All stories by Susan Elkin on BroadwayStars

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Sizing up the casting issues by Susan Elkin

You are not supposed in 2018 – George Orwell’s Thought Police have certainly arrived – to notice or comment on the body shapes of actors.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Engaging in books about Shakespeare, puppetry, Brecht & more by Susan Elkin

When the Arden Performance Edition of Othello arrived recently from Bloomsbury (Methuen Drama) the friend who was staying with me was incredulous. “Surely they don’t think you need a cop…

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

‘If you prick us do we not bleed?’: Critics deserve to be treated with basic courtesy too by Susan Elkin

The message of course – and, thank goodness, most companies are already well aware of it – is that if you want your show reviewed, both this one and the ones you’ll produce in the futu…

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Singing in the rain: When the British weather is all part of the fun by Susan Elkin

In the last week or so I’ve seen three outdoor shows and got soaked to the skin twice. It’s what you do in Britain – part of summer’s rich tapestry.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

10 tips on how UCAS clearing can help you study drama by Susan Elkin

Clearing is the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service system for matching spare places to students who need them in the few weeks

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Pauline Quirke Academy meets Shakespeare Schools Foundation by Susan Elkin

Shakespeare’s plays really are uniquely life changing and if this collaboration between PQA and SSF means that more young people will have access to their power then that can only be a Ver…

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Have directors gone gender-blind manic? Conventional casting still has an important role too by Susan Elkin

It all feels to me a bit manic and contrived – a sort of industrial over compensation for several centuries of doing plays according to the conventions of the social period in which they w…

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Inspired by how theatre changes lives & the companies that nurture the process by Susan Elkin

Last week I revisited two examples of theatre changing the lives of young people. Everyone in this industry – and those who directly or indirectly manage funding for such organisations …

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

‘I’ve long been puzzled about why more people aren’t making more fuss about it’: Time to ban audition fees by Susan Elkin

I’ve written about audition fees many times before and make absolutely no apology for doing so again. I shall keep relentlessly banging this drum until something changes. The post Ban a…

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

‘I’d like to see it become an integral part of people’s lives’: In praise of the Broadway Theatre, Catford by Susan Elkin

The Broadway Theatre, Catford is a fabulous building and I’d like to see it become an integral part of people’s lives as it was for me when I was a Lewisham child.

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Monday, July 9, 2018

‘This penny-pinching decision smacks of ignorance’: We need career development loans in the performing arts by Susan Elkin

Professional and Career Development Loans were a lifeline for students like these. Now that such loans have gone many of them will simply not be able to pursue the career they want – irres…

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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

It’s good to be reminded that Shakespeare really is everyone’s playwright by Susan Elkin

Brush up your Shakespeare? Well yes, Cole Porter, I had plenty of chances to do just that last week when I attended Shakespeare performances on three consecutive evenings.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Degree courses that can push you towards a theatre career by Susan Elkin

Though university degrees offer fewer contact hours than drama schools, they can provide a firm grounding in theatre for school-leavers who are

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Books have a place in this industry & we shouldn’t lose sight of that by Susan Elkin

Last week I attended the 2018 Theatre Book Prize award ceremony. From a shortlist of five titles, Nicholas Hytner won with Balancing Acts (published by Jonathan Cape) – and the ever-engagi…

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Pit bands deserve a resounding round of applause of their own by Susan Elkin

This is a blog in praise of pit bands – all those hardworking talented musicians who lurk mostly out of sight in orchestra pits or are hidden away behind a curtain somewhere upstage.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Short courses to unlock children’s creativity by Susan Elkin

Access to the arts is more vital as schools under funding pressure cut drama provision. Susan Elkin looks at the extra-curricular and

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

‘The most uplifting theatrical experience of the year – so far’: Swan Lake for 2000 children by Susan Elkin

Last week I had the most uplifting theatrical experience of the year – so far. I saw Swan Lake at Royal Opera House in the company of 2,000 primary school children.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Short acting courses to keep your career on track by Susan Elkin

Whether you’re a school leaver embarking on a theatre career or a working performer who wants to top up on stage skills,

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Thursday, June 7, 2018

It’s never too late to play music for pleasure… by Susan Elkin

I write a lot about the performing arts I watch other people engaging in. Last week, for a change, it was my turn. I went to Benslow Music in Hitchin for three days – for the sixth or …

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Braving open-air theatre: working with the weather… & alpacas by Susan Elkin

Attending the first show of 2018 made me wonder, not for the first time, why we mad Brits persist in doing outdoor theatre. This is not Verona, Seville or Avignon, after all.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

How to succeed on your path towards an operatic career by Susan Elkin

With no course currently available to fill the gap between leaving school and moving on to postgraduate training, Susan Elkin seeks out

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Do you have to be paid a fee for your review to be critically valid? by Susan Elkin

I don’t think it matters whether you’re writing for a national newspaper, your own website or a small organisation which doesn’t pay for reviews. The important thing is that you can, a…

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Sixteen and serious about a stage career? What are your training options? by Susan Elkin

Specialist theatre, drama or music education at 16-19 level doesn’t have to be pricey or far away from home – and it

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Time for a round-up of lots of new theatre books by Susan Elkin

The shelf I reserve for newly arrived theatre books is beginning to groan so it’s obviously time for a round-up. There’s a lot of Shakespeare on the pile and I was especially pleased to …

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Please read this blog twice: criticising quotas is not racism by Susan Elkin

If you have only 30 places to offer on a massively oversubscribed acting or musical theatre course then you must award them to the thirty applicants who have the potential to be industry-rea…

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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Why did Christine Quinn leave the Big Education and Arts Debate? by Susan Elkin

The thing is this: If I knew that many people in the performing arts industries are hostile towards, or despairing about (or both) what they see as the government’s dismissal of the arts i…

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

How foundation courses can help you get to drama school by Susan Elkin

Getting into a drama school is notoriously difficult, with prospective students often feeling unprepared for auditions. Susan Elkin explains how foundation courses

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

‘Refreshing to see inclusivity working so well’: Integrated signing at Newbury’s Watermill Theatre by Susan Elkin

The purpose of my visit was very specific to the Watermill Theatre. The forthcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Paul Hart, and building on the success of last year…

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Want to learn puppetry skills? Here are the UK courses to add another string to your bow by Susan Elkin

Puppets are on the up – War Horse and Pinocchio being just a couple of recent examples. So now is a better

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Stop ripping off students with audition fees by Susan Elkin

No one should have to pay for the “privilege” of applying for any sort of course. Charging audition fees is such an exploitative disgrace that I can see no reason why it shouldn’t be m…

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Susan Elkin: It’s time for children’s shows to stop spelling everything out by Susan Elkin

In presenting a dance classic to pre-schoolers, how far should it be simplified and changed to suit the audience? I’m a great

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