Ms Lawson, a new teacher at Newall South High School, believes Jamie Harrow is being bullied because he’s gay. She wants to help but Mrs Rutter, the Deputy Head, thinks it will sort itself out. Is Mrs Rutter speaking from experience or is there something more unsavoury about her uncaring attitude? The play deals with homophobia in the staffroom of a secondary school, and is an excellent teachers’ training resource.
‘Hits home with a punch!’ Helen Jones, WhatsOnStage 5 stars. Full review
‘Cowan’s play is so well argued that at no point does it feel like he has slipped into a lecture. Instead you are simply drawn into the points being made balancing one against the other and never losing attention for a moment.’ David Cunningham, Manchester Theatre Awards. Full review
‘The writing is full of memorable quotes… The acting was of an exceedingly high standard. Both actresses putting their all into these rolls and reaping the dividends. Powerful and real performances… Directed with great aplomb and sensitivity by the author.’ Mark Dee, North West End. Full review
Emmeline Pankhurst was born on 15 July 1858, on what would have been her 158th birthday take a moment to look at some of the incredible political and artistic work she and other women of the period were actively engaged in. You can find out more about the artistic and theatrical legacy of the Suffrage Movement in our book Art, Theatre and Women’s Suffrage by Irene Cockroft and Susan Croft and read some of the plays that grew out of this movement in Votes for Women and other plays edited by Susan Croft. These two publications were part of a wider project on the The Suffragettes and she can discover more on the project’s website.
Cheryl Robson author of Provence: people, places, food – a cultural guide has written about living in the South of France for The Riviera Reporter.
Unbelievably Malala Yousafzai is only 19! What an extraordinary life this young woman has had.
Born in Pakistan on 12 July 1997 Malala made her first political speech, aged 11, in protest to school closures in her district. In January 2009 she began writing an anonymous blog about her life under the Taliban regime for the BBC. That same year she was the subject of a New York Times documentary, Class Dismissed: Malala’s Story by Adam B. Ellick.On 24 November 2011 she was awarded Pakistan’s first national peace prize. Within the year, her life was to change dramatically when on 9 October 2012 she was shot in the head in an assassination attempt by the Taliban, who wished to silence this outspoken young woman who was demanding education for all.
Malala was airlifted from Pakistan to England where she underwent months of operations. Following her release in February 2013 she stayed in England and in April established The Malala Fund, which helps to provide grants for the education of girls. Since then she has combined her personal education with a series of extraordinary achievements including the publication of her autobiography I am Malala, being awarded the United Nations Human Rights Prize (only given every five years), becoming co-recipient, with Kailash Satyarthi, of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for their activism on behalf of children’s rights, being included in Time’s 25 Most Influential Teens and receiving a Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album for ‘I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World.’
For playwright Nick Wood, Malala’s shooting was the starting point for his play ‘A Girl With a Book‘, one of four plays featured in his recent play collection published by Aurora Metro. Nick Wood: “A Girl with a Book was written out of a sense of outrage, a realisation that I had no understanding of the background to the shooting of Malala, and a growing awareness of the demonisation of Muslims and Islam. The play found its form as I gradually tried to overcome my ignorance by going out and talking to people who knew more than I did. As I did so the primary narrative moved away from being about Malala and the event itself and became an examination of how easy it is, even for a woolly liberal Guardian reader, to absorb prejudice almost without noticing.”
Review from On Religion: “A Girl with a Book has no grand plot. It is about one man, and his struggle to understand why a girl in Pakistan was shot for going to school. As he explores the questions of why, he finds himself struggling also with the prejudices and biases he brings along with him… What author Nick Wood has refused to do is accept the narrative of difference. The media is often accused of ‘othering’, making a community (whether here or abroad) so distinct and different that any possibility of a relationship or understanding goes out the window. The easy option when hearing the news of Malala Yousafzai’s shooting is to think that Pakistan is somewhere so distant, inhabited by people so different, that you could never understand why it happened. Wood rather invites us to better understand Malala, her father, and her kinsmen.” Read this review in full
There are currently twelve productions of this play currently running or scheduled across Europe. If you would like more information, or would like to book Nick for a performance/discussion event go to this website for full details.
Vicky Ireland and Paul Harman’s new book ‘50 Best Plays for Young Audiences: theatre-making for children and young people in England: 1965-2015‘ is being launched at ‘On the Edge, the World Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences‘ in Birmingham 2 – 6 July.
This new book published by Aurora Metro is a guide to those writing and working in Children’s Theatre, Theatre-in-Education and Drama-in-Education, and gives the reader an overview of how Theatre for Young Audiences in the UK became one of Britain’s top cultural exports with shows like ‘Matilda – the Musical’ touring globally.
For the book, Vicky and Paul polled those working in this field for their suggestions for the best plays from the past 50 years. They’ve now compiled this featuring one key play from 1965 to 2015. And what an amazing list!
The ambitious month-long Yorkshire Silent Film Festival kicks off on 1 July, with film screenings across the Yorkshire area.
