Category Archives: English

Poetry Workshops Key Stage 3

Jim MacCool’s Interactive Poetry and Song Shows are for year 7,8: (Scot) S1,S2: (N.I.) Y8,9.

Mr. MacCool has high expectations of students and works hard with them to give of their best. Jim is a firm believer in raising levels of expectation and outcomes.

Every year the Performance Poetry Society arranges a National Poetry and Song Tour which runs throughout the Autumn Term.

 

October is National Poetry Month.

To find out how your school can take advantage of this and join in, please telephone Sandra Dennis our Tour Co-ordinator on 
01465238080 
or email performancepoetry@yahoo.com for further details. 

Jim MacCool image

Premier Poet
JIM MacCOOL
leads the Tour

THE PERFORMANCE POETRY SOCIETY
Working In Schools, Universities, Colleges,
Arts Centres, Libraries And Prisons

http://octoberisnationalpoetrymonth.co.uk

The Performance Poetry Society is the longest-serving provider of quality Poetry Services to Schools.

Performance Poetry Society
15 Warwick Road
Stratford-Upon-Avon
Warwickshire
CV37 6YW

Tel 01465 238080

performancepoetry@yahoo.com

October is National Poetry Month
We operate throughout the year.

http://octoberisnationalpoetrymonth.co.uk

 

Six imaginative in-school productions from Fred Theatre designed to give your students the advantage of live performance

I wrote to schools recently about our plans for 2019-20, and I’m happy to report the response I had back has been just great. You seem to be as excited about our innovations as we are.

Here at Fred Theatre we’ve been taking live performance into schools for three years, and we’re very thrilled about developments for next year. Coming up are the following productions:

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

JEKYLL AND HYDE

MACBETH

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

ROMEO AND JULIET

We’re extending the time we spend with you to two hours.

The longer sessions allow us to include an interactive element alongside the performance. During this time there will be a discussion of the text’s themes, characters, how we approached the production, and choices made in rehearsal. There will also be a chance for you and your students to ask questions.

Every student receives a printed programme.

Along with cast and crew details, programmes will include notes on the production and text, as well as supporting material for students to use in the interactive post-show session. Students will be able to keep these for use in class and as a valuable revision aid.

We’re introducing pre-visit information sheets.

We will provide you with copies of information sheets, for distribution to students ahead of our being with you. These will provide valuable information about the text and production and we’re sure your students will want to keep them with their class notes to use in revision. These sheets will help build a sense of anticipation ahead of the performance, encouraging students to value our visit to your school, and make the most of their opportunity to learn from it.

We stay true to the text.

Teachers tell us they really appreciate our commitment to the text and producing a faithful rendition of the original, just a little shorter! And, all we need to perform at your school is a space approximately 5m x 5m with room (of course) for the audience. We may be low on tech, but we pride ourselves on being high on quality of performance.

We employ six professional actors for each production.

Six professional actors perform our GCSE text-based productions; we feel fewer than six compromises quality. All Fred Theatre staff attending your school are DBS checked, trained in child safeguarding and experienced in the idiosyncrasies of in-school performance and workshop delivery.

To find our more.

Visit our web site: www.fred-theatre.co.uk/schools

Booking is now open.

We’re open throughout the summer, but right now is the best time to talk to us about bringing our popular productions to your school. Booking is open, and dates are being reserved for schools across the country. To ensure you have the pick of dates available, please contact us soon.

To discuss any aspect of a visit from Fred Theatre to your school, please feel free to contact me or Helen Warrilow, our tour administrator. You can call us on 01789 777612 or email:

Helen: helen@fred-theatre.co.uk

We look forward to speaking with you soon, and bringing amazing live performance to your school next year.

Robert Ball
Artistic Director
Fred Theatre

PS: We realise budgets are tight, so we work constantly to keep costs low. We reckon we’re hard to beat in terms of value for money.

What is the one thing that encourages students to read, more than any other?

Ghost stories, tales of the supernatural, and ultimately what we might call spooky stories, can all be exciting and interesting to many secondary school readers.

But, of course, not every young student enjoys such work – and none of us wishes to give a little bit of a fright to students who have no desire to receive even a little jolt.

Which is why no one would ever suggest that such works – even when they are classics – should be made compulsory reading for every secondary school student.

However, they are part of our heritage, and there have, over the years, been many students who have started the journey into reading fiction as a regular activity through the works of authors such as Edgar Allen Poe, HP Lovecraft or indeed Sheridan Le Fanu.

Which is why we have put together a collection of some 30 books from the English gothic tradition, all written by literary masters, from Edith Wharton to Wilkie Collins.

Our works include reprints of these classics from as little as £2.25 each, (after deducting our 25% school discount), with no delivery charge and no minimum order.

If you would like to see our full list of classic ghost stories, weird tales, and intriguing, outlandish mysteries please click here.

Some schools take these volumes and put them in the school library, while others have copies under the direct control of the English teaching staff, so that young students can be advised as to what they will be reading, before they borrow any such book.

But of one thing there can be no doubt.  Tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands, perhaps even more) of young people have found their way to becoming regular readers through discovering these classics.

In case you have not come across Wordsworth Editions before we are able to supply a free copy of one of our titles upon request.  Please write to us, without any obligation, at education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.

Alternatively to see what’s new in our list of classic books at the lowest possible prices please click here.  If you have any enquiries, please email us at education@wordsworth-editions.com.

Beyond the curriculum there are key texts that all schools should possess. But…

But the trouble is, of course, cost.

Yes, you might well agree that it would be a good idea to have a copy of the Tao Te Ching in the library, along with Plato’s Republic, The Wealth of Nations, Thus Spake Zarathustra, and The Holy Qur’an in the library, simply because some of your sixth form students might want to find out what such books, of which they have heard much, actually look like.

The trouble is the list doesn’t stop with those four titles. One could add The Rights of Man, The Divine Comedy, Hobbs’ Leviathan, or More’s Utopia. And indeed, this list could go on and on.

There are probably around 50 such absolute classic texts which the occasional sixth form student might want to have a look at, if for no other reason than just to see what all the fuss is about.

But given the fact that these books are by and large fairly thick volumes the cost could be…

Well, actually not nearly as much as you might imagine, because Wordsworth Editions have published a list of some 50 classic titles from across the world at just £2.99 each after deduction of our 25% educational discount with free delivery.

We have set out our list of some of the most influential books ever written, encompassing politics, economics, psychology, religion and much more on the “World Literature” page of our online catalogue.

And in case you are wondering about the quality of the books provided at such reasonable prices, we still have open the free sample of one of our classics offer – which includes not only no charge for the book but also no packing, postage or delivery charges either.  Just email education@wordsworth-editions.com or you can go straight to the website for full details of how to order.

I do hope you will find something of interest for yourself and your school on our website, but if not, please do get in touch.  Here are all details…

 

Six imaginative productions from Fred Theatre, all designed to give your students a real advantage

Here at Fred Theatre we’re committed to bringing texts to life for students across the country. We’ve been working on this now for three years, and we’re very excited about developments for 2019-20.

Coming up are the following productions:

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

JEKYLL AND HYDE

MACBETH

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

ROMEO AND JULIET

We’re extending the time we spend with you to two hours.

The longer sessions allow us to include an interactive element alongside the performance. During this time there will be a discussion of the text’s themes, characters, how we approached the production, and choices made in rehearsal. There will also be a chance for you and your students to ask questions.

Every student receives a printed programme.

