacher of the arts? Is it important to stay involved in campaigning? Or is the reality that, you don’t really have that much time to ‘do your bit’? Let us know what you think.


To  read the article visit:

Plays for this term

The Guardian has recommended productions of set texts for schools this term:
Among them are; an adaptation of Animal Farm by Peter Hall, Hamlet performed at the Young Vic and Edward Bond’s infamous shocker Saved.
What do you think of the recommendations? Is there anything vital missing from their list that you feel is useful for students everywhere?
Tell us what you think!