Tuesday, 8 July 2014

More funding for children's drama please

David Wood, a playwright that has written around 75 productions for children including The Tiger Who Came To Tea - one of my favourite books, spoke out recently, saying that children who took part in drama workshops were "very unlikely to be going out with knives" because they would learn teamwork and tolerance.

The Evening Standard reported that children's arts received only around 1 per cent of total funding, even though children under 13 accounted for about 15 per cent of the population. Even at the BBC, spending was only 2.5 per cent.

Don't we realise that our children deserve a far bigger piece of the action? Given how important theatre and the arts are, (both watching and participating in), as far as getting children out of the house; indeed preventing them from sitting in front of a screen, not to mention feeding imagination, confidence and self esteem.

Wood went on to say, "Sadly, education seems to be rather excluding the arts and saying they don't matter so much in the curriculum, which I think is very shortsighted." He added, "Arts and creativity are very important today."

This is backed up a few pages on, by a further article in that same newspaper, headed, 'Why creative women are keen to join the IT crowd' - pointing out how nowadays many career paths in the IT world do not require a tech background or a degree in computer science.

Wood believes that every primary child should get a chance to go to theatre free once in their lives, and the chance to learn an instrument.

I for one, totally agree with him.

To be in with a chance to win a family ticket to see the brand new Octonauts theatre show, please click here.

Do not under estimate local holiday theatre classes. More affordable than big franchises, and just as much fun, drama groups such as West Surrey based The Man in the Moon (themaninthemoon.co.uk) offer flexible days and week long fun themes, helping to keep children entertained throughout school holidays. Be sure to check out the show at the end of each week! Prices are from £20 a day (8.30am to 5.30pm). Esme joined in last year and it was brilliant, needless to say we are signed up for a week again this Summer too.

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