Along with cast and crew details, programmes will include notes on the production and text, as well as supporting material for students to use in the interactive post-show session. Students will be able to keep these for use in class and as a valuable revision aid.

We’re introducing pre-visit information sheets.

We will provide you with copies of information sheets, for distribution to students ahead of our being with you. These will provide valuable information about the text and production and we’re sure your students will want to keep them with their class notes to use in revision. These sheets will help build a sense of anticipation ahead of the performance, encouraging students to value our visit to your school, and make the most of their opportunity to learn from it.

We stay true to the text.

Teachers tell us they really appreciate our commitment to the text and producing a faithful rendition of the original, just a little shorter! And, all we need to perform at your school is a space approximately 5m x 5m with room (of course) for the audience. We may be low on tech, but we pride ourselves on being high on quality of performance.

We employ six professional actors for each production. 

Six professional actors perform our GCSE text-based productions; we feel fewer than six compromises quality. All Fred Theatre staff attending your school are DBS checked, trained in child safeguarding and experienced in the idiosyncrasies of in-school performance and workshop delivery.

Booking is now open.

Right now is the best time to talk to us about bringing our popular productions to your school. Booking is open, and dates are being reserved for schools across the country. To ensure you have the pick of dates available, please contact us soon.

To discuss any aspect of a visit from Fred Theatre to your school, please feel free to contact me or Helen Warrilow, our tour administrator. You can call us on 01789 777612 or email:

Helen: helen@fred-theatre.co.uk

Robert: ad@fred-theatre.co.uk

We look forward to speaking with you soon, and bringing amazing live performance to your school next year.

There’s more information about our work with schools on our web site: www.fred-theatre.co.uk/schools

Imagine 70 classic works of English Literature.

Then imagine quality editions at £2.50 each. Then imagine a 25% discount.

Of course you might be reserved about such an offer because your notion of classic works might not be the same as ours.

So just in case you are concerned, we have set out our list of classic works from Vanity Fair to Emma, from The Time Machine to the poems of William Blake, from – well you can imagine the rest.  The list is rather comprehensive on our website, and we hope that will reassure you.

But then again you might wonder about the quality of the books provided at such reasonable prices, which is why we are always happy to send you a free sample.

And here I’d assure you that free really does mean free.  Not £0 plus £4.95 postage.  No, it is free.  Just email education@wordsworth-editions.com

Or maybe you might feel that the books you require are not exactly classics – in which case just go to our home page and select the type of books you want to explore.

Now at this point I am hopeful that the options above will answer all your thoughts about how there can be, in the UK today, a publisher who can offer books which are said to be of the highest quality at such low prices.

But just in case not, here’s something else.

This year we introduced a new series of books that make wonderful prizes and rewards to be handed out on speech day and other special occasions.

These volumes are hardbacks, cloth-bound, with matching coloured end papers, embossed gold and colour blocking to enhance their beautiful, bespoke cover illustrations.  And best of all they are just £6.99.  The list of these titles is here.

I do hope you will find something of interest for you and your school on our website, but if not please do get in touch.  Here are all details…

Fred Theatre’s amazing line up of in-school performances for 2019-20 is announced, and booking is open

Six marvellous productions – a more inter-active experience – greater learner support

Here at Fred Theatre H.Q. we are very excited about our plans for the upcoming school year. We are bringing back popular productions from this year, adding to them, and making a few changes to what we offer. Altogether, these will give you and your students a more exciting and valuable experience.

We have six amazing productions, for all of which you may reserve dates from today.

Designed with the needs of your GCSE students in mind we have…

A CHRISTMAS CAROL
(available from 14 October to 20 December)

MACBETH
(available from 20 January to 07 February and 24 February to 08 May)

JEKYLL AND HYDE
(available from 24 February to 08 May)

ROMEO AND JULIET
(available from 03 to 14 February and 02 March to 08 May)

New for next year: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
(available from 02 March to 08 May)

And for your younger students…

FRED’S SHAKESPEAREANCE
(available now and throughout the coming year)
Our fun-packed three hour introduction to Shakespeare, his life and works, designed for students who are about to embark on studying the Bard

Six professional actors perform our GCSE text-based productions; we feel a smaller cast compromises quality. All Fred Theatre staff attending your school are DBS checked, trained in child safeguarding and experienced in the idiosyncrasies of in-school performances.

Teachers appreciate our commitment to the text and producing a faithful rendition of the original, just a little shorter! And, all we need to perform at your school is a space approximately 5m x 5m with room (of course) for the audience.

From October, we’re extending our time with you and your students to two hours. This enables us to include an interactive element between the cast and audience as part of the session. During this time there will be a discussion of the play’s themes, characters, how we approached the production, and choices made in rehearsal. There will also be a chance for you and your students to ask questions.

We are equally happy to run this as a continuous two hour session, or include a short break following the performance, whatever you feel will work best for you and your students.

Every student receives a programme that, along with cast and crew details, includes notes on the production and text, as well as support material for them to use in the interactive post-show session. Students will be able to keep these for use in class and as a valuable revision aid.

Also, from October, we will provide you with copies of information sheets, for distribution to students ahead of our being with you. These will provide valuable information about the text and production and we’re sure your students will want to keep them with their class notes to use in revision. These sheets will help build a sense of anticipation ahead of the performance, encouraging students to value our visit to your school, and make the most of their opportunity to learn from it.

As in previous years, we are happy to provide additional workshops if this is of interest to you. These are devised through discussion with you, and delivered by a member of our skilled education team. We can also arrange visits from our directors and artistic director.

To discuss any aspect of a visit from Fred Theatre to your school, please feel free to contact me or a member of our tour administration team. You can call us on 01789 777612 or email:

Helen: helen@fred-theatre.co.uk

Sarah: sarah@fred-theatre.co.uk

We look forward to speaking with you soon, and bringing amazing live performance to your school.

Robert Ball
Artistic Director

ad@fred-theatre.co.uk

PS: We appreciate how tight budgets are, so we’ve been working hard to keep our costs low and add as much value as possible to our offer. We reckon we’re hard to beat!

Want to get your students excited and ready to study the Bard?

I’m very pleased to announce Fred Theatre’s Shakespeareance. A dynamic, fun-packed, creative and interactive session, ideal for students about to embark on studying Shakespeare.

In common with teachers everywhere, I’m always on the lookout for new ideas to help Shakespeare and his works come alive for the next generation. Our new production, I reckon, does just that. It’s a fast-paced session that introduces Mr Shakespeare, his plays, and has students interact with the cast as well as create their own work.

“It was fantastic! So professional and carefully engineered to give

the students what they need.”

Parmiter’s School on Macbeth (2018)

Our team of three professional actors kick off each session with lots of fun, and occasionally (slightly) gruesome, facts about Shakespeare’s life and times.

Accompanied by music and song, we progress through extracts from a few plays, carefully providing just enough context for the students to appreciate what’s going on. The extracts pop up throughout the session and are lively, colourful and engaging.

We then move on to encourage creativity in our audience by getting students to think about what story they might tell based on either Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, The Tempest, or A Midsummer Night’s Dream. You chose!

All this is packed into a fantastic two and a half hour session (with time for a short comfort break). And, at a cost of just £525+vat we believe it’s hard to beat for value. Performances are available throughout May and June, and can be booked by contacting Helen, our tour administrator (details below).

