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Lyn Gardner back to school

Gardner back to school….

“…In my day, it was just accepted that theatre was part of school life. Every summer term, each class would participate in the drama competition, putting on a play from scratch. By the time I’d left St Anne’s, I had been involved in devising, writing, directing, designing, acting in and stage-managing seven plays, with almost no adult input. I wouldn’t be doing the job I do today without that experience. Mrs Martin says, sorrowfully, that today this would be impossible. “There are too many exams, not just in the summer but throughout the year. There just wouldn’t be the time.”

So the Coloma girls end up creating performance and theatre not for the sake of it, not because they really want to, but because it can be marked and graded, in what seems to be the GCSE equivalent of Pop Idol. As I take my leave, I can’t help thinking the girls aren’t as fortunate as I was – at school in a time before endless tests and league tables, when we could spend our days spouting poetry, putting on plays and seeing as much theatre as we could afford for the sheer pleasure of it. It was great fun. Little did I know how useful it would be.”

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One Response to “Lyn Gardner back to school”

  1. Uttam Sinha on October 26th, 2008


    This is not directly pertaining to the above piece which like all of ur writings are astutely written but from the Guardian blog in which you wrote about the Red Ladder (40 years).iJust as a piece of information, a book on Red Ladder has come out I think published by VDM a German publisher and written by an Indian tspecialist heatre Swati Pal. The book is called Looked Back at Anger:
    Agit Prop Theatre in Britain. Red ladder from the 60s to the 90s.
    Do have a look.


  • About me

    I'm a playwright and investment analyst. I have a broad range of interests: food, gardening, innovation & intellectual property, sustainability, architecture & design, writing and the arts. I sit on the board of Talawa Theatre Company and advise a CIS investment trust on socially responsible investments.

  • Recent Work

    Recent plays include, for theatre: Nakamitsu, Yellow Gentlemen, Lost in Peru, Lemon Love. For radio: Places in Between (R4), Patent Breaking Life Saving (WS).

  • Nakamitsu

  • Yellow Gentlemen