The importance of language structures

Recently I’ve been amusing myself by trying to understand other languages better, through the Duolingo app. Refreshing French, to conversational level; learning Spanish, and now some Dutch. I understand that if you want to learn a language fast, it’s best to concentrate on the grammar more than vocabulary. It got me thinking about the way that … Read more

Narrative arcs and Panto – “Alright you lot, shut up now and let’s get on with the story.”

I’m interested in theatre, and pantomime in particular, as storytelling in this post, and the implications of narrative as an agent of change.  In the discussions of an anthropology view of making theatre and performances,  a number of metaphors are used. Johannes Huzinga referred to ‘Homo ludens’ – the characteristic of being human is our … Read more

Managing creatives and innovation

Thinking about the way theatre companies organise, I did some reading into management theory. I was recommended to Gareth Morgan’s book, Images of Organization (Sage, 1986).  In it, he outlines a view that the way organisations think about what they do depends on metaphors, drawn from other realms: so there’s a mechanistic view: the organisation … Read more

A new website

Through an unfortunate series of events, my previous site ( managed to get deleted. This is a replacement; and will contain some of my original material. It’s also an opportunity to repurpose the site. Whereas the last one reflected its origins as a place where I reflected on my work at Rose Bruford and as a freelance … Read more

The question of reality

I’m not such a fan of ‘pretending’ any more. The style of naturalism in performance, that prevails particularly on TV is ultimately deceitful, in that it cloaks its own artifice. While it’s clever, and enjoyable in its way to lose yourself as an audience member in the piece, I often feel a little disconnected somehow, however stunning the performance.

Updated website October 2017

If you’ve visited this site before, you’ll notice a change of theme. The time has come to make some changes; the old VLE site is about to disappear, and the best bits have been placed in menus here.

Are Stage Managers Artists?

In Defense of Stage Managers; by Al Franklin – December 2012 issue of Equity News (USA) This article was reproduced on Tumblr, with the additional editorial explanation: On November 5, 2012, the Goodman and Steppenwolf Theatres along with the Central Stage Manager Committee hosted a Chicago Stage Manager Pizza Night. The event was a celebration of the … Read more

Evidence of Impact of Drama

A recent query on LinkedIn by Jen Sumner asked for examples of hard evidence of  the impact of drama programmes.  In the light of current campaigns around the EBacc and the national curriculum, this material is important. The responses were encouraging; I include a precis here as a summary resource. DICE (“Drama Improves Lisbon Key … Read more