There’s also still time to book any one of our four great in-school shows for the current academic year. Our 90- or 60-minute adaptations are fresh and exciting re-tellings of the familiar and much-loved stories. Each is performed by a cast of six professional actors and designed to give GCSE students the advantage of experiencing live theatre. Ideal as either an introduction to the text, or a timely revision tool, we concentrate on the text and producing a faithful representation of the original—just a little shorter! The four productions are:

ROMEO AND JULIET           MACBETH

A CHRISTMAS CAROL           JEKYLL AND HYDE

To discuss your requirements, and how we can help your students through one or more of our performances, either:

e-mail Helen in our office: helen@fred-theatre.co.uk

or visit our web site for more information and to sign-up for our regular schools’ newsletter: www.fred-theatre.co.uk/schools

Alternatively, you can call me or Helen for a chat about any aspect of Fred Theatre playing at your school on 01789 777612.

All we need to perform at your school is a space approximately 5m x 5m with room (of course) for the audience.

Get in touch today and let’s bring some great live theatre to your school soon.

Best wishes

Robert Ball
Artistic Director
Fred Theatre

PS: We have exciting plans for five productions in 2019-20 and I’ll be writing to you next month about these.

English Literature Summer School 2019 Booking Now Open

A wonderful opportunity for students aged 15-18 with a passion for literature to discover a range of new authors and texts, explore fresh approaches to familiar works and to prepare for undergraduate study of English Literature.

“I absolutely adored the summer school – it was completely inspiring and I enjoyed every second of it! I would have done the week over and over! I would recommend to anyone interested in literature, no matter whether experienced or not because you will, without a doubt, come away from the course with a passion for literature that will never leave you!”

The English Literature Summer School – Part 1 will cover literature dating from 650AD to 1790AD, including Middle English, Medieval Literature, Chaucer, The Renaissance, Shakespeare, Restoration Literature and the Rise of the Novel. In addition we will also be covering Historicist and Feminist critical approaches as part of this Summer School.

The English Summer School – Part 1 will be held on the 29th July – 2nd August – you can see a schedule for the course here.

The English Literature Summer School – Part 2 will cover literature dating from 1790AD to the present day, including Romanticism and the Gothic Movement, Victorian Sensation Novels, Literature and the British Empire, Modernism, Postmoderism and Contemporary Literature. We will be covering the ‘Death of the Author’ and Postcolonial criticism as part of this Summer School.

The English Summer School – Part 2 will be held on the 5th – 9th August – you can see a schedule for the course here.

Please note that students can attend both Parts of the Summer School, or either one, depending on their literary interests. Although the courses complement one another, they can also be treated as stand alone events and there is no requirement to have attended Part 1 in order to register for Part 2.

The material will be challenging, about the level of difficulty one might expect in the first year at university, but a relaxed atmosphere, with plenty of discussion, debate, and opportunities for students to shape the direction of classes creates the perfect environment for getting to grips with new ideas. Working in small groups (usually around 12 students per class) over five days means a real chance to get to know tutors and fellow students and to explore the topics or questions that particularly interest each individual.

This Summer School is suitable for all students aged 15-18 with a love for literature!

“The Summer School was really fantastic. I had the chance to explore Old English which I was interested in, but had not fully explored. I now have so many ideas and further reading lists to look at especially for my personal statement which is very helpful indeed. The tutors are all experts in their fields and create an engaging, challenging environment. Highly recommend.”

“This was the second time I had done a Debate Chamber course, and it was just as good as the first. I really love the sequential nature of the English course, especially as it helps so much in placing texts in their historical and inter textual contexts. I particularly enjoyed the Measure for Measure session because we were able to all explore many of the problems and themes in the play in a very liberating and intense way. I loved the debates that were generated. I also really enjoyed the Anglo-Saxon session because it was an introduction to something I had never covered before, and which also introduced me to some excellent early feminist writers (Margery Kempe!). Every day I came home absolutely buzzing and it really helped cement my desire to take English Literature at university. Thank you so much to all the tutors and the rest of my group for making this week a brilliant and memorable experience.”

Read more reviews from previous English Literature Summer School students here.

Practical Details:

All the Summer School events will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and will take place in July and August 2019. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

You can find full details of schedules, dates, costs, student reviews and tutors at https://debatechamber.com/project/english-literature-summer-school/Please note that there is a limited amount of bursary funding available for students who would otherwise have financial difficulty in attending.

To book a place please visit http://www.debatechamber.com/, call us on 0800 810 1058, or email info@debatechamber.com. Places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Let’s make Shakespeare come alive for the next generation

Responding to a number of enquiries, I’ve been busy working on a new interactive production for younger students who are about to embark on their Shakespeare studies. Working title: Introducing… Mr William Shakespeare

The concept is straightforward – make Shakespeare come alive through an exciting, fun session that imparts knowledge and encourages creativity. I’m planning a production that fills up a half day, has actors playing out short scenes, is full of fun facts and has students thinking and working creatively with each other. In other words, a session that leaves students enthused about the bard and prepared to study his works.

I’d love to talk to you about this, and how bringing the production to your school might help your students get ahead of the game when it comes to working on their Shakespeare texts.

The fist draft of the content is currently with colleagues at a couple of local schools for their feedback. We will be finalising this soon and then touring the production during the summer term.

In the meantime, there’s still time to book our touring productions designed with the needs of GCSE students in mind. These are…

JEKYLL AND HYDE     A CHRISTMAS CAROL 

MACBETH     ROMEO AND JULIET

Feel free to call me on 01789 777612 or email: ad@fred-theatre.co.uk to discuss any aspect of Fred Theatre playing at your school.

Robert Ball
Artistic Director
Fred Theatre

PS: For more information, please visit our web site: www.fred-theatre.co.uk/schools

Why reading poetry on-line is not reading poetry

If we consider the works of the great poets of the language – Blake, Burns, Byron, Chaucer, Keats, Shelly, Tennyson, Wordsworth, Shakespeare etc etc – all of it is available to read on-line.

But in a sense it is also not available on-line.   By which I mean it is there, but not in a way that the student can use.

Of course, one can find a particular poem and read it on the screen.  One can also print the poem out – but interestingly very few students do this.  What they do is read on-line, and then, if asked to write a commentary or critique, they cut and paste.

None of this activity takes them anywhere near the words as the poet intended. The overall impact of the poem as a unified whole is lost, and the value of the work in our culture is reduced to the same level as the distracting Facebook message that pops up in the corner of the screen while the student is reading on-line.

There is in fact every reason to encourage students to read poetry in book form.  And of course, not just the poetry that is part of the syllabus but other poems written by those whose work is being studied.

Which is why printed editions of the works of poets are still very much required if the student is to get a serious understanding of what the poet was saying.

And thankfully the printed editions are not only still available, they are available at very modest prices, so every school can have new editions of the collected works of the greatest poets throughout the history of English literature.

Not just those poets listed above, but also Kipling, Owen, Wilde, Whitman, Yeats and many more.

Our works include reprints of the classics from as little as £2.99 each, after deduction of our 25% school discount, with no delivery charge and no minimum order.

If you would like to see our full list of poetry collections please take a look at this page from our website.

Ordering our books couldn’t be easier, as they are supplied for us by Bookpoint Ltd, where nearly all schools will have existing accounts. You can find full details on our website.

And we also have our offer of a free book just in case you have not come across Wordsworth Editions before.  To receive a free sample of one of our classics without any obligation please do email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.

Can you help Fred Theatre make Shakespeare live in 2019?

