What is the most effective way of teaching stage lighting within theatre studies courses?

From years of teaching stage lighting to students, a practical, “hands on” stage lighting workshop works best for the students. It is engaging and fun and they learn by doing it!  Suitable for GCSE, A level, Btech students.

The students will learn: how to turn their stage lighting ideas into reality.They will start by building up a 2.5 metre tall fully working theatre, then they will find out about the different types of lights, which lights to use where, then rig and focus them.

They will learn how a lighting plan is created, and a cue list is drawn up. Then they can start “painting with light” and take turns to operate the lighting desk as if running the lights for a real show.

Students will: explore focusing techniques, the use of shutters, barn doors, and irises, then by using a front forest gauze, they will make Macbeth witches appear with their steaming cauldron, while the forest disappears!

Gobos are used in Profile spots to create large scale projected cityscapes, trees, church windows etc, which really can transform your performing space, from the “Forest of Arden” to a grand castle, or New York all in a twinkling of an eye.

Towards the end of the workshop, the visual interest increases yet more with the introduction of simple yet effective star cloths, fire and water projections as well as some famous remote controlled West End sets magically appearing out of a smoke screen.

This workshop will inspire the teachers and the students alike and give lots of ideas to try for themselves, and they will clearly experience how the backstage theatre crafts come together to make a performance work, and be able to write about in their course work.

To find out more go to http://creativelightingdesign.co.uk/worshops

Reviews:  “In my 23 years of teaching drama I’ve yet to find a more interesting and creative way of introducing GCSE students to stage lighting.”    Head of Drama, St Michael’s School, Lancashire

Thanks it was a great big help for the students! They had a fantastic time, were very engaged and have learnt a great deal so thank you! Kind regards,

Maria King Nov Archbishop Lanfranc Academy, Croydon.

To book Call John Watson on: 01773 712130      Mobile 07966 491 543

email; johnwatsoncreativelight@outlook.com

John Watson is a member of the Association of Lighting Designers


by William Shakespeare

Power. Ambition. Murder.

Fred Theatre is on the road this February with its exciting new production of Shakespeare’s classic tale of greed, lust, and betrayal: MACBETH.

Edited down to 90 minutes and performed by a cast of six actors, it will be fast-paced, contemporary, and relevant. Ideal for students studying the play at GCSE level and above.

Now is the perfect time to look again at MACBETH. We’re living in a world trendily described as the ‘post-truth age’, where ambition appears, at least, to be driving people to extreme behaviour the like of which we’ve not seen before. How more relevant can a play be than MACBETH which examines the nature of truth and equivocation, power and ambition?

In Fred’s production the witches are centre stage, controlling the action through stealthy manipulation of characters, media, and audience.


1. In a theatre, near you

We have public performances coming up in London (12 February), Birmingham (14-15 February), Warwick (17-18 February) and Stratford-upon-Avon (6-7 February).

Full details of these, including booking information, can be found at www.fred-theatre.co.uk/whats-on

2. In your school

In addition, Fred can bring MACBETH to your school. All we need is a playing space of at least 4×4 metres and room for the audience.

The 90 minute production is competitively priced, and comes with the option of an additional workshop with members of the cast and creative team exploring themes in the play and our production. Dates are available for in-school performances throughout February.

To discuss your requirements, please contact our artistic director, Robert Ball on 07974 210265 or email: admin@fred-theatre.co.uk

Mathematics Summer School 2017 Booking Now Open

On this five-day Maths Summer School students will be introduced to undergraduate topics in pure and applied maths, examining challenging mathematical problems using both calculus and algebra. The course content includes material that students are unlikely to encounter in detail while at school but that is frequently covered as part of first year university programs. As well as looking at maths in theory, we will also be covering key applications of mathematical tools in computing, economics, statistics and engineering.The 2017 course will include:

Linear Algebra * Hierachies and the Google algorithm * Differential Equations * Financial Markets and the Black-Scholes Model * Integration and 3D Spaces * Vector Calculus * Vectors & Matrices * Proofs and Algorithms * Sets and Infinities * Cryptography

Classes are small, typically containing twelve to fifteen students, all of whom should have a passion for mathematics, a curiosity to build on their existing knowledge and be keen to embrace and exchange new ideas. An expert Tutor will lead each session in a seminar format, but learning will be largely student-led wherever practical. Classes will focus on discussion and on problem questions and exercises, creating a comfortable environment for students to share ideas amongst their peers and to progress from their existing knowledge toward more challenging material.