As well a plethora of sensational women on screen including Colleen Moore, Louise Brooks and Brigitte Helm, the Festival also features two films by director Lois Weber, one of the many amazing women working behind the scenes celebrated in our recent book Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema.
Ellen Cheshire one of the contributors to this book will be giving a short talk before the screening of Lois Weber’s Shoes (1916) on 19 July at the Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds, and you can also catch Weber’s 1921 The Blot at the Showroom in Sheffield on 9 July.
We’ll be selling copies of the book there for £12 (cash only) or you can order a copy online now.
3-29 August 2016 – Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Cvenues.
Truant Company are taking Billy Cowan’s play Care Takers to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year. We’ve published the playtext, buy a copy here.
Ms Lawson, a new teacher at Newall South High School, believes Jamie Harrow is being bullied because he’s gay. She wants to help but Mrs Rutter, the Deputy Head, thinks it will sort itself out. Is Mrs Rutter speaking from experience or is there something more unsavoury about her uncaring attitude?
The play deals with homophobia in the staffroom of a secondary school, and is an excellent teachers’ training resource.
“Hits home with a punch!” Helen Jones, WhatsOnStage 5 stars. Read the full review here.
“Cowan’s play is so well argued that at no point does it feel like he has slipped into a lecture. Instead you are simply drawn into the points being made balancing one against the other and never losing attention for a moment.” David Cunningham, Manchester Theatre Awards. Read the full review here.
“The writing is full of memorable quotes… The acting was of an exceedingly high standard. Both actresses putting their all into these rolls and reaping the dividends. Powerful and real performances… Directed with great aplomb and sensitivity by the author.” Mark Dee, North West End. Read the full review here.
The 3-D Conference: Durban Dialogues Dissected
Saturday 11 June 2016
At the Playhouse, Durban
Ashwin Singh’s award-winning plays have made an indelible impact on the Durban cultural landscape over the last decade. Combining humour and pathos, his numerous works delve into myriad issues in contemporary South Africa and have moved mature, multi-cultural audiences as well as the younger generation. In recent years the playwright has acquired an international reputation as his work has been staged in India and published in the UK by Aurora Metro as Durban Dialogues, Indian Voice, Five South African Plays.
This one-day conference features readings from his plays Reoca Light and Beyond the Big Bangs.
The Durban Playhouse are also performing Singh’s popular play Spice ‘n Stuff from the 8 – 11 June 2016, published by Aurora Metro as part of Singh’s play collection Durban Dialogues, Indian Voice Five South African Plays.
Spice ‘n Stuff is a tantalising mixture of comedy and drama. It traces the last days of a group of Grey Street traders as they deal with escalating crime, failing businesses, friendships across racial and cultural denominations and entwined family relationships. The play showcases a female trader, Rita, in the central role. It is the pressures of dwindling business that preoccupies Rita but it is the fear of her secret which threatens to unravel her, as she undergoes an emotional journey of self-discovery. The actions of the street and the poignancy of the store becomes increasingly sensitising as it plays out to a dramatic finale.
Kevin Brownlow one of the contributing authors in our collection of essays celebrating women working in the silent film industry, Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema, will be talking about his incredible career in preseving and championing Silent Cinema at Worthing WOW Festival on Sunday 12 June. We’ll be there selling the book, so bring £12 (special offer price)!
Kevin Brownlow who was awarded an Honorary Oscar for his work preserving Silent Film is part of a day Celebrating Silent Cinema curated by Melody Bridges, co-editor of our book Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema.
Celebrating Silent Cinema
Sunday 12 June, The Denton Lounge, Worthing Pier
2pm to 3pm: Composing music for silent film Masterclass with Neil Brand
(Free – arrive early to guarantee a seat)
Multi-award winning Neil Brand is considered one of the finest improvising concert pianists in the world. Experienced presenter from BBC4 Sound of Cinema and Radio 4 regular, Neil will be offering his insights into how to improvise on the piano.
From 3.30pm: Kevin Brownlow Talk & The Signal Tower Film Screening
(Tickets £10, conc. £7.50)
Academy Award winner Kevin Brownlow is a documentary film-maker and expert on the silent film era. Before a screening of the 1924 film ‘The Signal Tower’, Kevin will give us an window into long career in film, and explain why this American movie has a special relationship with Worthing. The Signal Tower, directed by Clarence Brown, is a film that looks at the boundaries of friendship and marriage, as a work colleague stays over and finds himself on the road to temptation. (70mins)
Playwright and actress Ambreen Razia was interviewed on Channel 4 News about her new play The Diary of a Hounslow Girl which is published by Aurora Metro.
You can watch the interview again here.
About the play: You’ve heard of an Essex Girl or even a Chelsea Girl and now there is a Hounslow Girl, geared up and ready to take on the world. The Diary of a Hounslow Girl is told through the eyes of a 16 year old British Muslim teenager growing up in West London.
From traditional Pakistani weddings to fights on the night bus this is a funny, bold, provocative play highlighting the challenges of being brought up as a young woman from a traditional Muslim family alongside the temptations and influences growing up in London.
A comic story of dreams, aspirations and coming of age.
The Diary of a Hounslow Girl is currently on tour in the UK, find out more.