Everyone at Fred Theatre hopes you had a great break over the festive period and that 2019 will be a successful new year for you and your students.

We want to reach as many students as possible this year with our great in-school performances of:

ROMEO AND JULIET   and   MACBETH

Both of our 90-minute Shakespeare adaptations are available for in-school performances through till mid-April, as are our productions of:

A CHRISTMAS CAROL   and   JEKYLL AND HYDE

 The diary has been filling up, but there is still space for your booking. To discuss your requirements, and how we can help your students through one or more of our performances, either:

e-mail Helen in our office: helen@fred-theatre.co.uk

or visit our web site for more information: www.fred-theatre.co.uk/schools

Alternatively, you can call me for a chat about any aspect of Fred Theatre playing at your school on 01789 777612.

Robert Ball
Artistic Director

Fred Theatre

PS: We’re starting to think about 2019-20 and we’d love to hear your ideas for additional productions we can add to our repertoire. Email your ideas to Helen today.

Fred Theatre’s no-fuss Shakespeare shows are back on the road

The cast of our current schools’ tour is returning to the rehearsal room to prepare this year’s Shakespeare productions: Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. These will both take to the road early in 2019, giving students the tangible advantage of live performance.

Each of our 90-minute adaptations is designed to be a great introduction to the text, or a useful revision tool. Watching one of the productions really helps your students understand the narrative arc of the text, and they will hear those all-important quotes in context. They see and hear the text rather than just reading it, and, of course, there’s the simple joy of live theatre.

Last year, praise for Macbeth included lovely comments such as this from Parmiter’s School:

“It was fantastic! So professional and carefully engineered to give the students what they need. The actors were really impressive—they held the audience for the entire performance.”

Although our diary is filling up, there’s still time to book an in-school performance from Fred Theatre for the current academic year. We are touring with four exciting productions:

Jekyll and Hyde     A Christmas Carol 

Macbeth     Romeo and Juliet

Please note, Jekyll and Hyde is a 60-minute adaptation.

We are very cost-effective. Booking a performance from Fred Theatre is a whole lot cheaper than paying for theatre tickets + travel costs + the time of staff and helpers.

All four productions are fresh and exciting re-tellings of the familiar and much-loved stories, and feature a cast of six professional actors. We concentrate on the original text and producing a faithful representation of the original, just a little shorter.

All we need to perform at your school is a space approximately 5m x 5m with room (of course) for the audience.

And we don’t leave our involvement with just the performance. We send out regular newsletters for students that build up to the performance with lots of great information on the show. We give students feedback cards which can be used as a valuable tool in the classroom after the show. And, we also arrange workshops if that’s of interest, as well as Q and As with the cast post-performance.

You can call me to discuss any aspect of Fred Theatre playing at your school on 01789 777612. Alternatively, email Helen in our office: helen@fred-theatre.co.uk. We’ll have a chat about how we can help, collect a few details from you and respond with more information.

 For more information, please visit our web site: www.fred-theatre.co.uk/schools

Our 2018-19 tour is on the road with great reviews

The first two productions on our current menu hit the road last week, and we asked students what they thought of them.

Meghan, a year 11 student in Evesham, says of A Christmas Carol what she’ll remember most is: “Everything!!! It was incredible. The comedy was impressive. Would love to see it again.”

Harrison, a year 11 student in Birmingham, says of Jekyll and Hyde what he’ll remember most is: “The portrayal of the characters and the accuracy of the performance in relation to the book.”

Staff have been posting great feedback on Twitter too. One teacher Tweeted about Jekyll and Hyde: “It was wonderful! Great learning experience for our boys who thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward to your Macbeth performance already :)”

There’s still time to book an in-school performance from Fred Theatre for the current academic year. We are touring with four exciting productions:

Jekyll and Hyde     A Christmas Carol 

Macbeth     Romeo and Juliet

Each of our 90-minute adaptations is designed to be a great introduction to the text, or a useful revision tool. Watching one of the productions really helps your students understand the narrative arc of the text, and they will hear those all-important quotes in context. They see and hear the text rather than just reading it, and, of course, there’s the simple joy of live theatre.

Jekyll and Hyde is a 60-minute adaptation.

All of this at a very cost-effective price too! Booking a performance from Fred Theatre is a whole heap cheaper than paying for theatre tickets + travel costs + the time of staff and helpers.

All four productions are fresh and exciting re-tellings of the familiar and much-loved stories, and feature a cast of six professional actors. We concentrate on the text and producing a faithful representation of the original… just a little shorter!

All we need to perform at your school is a space approximately 5m x 5m with room (of course) for the audience.

And we don’t leave our involvement with just the performance. We send out regular newsletters for students that build up to the performance with lots of great information on the show. We give students feedback cards which can be used as a valuable tool in the classroom after the show. And, we can also arrange workshops if that’s of interest.

You can call me to discuss any aspect of Fred Theatre playing at your school on 01789 777612. Alternatively, email Helen in our office: helen@fred-theatre.co.uk. We’ll have a chat about how we can help, collect a few details from you and respond with more information.

Robert Ball
Artistic Director
Fred Theatre

PS: We are more than happy to engage with the audience via a QandA session after the performance, if that would be helpful.

Rise like lions after slumber

There comes to some students a moment when they suddenly realise that tucked away within the poetry they are invited to read there is something so radical, so exciting, so different, that it seems to turn the whole world upside down.

Then, at that moment, they want to read more.

It might happen when a student suddenly comes across “the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom” and interprets Blake in her or his own way.

Or they might find an inspiration in Keats with “The sculptured dead on each side.”

And while one might not want to start a student revolution in school, there are lines from past centuries which can still stir many an active young mind.  Who knows what some might do with the thought:

‘Rise like lions after slumber

In unvanquishable number;

Shake your chains to earth like dew

Which in sleep had fallen on you.

Ye are many, they are few.’

Scouring poetry in order to find individual lines that mean something to the student is, of course, not the same as properly studying the poetry but it can be a way into the subject.  In such a situation all that is needed is for the student to have access to the poetic works themselves.

But that raises the question, can we really afford to have copies of all the key works of the major poets available for any student who suddenly wants to know more?

And the answer is yes, when the cost of editions is very modest.

If you would like to see our list of poetry collections each at under £4, this page from our website gives the full details.

There will be no unexpected surprises, I can assure you – at least not until the students open one of the books and start developing their own unique interest in the greatest poetry in the English language.

Also available on the site is an order form showing all the books (poetry and otherwise) that we have available.

And, of course, besides the poetry we have reprints of the classics from as little as £1.88 each (with no delivery charge and no minimum order) covering authors from Conan Doyle to Oscar Wilde, Jules Verne to James Joyce.

For a selection of the 50 texts most regularly bought by schools, taken from our full range of 400 titles, please do click here.

I do hope you will have a moment to look at what is on offer and try some of our titles.

How the idea of secret codes hidden within the texts can stimulate student interest in Shakespearean comedies

The notion that the world is not as we see it, is as old as humankind.  Carvings, markings, pictures, commentaries – these can all be seen as relating to deeper hidden meanings, and for most teenagers this is indeed a fascinating notion.

Indeed the concept that there is more to the world than can be seen, fascinates many teenagers – quite possibly the majority of teenagers.

Whether they have been told of hidden meanings within Renaissance paintings, of have watched the Da Vinci Code or any of its multiple spin offs, the fact that the world is not what it seems is a notion that appeals to many teenagers at a fundamental level.

