All stories by Susan Elkin on BroadwayStars

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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Monday, April 9, 2018

How do we really get the word out to the public about great pub theatres by Susan Elkin

How do we get the word out – really out – about fringe theatre in general and pub theatres in particular. There’s cutting-edge work going on all the time at, for example, the Finboroug…

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

‘Infuriating, offensive & bloody rude to the performers’: Don’t flash your phone – even to read the programme by Susan Elkin

It’s unusual these days to sit in the theatre for more than a few minutes without the darkness and your concentration being disturbed by someone nearby flashing a mobile phone on. It’s i…

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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Student showcases are like mini-parties, I aim to review as many as possible by Susan Elkin

I used to review large numbers of graduating student showcases for The Stage. Then last year an editorial policy decision was made at the Stage not to cover them any more. So I didn’t go t…

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

‘Living up to its wonderfully optimistic & assertive name’: Hurrah for Ramps on the Moon by Susan Elkin

So Ramps on the Moon is living up to its wonderfully optimistic name. It really is creating ramps – ways in – to fabulous, moon-like opportunities to talented people of all sorts. Bravo!…

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Performing arts: plenty to feel positive about by Susan Elkin

Rejoice with me at the sheer breadth, energy and healthy eclecticism of it all – especially if you’re feeling gloomy about the arts and their future.

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Monday, March 5, 2018

Scarlett Leigh Fawcett: 5 tips for playing an iconic role by Susan Elkin

Scarlett Leigh Fawcett recently finished playing Dorothy in Trinity Theatre’s 2017 Christmas production of The Wizard of Oz. Having entered the industry as

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Friday, March 2, 2018

If I accept an invitation to see your show then please expect me… by Susan Elkin

So it isn’t press night – because you were at another show then. You arrive at the box office and say politely: “Hello. My name’s Susan Elkin. There should be a press comp for me for…

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Katherine Vernez Gray: 5 tips for working with special needs children by Susan Elkin

Katherine Vernez Gray trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she received the gold medal in acting. She has

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Friday, February 16, 2018

‘A new way of watching performed arts’: Interview with Digital Theatre CEO Justin Cooke by Susan Elkin

Susan Elkin chats to Justin Cooke, CEO of Digital Theatre. Digital Theatre offers access to films of live theatre, ballet, opera and classical concerts to individual subscribers and educatio…

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

‘If you invite a critic then criticism is what you’ll get’: No correspondence will be entered into by Susan Elkin

I stand by everything I write in any review and will not make changes just because someone’s feelings may be a bit bruised. In fact I’m not prepared even to discuss it. We’re all grown…

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Susan Elkin: Teachers must stop expecting theatre to do their job for them by Susan Elkin

When school groups go to the theatre to watch dramatised versions of the novels on the curriculum, there is a problem: English

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Monday, February 5, 2018

‘Greed is widespread’: Want diverse audiences? Cut ticket prices by Susan Elkin

So how on earth do greedy producers justify their obscene top ticket prices? Last week we heard that the best tickets for Hamilton are now £250 each. Okay, so I know you can sit elsewhere i…

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Jamie Fletcher: 5 tips on directing, highlighting and celebrating diversity by Susan Elkin

LGBTQ+ activist Jamie Fletcher, who is transgender, is a film and theatre director and also a musician. She creates multidisciplinary queer work

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Monday, January 29, 2018

Chris Cuming: 5 tips for directing and choreographing community theatre by Susan Elkin

Chris Cuming, who teaches at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Rose Bruford College, recently choreographed the musical Yank!

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