The Mathematics Summer School is only suitable for students who have completed AS-Level Mathematics (or the equivalent in another qualification structure) at the time of the course. We welcome any student aged between 15-18 who meets this requirement.

This Summer School is particularly appropriate for students who may be considering further study of mathematics at undergraduate level, or who are interested in related disciplines such as physics, computing or engineering.

Practical Details:

The cost of the five-day course is £475, and will be held at the University of London in Bloomsbury (please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required). The course will be held on the 17th-21st July and repeated 7th-11th August and 21st-25th August.

There will be a limited number of bursary spaces available for those who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending – please see our website for details.

To book a place please visit http://www.debatechamber.com/summerschools/maths-summer-school/ call us on 0845 519 4827, or email info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.



What are the real everyday challenges in a primary school Post 2016 and post truth?

 Two of the biggest challenges faced by all primary schools are budgets and meeting the needs of the curriculum. Anyone working in education knows that they are not new, and that all schools work extremely hard and creatively to overcome them.

The very real and modern challenge causing difficulties within primary schools as we begin 2017 is finding the time and new ways of helping pupils to develop emotionally in order to be happy, and therefore achieve in this rapidly changing world.

Many schools inform us that on a day-to-day basis in their classrooms and playgrounds it is aspects of technology, social media, cultural and societal pressure and stress that are having the most negative effects and that are their greatest challenges.

We at Tip of the Iceberg feel it is essential to work with schools to educate children about how they relate to the wider world in a nurturing and non stressful environment, helping them to embrace their knowledge and resilience.

Children learn these key life skills through imaginative and creative play – remember saying in the playground?  “Let’s make up a game?” This helped to teach us strategies for developing relationships, understanding status and power, building independence and the ability to think and rationalise. It is reported that this type of play is happening less and the time and opportunity for fun and creative learning is decreasing too.

As the last term ended, thousands of schools were enjoying Christmas celebrations, watching a pantomime, having fun and enjoying a creative experience in their school. Is it possible to increase the benefits and justify the budget and funding by delivering even more educational benefits?

In audience research pantomimes can work on lots of different levels for all ages and abilities, which is why we believe it can also be an excellent format to cover aspects of the curriculum and PSHE topics.

“Tell me, I’ll forget. Show me, I’ll remember. Involve me, I’ll understand.”
Ancient proverb.

Over the last 10 years alongside pupils, schools and PSHE practitioners Tip of the Iceberg Theatre Company has developed its Pantomime Plays. A unique highly interactive pantomime format performance, designed for a whole school (reception to year 6) that supports the learning and hard work of teachers that goes on throughout the rest of the year.

The pupils experience all aspects of a classic pantomime, which are brilliantly involving, with recognisable characters and plots, however each individually written show has an educational twist and every scene includes a different key learning element. Topics that the plays cover include literacy, bullying and friendships, health and wellbeing, living in wider world.

The feedback from staff and pupils has been amazing and there is an extensive teaching resource pack that supports the project so that the experience can continue long after the theatre company have left.

“In twenty years at this school you are the best company we have ever worked with.  The kids love it, they talk about it for ages and they learn so much.  See you again next year.”

Camrose Primary School, Harrow.

If you would like to find out more about our unique educational experiences please take a look:



Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like any further information on the Pantomime Plays or any other of our shows and workshops.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Lisa Schulberg
(Creative Director)
e. admin@tipoftheiceberg.biz
t. 07519 593711