So when they find that Shakespeare seriously may also have worked with arcane knowledge, and when they hear that some of the mysteries and anomalies in his works can be explained through references to alchemy, Renaissance magic, Celtic mysticism, the Cabala and so on, their interest in Shakespeare and his works, peaks.

Of course this is not to say that the students see the whole of Shakespeare as an elaborate code.  But it does mean that when students find that some of the more difficult to understand texts and settings can be explained in different ways, their appreciation of the works can be enhanced..

In this regard “Secret Meanings in Shakespeare” is an excellent source book for any teacher looking to find additional explanations for some of Shakespeare’s more convoluted theatrical moments.

Indeed the incorporation of just a few of the “Secret meanings” into the students’ study of Shakespeare can also give them a sense of holding knowledge that others do not have.

From there on all they need is to practice the introductory phrases such as “It has also been argued that…” and they can show examiners that they not only know the play but also can appreciate that in all things Shakespearean different explanations are possible.

“Secret Meanings in Shakespeare” examines the Shakespearean comedies from the point of view of materials and ideas to which he was most likely to have had access.  The exploration of the plays then helps enlighten the students and their understanding and gives them a sense of holding their own inside knowledge.

The book is available both as a paperback for £29.99 and as an ebook for £9.99.

To order a paperback or Kindle copy please click here.

To Order as an ebook please click here for apple devices.

For more information please email jonathan@m-ybooks.co.uk or call 01992 586279

What is the best way to use the interest in Vanity Fair generated by the current TV series?

Vanity Fair is set in a society that might look very different to ours, with wigs, corsets and carriages, but it was still about navigating a world with defined rules. Those rules still exist, just without the corsets.”

So said “etiquette expert” William Hanson.

And the chances are that quite a few more students this year will have a greater (although perhaps still partial) understanding of Vanity Fair than was the case a year ago, because of the seven part serialisation of the book on ITV on Sunday nights.

All that is needed as a follow up to the series is a chance to read the book.  Especially as the students come to realise that, although Becky knows she has nothing that her society recognises, hidden within herself she has so much more.

Thus she uses what society cannot understand. Is that not exactly how quite a few teenagers come to feel?

Yet there is a problem for, of course, Vanity Fair is a large book, and the chances are that many students who start it will not finish it.

That might be both frustrating and annoying if one has paid a sizeable sum to have copies of the book available for those in your GCSE or A level class who want to see what the book looks like, having seen the TV series.

But there is a way around this since a full edition of Vanity Fair is available for just £2.50 with a 25% discount and free post and packing.   Which could make it worth ordering up a few copies.  Even if students are only reading part of the book.  

Vanity Fair is just one of over 400 titles in print, covering over 200 works of classic literature and many children’s books that are offered to schools at this very low price.

To get an overview of the sort of titles we can offer please do visit our website. Or if you would like to see a list of over 70 of the most popular titles which are available direct to schools, most at the special price of £1.88, that is available here.

And when you are ready to order we have a page with all the details available here.

Imagine the classic works of English literature from just £1.88 each with free delivery, and no minimum order!

And to add just a bonus to that headline: imagine that you can have a free sample before you order, just to assure you that this too good to be true offer is both good and true.

The works in question range from Jane Austen to the Brontës, from Dickens to Conan Doyle, from DH Lawrence to William Shakespeare.

In all Wordsworth Editions has 400 titles in print, covering over 200 works of classic literature, many of these children’s books.

And not only does each volume naturally have the full text, but with nearly all of the classics there is also a set of exclusive introductions and notes to help pupils and students with their studies.

Plus as a further bonus we are also adding new titles to our range regularly.

The normal price of the key texts is £2.50 which is reduced by 25% and free post and packing when you order direct from us.

To get an overview of the sort of titles we can offer please do visit our website. However if you would like to see a list of over 70 of the most popular titles which are available direct to schools, most at the special price of £1.88, that is available here.

Then if you want to see the full list of our titles in print along with a ready to use order form, should you need it, then we have a page with those details as well.

And as I mentioned before there is the offer of a free book.  Just in case the notion of books at £1.88 each with free delivery seems just too good to be true.

So, if you would like a free sample, please do email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address and we’ll put it in the post to you, with our compliments.

Let’s talk about how live performance at your school can give your students an advantage

Over the coming academic year, Fred Theatre is touring four exciting productions into schools:

Jekyll and Hyde     A Christmas Carol

Macbeth     Romeo and Juliet

Each of our 90-minute adaptations is designed to be a great introduction to the text, or a useful revision tool. Watching one of the productions really helps your students understand the narrative arc of the text, and they will hear those all-important quotes in context. They see and hear the text rather than just reading it, and, of course, there’s the simple joy of live theatre.

All of this at a very cost-effective price too! Booking a performance from Fred Theatre is a whole heap cheaper than paying for theatre tickets + travel costs + the time of staff and helpers.

All four productions are fresh and exciting re-tellings of the familiar and much-loved stories, and features a cast of six professional actors. We concentrate on the text and producing a faithful representation of the original… just a little shorter!

All we need to perform at your school is a space approximately 5m x 5m with room (of course) for the audience.

Last year we took two productions to over 40 schools and almost 7,000 students. This year I want to reach 100 schools and I’m more than happy to work with you on how we can bring live theatre to your school.

And we don’t leave our involvement with just the performance. We send out regular newsletters for students that build up to the performance with lots of great information on the show. We give students feedback cards which can be used as a valuable tool in the classroom after the show. And, we can also arrange workshops if that’s of interest.

You can call me to discuss any aspect of Fred Theatre playing at your school on 01789 777612 or 07974 210265. Alternatively, email Helen in our office: helen@fred-theatre.co.uk. We’ll have a chat about how we can help, collect a few details from you and respond with more information.

Robert Ball

Artistic Director
Fred Theatre

PS: The feedback we received last year from both students and teachers was great, and we’re more than happy to share this with you. You can read some now on our web site: www.fred-theatre.co.uk/schools

What is the role of fiction in a world in which the US President claims that a recording of one his speeches is “fake news”?

It appears that we are now approaching a world in which the boundaries between fact and fiction are vanishing fast.

And yet even so, we tend to expect our students to be able to tell the difference between the truth and the make believe. We don’t, for example, expect them to treat Wilkie Collins’ “The Moonstone” as a true account of history.

Nor would we want them to believe that Joseph Conrad’s “The Secret Agent” was exactly what life was like in the late 19th century.  And yet it is and it isn’t.  It is close enough to a portrayal of London at the time to be related to the truth, but it is not the truth itself.

And in many ways this is the value of the classic novel.  It isn’t true in the sense that “most people have two legs” is true, or that “kangaroos are native to Australia” is true.  But it is not so far from the truth as we might feel the notion that “the earth is flat” is not true.

Reading classic literature (which has its own unique take on the past, present or future) is, in fact, one of the most effective ways in which we can help our students to overcome the contemporary difficulty that much of the world has in terms of truth and lies.

And this is why we have Wordsworth Editions – reprints of the classics from as little as £1.88 each (with no delivery charge and no minimum order) covering authors from Robert Louis Stephenson to F Scott Fitzgerald.  From Dickens to Mary Shelley.

If you would like to see our list, grouped into collections, please take a look at this page from our website.

And we also have our offer of a free book just in case you have not come across Wordsworth Editions before.  To receive a free sample of one of our classics without any obligation please do email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.

And that offer really is the absolute truth.  I promise.

How can classic literature give young students an enquiring mind for the rest of their lives?

Two days ago I got somewhat fed up when I heard that global warming had now passed a tipping point such that within a couple of months (or was that a couple of decades – I may have got confused) the earth would be too hot for humans.

Yesterday, however, the news said that the “next year is doomsday scenario” was at the extreme end of the scale of predictions, and I was probably safe to book my Christmas holiday to visit my daughter without worrying that the plane would melt en route.

Today, I learn that the Arctic Ocean used to be covered in a tiny fern called Azolla filiculoides that absorbed far more carbon dioxide than we put into the atmosphere now, and so created the cool planet. And with the genome having been sorted, it can be re-introduced so we’re all going to be safe after all.

Which is quite reassuring.

But here’s a thought. I studied the arts at A level and thereafter and never returned to science. So how come I can appreciate this story about the salvation of humankind and follow it with some degree of understanding?

I’d put that down to the fact that I read a lot. Not science books, but classic fiction which I started reading at school. Because through that classic fiction I met thousands of characters each of which had their own way of seeing the world, and that made me think.

Heathcliff got inside my head as did Sherlock Holmes, Fezziwig and Robin Hood, and all the time I kept asking “Why?” “Why is the character doing this?” “Why is the world like this?” “Why doesn’t one character see the the other’s perfidious nature?”

Yes perhaps it would have been good if I had had a broader scientific education, but I didn’t, and yet literature gave me the sort of enquiring mind that scientists often extol as the virtue of their subject.

Which is why my colleagues and I started Wordsworth Editions – reprints of the classics from as little as £1.88 each (with no delivery charge and no minimum order) covering authors from Conan Doyle to Oscar Wilde, Jules Verne to James Joyce.

If you would like to see what we have added new in 2018 those details are here. For a selection of the 50 texts most regularly bought by schools, taken from our full range of 400 titles, please do click here.

And we also have our offer of a free book just in case you have not come across Wordsworth Editions before. To receive a free sample of one of our classics without any obligation please do email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.

What are the dangers of reading books and should we do anything about them?

I started to worry about the effects of book reading after I had been interrupted by sounds from my neighbour’s garden.

The calling in of Poirot or Holmes, however, was not necessary in establishing the reason for the commotion – the parents had decided that their teenager had spent enough of the day on whatever device he was on and had summoned him to join the family meal outside.

The teenager did not agree, but his argument against the “come outside” view lost a certain amount of its pervasive force, in my view, by being limited to expressions of how much she hated her parents and the rest of the family.

But then I remembered my teenage years in which my parents also sought on occasion to get me out of my book and into family conversation. Was I just a pre-digital version of this teenage girl’s behaviour?

Thus I got to wondering about the difference between books and video games, and in doing this I found a large number of articles saying that playing video games is good for young people because it stimulates their imagination and enhances creative thinking.

But that wasn’t what I observed as I did my nosy neighbour bit.  So I dug further and found that in articles written by psychologists with proper qualifications the clear view is that playing these games increases heart rate and blood pressure.  Stress hormones rise and the individual becomes overstimulated – and often unable to come down.

Although any kind of reading stimulates the brain, researchers at Stanford University found that “literary reading” (as, for example, reading of the classics) stimulates multiple cognitive functions. They conclude that reading a novel and then discussing it, thinking about it, and/or writing about it is an extraordinarily effective “brain exercise”.

In short reading a novel stimulates the imagination, while playing contemporary video games stimulates creativity in response to the game, but reduces any sense of exploration of abstract ideas and the ability to communicate.

So, after my grand survey of one family I conclude that reading is still a good idea. And to help encourage reading Wordsworth Editions has a very wide range of classics from as little as £1.88 each (with no delivery charge and no minimum order) covering authors from Conan Doyle to Oscar Wilde, Jules Verne to James Joyce.

If you want to see our selection of 50 essential texts taken from our full range of 400 titles, please do click here.

We also have our offer of a free book just in case you have not come across Wordsworth Editions before. To receive a free sample of one of our classics without any obligation please do email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.

 

Give your students the advantage of live performance in 2018-19

 How’s your summer going? 

The pressure is off a little here at Fred Theatre H.Q. but we’re still open for business and happy to have a chat about bringing top quality live performance to your school across the upcoming academic year.

We really believe in the benefits our productions bring to your students:

  • Experience the GCSE text in 90 minutes (great for revision)
  • Understand the narrative arc of the text
  • Hear those all important quotes in context
  • See the text rather than just reading it
  • And, of course, the simple joy of live theatre

In 2017-18 we performed in almost 50 schools. In every one an overwhelming majority of students provided positive feedback on the performance.

Available to you next year are four productions designed with the needs of your GCSE students in mind:

A Christmas Carol

Macbeth

Romeo and Juliet

Jekyll and Hyde

The diary is beginning to fill up, and once schools re-open in September past performance shows we’ll be handling a lot of enquires. We’re already set to surpass last year’s total by quite a margin.

 And, new for the coming year, we’re launching our student newsletters. We’ll be mailing these to teachers about once a fortnight throughout the run of all four shows. Each newsletter will be packed with really useful info on the texts, how we’re approaching them and the production process.

If you’d like a no-commitment chat, and to reserve some dates please feel free to get in touch.

E-mail Helen in our office, helen@fred-theatre.co.uk, or call us on 01789 777612. We’ll collect a few details from you and respond with potential dates and a quote.

How a simple game can get some unenthusiastic readers to engage more fully with what’s in a book.

There is a certain truth in the notion that in order to enjoy a novel one has to have a sense of imagination.  An imagination which turns the descriptions, conversations, and events into a new reality inside the reader’s head.

There is also a certain truth in the fact that television can reduce this sense of exploration of ideas while computer games reduce it still further until there is little imagination left.

At the same time texting reduces language to snippets to a degree that can make a work of fiction look like a visitor from another planet to some students.

One way to break through this barrage of anti-bookisity (apart from inventing new words like “bookisity”) is to ask students to open a book at random and find a few lines that intrigue them.

It makes an ideal game towards the end of term. They might come up with a famous quote to do with the best and worst of times, or they could find something seemingly mundane such as “Wait for the common sense of the morning*.”

And then the discussion: Is the morning a better time to consider problems? Is there such a thing as common sense?

From here the students can be taken anywhere in their reading, and the point is made that literature is a source of ideas in individual sentences as well as in the whole story.

Consider Wilkie Collins statement that we “see with nobody’s eyes, we hear with nobody’s ears, we feel with nobody’s hearts, but our own.”  One never quite knows where these explorations lead.

This adventure can be continued into the holidays if the students each have a classic novel to borrow from the school or department library.  “Choose one book, find ten quotes you want to share,” is the project for the summer.

To help in this venture, Wordsworth Editions has a very wide range of books from as little as £1.88 each (with no delivery charge and no minimum order) covering authors from William Blake to DH Lawrence, Wilkie Collins to Robert Louis Stevenson.

If you want to see our selection of 50 essential texts taken from our full range of 400 titles, please do click here.

We also have our offer of a free book just in case you have not come across Wordsworth Editions before.  To receive a free sample of one of our classics without any obligation please do email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.

What’s more, if you order anything from us now, we’ll get the books to you well before the end of term. We look forward to hearing from you.

*Taken from “The Time Machine” by HG Wells – one of the many books on our list.

We’re committed to delivering high quality theatre in even more schools in 2018-19

This year we’ve had superb feedback on our in-school shows. Here are just two examples:

“What amazing performances. It was so helpful. Thank you.”

Selina, year 11, Selly Park Technology College

“Very informative and I now remember some quotes.”

Jasmine, year 11, Elizabethan Academy

Based on the feedback we’ve received from staff and students, we’re pretty confident our in-school productions are making a real difference. Schools, like yours, across the country are recognising the benefits a live performance can bring to their students. Fred Theatre is committed to helping these schools by providing top quality, competitively priced, in-school performances of GCSE texts.

Across the upcoming academic year, Fred Theatre has four productions designed with the needs of your GCSE students in mind:

A Christmas Carol

Macbeth

Romeo and Juliet

Jekyll and Hyde

All our in-school shows are 90 minute adaptations, fresh and exciting re-tellings of the familiar and much-loved stories. Each features a cast of six professional actors. We concentrate on the text and producing a faithful representation of the original—just a little shorter!

All we need to perform at your school is a space approximately 5m x 5m with room (of course) for the audience.

So, why not give your students the advantage of a live performance and reserve with Fred Theatre today?

To find out more, simply e-mail Helen in our office, helen@fred-theatre.co.uk, or call us on 01789 777612. We’ll collect a few details from you and respond with potential dates and a quote.

Robert Ball
Artistic Director
fred-theatre.co.uk

PS: The diary is beginning to fill up, so for the best chance of getting your preferred dates please get in touch before the summer holidays.

 

A teenager’s taste is determined by parents, school, what’s being streamed this week, and chance.

Why was I so taken by science fiction during my early secondary school years?  Not because it did anything for my social standing; rather the reverse.  Nor because of my parents or my teachers.  But something tipped me in that direction.

But that chance interest did introduce me to HG Wells, and from thence into a much wider range of literature.

Now I mention this, not because you’ll have any interest in my early years (unless perchance we were at school together, which my computer tells me is a 17,857 to 1 chance, so I’ll assume not) but because of that adage: one thing leads to another.

My science fiction fascination led me to read all sorts of second and third rate literature, but somehow also took me into detective fiction and from there…   Well I won’t bore you, but I am sure you can see the point.

When pupils and students start reading, they can be taken anywhere, providing there are copies of alternative books available and a guiding hand in the school that suggests one might try this or that next.

Which brings me to my point: Wordsworth Editions has a very wide range of books from as little as £1.88 each (with no delivery charge and no minimum order) covering authors from Oscar Wilde to DH Lawrence, Jane Austen to Wilkie Collins.

My point is that one never quite knows where a young student’s interest will lead, and so having a wide range of titles means that when the moment of interest comes, the books are there.  If you want to see our selection of 50 essential texts please do click here.

We also have our offer of a free book just in case you have not come across Wordsworth Editions before.  (Or indeed just in case the notion of books from as little as £1.88 each with free delivery seems just too good to be true.)

So, to receive a free sample of one of our classics without any obligation please do email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.

This whole new development must be making Beelzebub rather annoyed.

I can’t imagine there are many parents who still use the phrase about the devil finding work for idle hands, not least because the hands of the young are virtually never idle, being endlessly active on their phones.

And in a sense this is the heart of the problem.  When even TV (the curse of previous generations, at least according to earlier generations of parents) is considered passé, how does one encourage more reading of the classics from an era which was pre-TV?

But I believe we should, and indeed I still retain the belief that reading as a natural and normal enjoyable hobby will always be with us, not least because none of the previous dire warnings about the end of literature have come to pass.

Cinema, television, video machines, the internet, computer games: each has offered a new threat to an interest in reading by the young but as one entertainment is replaced by another, books and reading still remain.

Indeed I am told that the age of the average Facebook user is now rising so fast that by 2021 most users of the “platform” (as I have been trained to call it) will actually no longer be with us, and the service will be primarily used by mediums as a way of contacting those who have passed over.

The printed book, however, still going strong after six centuries, will remain.

And this is where Wordsworth Editions come in, as we have a wide range of books from as little as £1.88 each (with no delivery charge and no minimum order) covering authors from Wilkie Collins to Joseph Conrad, Conan Doyle to Mary Shelley.

Books ranging from those that are perfect introductions for teenagers who have forgotten about reading print, to the absolute classics of English literature.  If you want to see our selection of 50 essential texts please do click here.

We also have our offer of a free book just in case you have not come across Wordsworth Editions before.  (Or indeed just in case the notion of books from as little as £1.88 each with free delivery seems just too good to be true.)

So, to receive a free sample of one of our classics without any obligation please do email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.

Fred Theatre HQ is audition central over the coming weeks

Here at Fred Theatre’s office in Stratford-upon-Avon we’ve reached the latest milestone on the road to preparing for our 2018-19 schools’ tours: casting!

We have four great productions setting out from autumn: A Christmas Carol, Jekyll and Hyde, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet. Over the next few weeks we’ll be auditioning a whole host of actors as we search for the perfect team of six to take on a variety of roles across all four shows.

SIGN-UP FOR OUR FREE NEWSLETTERS

In order to keep you up-to-date on each production’s progress, we’re launching a newsletter that we’ll be mailing out to schools from late summer. Written for students, teachers and even parents, FRED’S NEWS will be full of accessible insights into the production process and the plays themselves.

All schools making a booking will receive the newsletter by email, in PDF format, and are encouraged to distribute it to students by email or by photocopying.

If you’ve not booked yet but would like to receive examples of the newsletter, email us and we’ll add you to the distribution list (details below).

WHY BOOK WITH FRED THEATRE?

Very many schools across the country are recognising the benefits a live performance can bring to their students. Fred Theatre is committed to helping these schools by providing top quality, competitively priced, in-school performances of GCSE texts.

Here’s what’s coming up and when:

Back for a second run, A CHRISTMAS CAROL is available for in-school performances from 8 October to 14 December 2018. 

Our highly popular production of MACBETH, Shakespeare’s classic tale of ambition, will be touring for the third time next year and is available for in-school performances from 21 January to 15 March 2019.   

Our new adaptation of JEKYLL AND HYDE is available for in-school performances from 22 October 2018 to 15 March 2019.

And, ROMEO AND JULIET is available, due to demand, for in-school performances from 18 February through to Easter.

All our in-school shows are 90 minute adaptations, fresh and exciting re-tellings of the familiar and much-loved stories. Each features a cast of six professional actors. We concentrate on the text and producing a faithful representation of the original—just a little shorter!

All we need to perform at your school is a space approximately 5m x 5m with room (of course) for the audience.

So, why not give your students the advantage of a live performance and reserve with Fred Theatre today?

To find out more, simply e-mail Helen in our office, helen@fred-theatre.co.uk, or call us on 01789 777612. We’ll collect a few details from you and respond with potential dates and a quote. And, that’s the same address to sign-up for the newsletter.

Robert Ball
Artistic Director
fred-theatre.co.uk

PS: We also offer workshops related to the themes of the text and our productions. Helen has more information on these too.

As Orwell suggests in “1984”, for the sake of their future survival, teenagers need a broader vocabulary

If George Orwell were alive today would he still make 1984 a book about the way people are controlled through the language they experience?

It is an interesting question, I think, especially when one remembers the way in which Newspeak was created as a language of restricted grammar and limited vocabulary, designed to limit freedom of thought and personal identity.

Now of course there isn’t such a centralised plan in the UK today, but it can be argued that students who don’t get to experience classic literature are being restricted to a lower level of self-expression which does nothing to enhance their chances when they leave school.

Indeed the issue is now that a significant number of children leaving primary school do so with a noticeable “Word-Gap” which can affect self-esteem and behaviour as well as their life-chances beyond school.

And it appears that the most effective way to reduce the word-gap is by giving pupils and students the experience of reading a wide variety of quality texts.

This is where Wordsworth Editions comes in, as we have a wide range of books from as little as £1.88 each (with no delivery charge and no minimum order) covering authors from Wilkie Collins to Joseph Conrad, Conan Doyle to Mary Shelley.

If you want to see our selection of 50 essential texts please do click here.

We also have our offer of a free book just in case you have not come across Wordsworth Editions before.  (Or indeed just in case the notion of books from as little as £1.88 each with free delivery seems just too good to be true.)

So, to receive a free sample of one of our classics without any obligation please do email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.

We look forward to hearing from you.

What is the most effective way of overcoming the Word Gap that many students now appear to have?

Recent research by OUP has established that increasing numbers of young people have what the publisher is calling a “Word Gap”.  This occurs when children don’t read for pleasure and don’t have much chance to expand their vocabulary.

Initially this was thought to be a primary school problem with just under half of the children in primary school suffering from a noticeable Word Gap.

However further research has shown that by Year 7 that gap still remains for 43% of those in school.

Reading is obviously fundamental to education, but it also affects self-esteem and behaviour, according to the OUP report, as well of course as life chances after school.

In the research 60% of secondary teachers reported that they were working with students with limited vocabulary, and 80% agreed that this affected the student’s self-esteem.

According to OUP one of the main ways in which some schools are overcoming the Word Gap problem is by giving pupils and students access to a wide range of quality texts.

This is where Wordsworth Editions come in, as we have a wide range of books from as little as £1.88 each (with no delivery charge and no minimum order) covering authors from HG Wells to Dickens, from Jane Austen to the Brontës.

If you want to see the full list of over 400 titles currently in print along with a ready to use order form, should you need it, then we have a page with those details.

We also have our offer of a free book just in case you have not come across Wordsworth Editions before.  (Or indeed just in case the notion of books at £1.88 each with free delivery seems just too good to be true.)

So, to receive a free sample of one of our classics without any obligation please do email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.

What makes a student read one book and not another (or come to that, none)?

02A recent report concerning teenagers and their phones told the story of a couple of young ladies of around sixth form age, who were clambering over some rocks at the edge of a beach.

The activity wasn’t particularly dangerous, although a slip might well have caused grazing or cuts, or even a sprained or broken ankle.

Both teenagers carried shoulder bags, which was sensible, except that each climbed with their mobile phones in one hand, thus seriously impeding their mobility.

As to why they did this, one can only surmise, but the most likely explanation would seem to be that so deep was their anxiety about missing a phone call, even placing the phone in a bag at their side felt like creating too great a distance between the self and the phone.

The story is, I feel, relevant to those of us concerned to introduce classic English literature to students, for it emphasises the battle that we can have just to get some students to focus on literature that is more than a few lines long.

However, we think we have found a way of encouraging students to consider the classics further by producing English literature texts in thoroughly modern covers and by reducing the price to just £1.88 each (with no delivery charge and no minimum order), meaning that you can offer the students a wide choice of books to read.  

The authors in the catalogue range from HG Wells to Dickens, from Jane Austen to the Brontës, covering more than 200 of the greatest works of classic literature.  Indeed not only does each volume have the full text, but with all of our classics there is also a set of exclusive introductions and notes.

If you would like to see a list of over 60 titles that are set texts on various curricula and are available from as little as £1.88 that is available here.

Then if you want to see the full list of over 400 titles currently in print along with a ready to use order form, should you need it, then we have a page with those details as well.

And here’s one final offer of a free book.  Just in case the notion of books at £1.88 each with free delivery seems just too good to be true, we’d like to assure you of the quality of our publications and the speed of our service.

So, to receive a free sample of one of our classics just email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.

Classic English literature texts in modern covers, with free delivery, no minimum order, and just £1.88 each 

From Shakespeare to Dickens, from Jane Austen to the Brontës, Wordsworth Editions has over 400 titles in print, covering more than 200 of the greatest works of classic literature, and over 50 popular children’s books.

Indeed not only does each volume have the full text, but with all of our classics there is also a set of exclusive introductions and notes.

We are also adding new titles to our range regularly – with the most well-known works of HG Wells being the most recent to be included on our list.

If you would like to see a list of around 50 of the most popular titles which are available direct to schools at the special price of £1.88 that is available here.

Then if you want to see the full list of our titles in print along with a ready to use order form, should you need it, then we have a page with those details as well.

And here’s one final offer of a free book.  Just in case the notion of books at £1.88 each with free delivery seems just too good to be true, we’d like to assure you of the quality of our publications and the speed of our service.

So, to receive a free sample of one of our classics just email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.

Booking is now open (with early-bird discount) for: A Christmas Carol, Jekyll and Hyde, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet

As the summer term gets under way, here at Fred Theatre we’re already planning for 2018-19. We’re looking forward to another great year of touring schools with our popular productions of GCSE texts. And, I am delighted to announce that we’re responding to requests by adding Romeo and Juliet to the menu.

Reserve your dates by the end of May to qualify for your discount.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Feedback from this year’s autumn tour included many great comments from students and staff, such as the following:

“The performance was phenomenal!  All of the pupils were extremely complimentary and positive about the performance.  The actors were truly brilliant.  The ‘faithfulness’ to the text has left the pupils engaged and ready for their English Literature studies.”

A Christmas Carol is available for in-school performances from 8 October to 14 December 2018.

MACBETH

Our highly popular production of Shakespeare’s classic tale of ambition will be touring for the third time next year. Here’s feedback from one school:

“It was fantastic! So professional and carefully engineered to give the students what they need. The actors were really impressive—they held the audience for the entire performance; no mean feat when dealing with 210+ sleepy teenagers!”

Macbeth is available for in-school performances from 21 January to 15 March 2019.

ROMEO AND JULIET

We’re always happy to hear from teachers who have suggestions for other shows we might tour with. Just recently we’ve had several requests for Romeo and Juliet. Therefore I’m delighted to announce that we’re adding this Shakespeare classic to the menu for 2018-19.

Romeo and Juliet is available for in-school performances from 18 February through to Easter.

JEKYLL AND HYDE

Finally, I’m pleased to report that great progress is being made on our new adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde. This is being written for us by Jonathan Lloyd and Abigail Walton, the team who also adapted A Christmas Carol.

Jekyll and Hyde is available for in-school performances from 22 October 2018 to 15 March 2019.

All of our in-school shows are 90 minute adaptations, fresh and exciting re-tellings of the familiar and much-loved stories. Each features a cast of six professional actors. We concentrate on the text and producing a faithful representation of the original—just a little shorter!

All we need to perform at your school is a space approximately 5m x 5m with room (of course) for the audience.

So, why not give your students the advantage of a live performance and book with Fred Theatre today? There’s no need to pay right away, and anyone reserving a date for the new academic year before the end of May will receive a 10% discount.

To find out more, simply e-mail Helen in our office, helen@fred-theatre.co.uk, or call us on 01789 777612. We’ll collect a few details from you and respond with potential dates and a quote.

 

fred-theatre.co.uk

When students judge totally by first impressions then the first impressions need to be good

As you will have noticed, for many young people today’s world is flip, flip, flip.  Flip through comments on Facebook, and even shorter notes on Twitter.  As for Instagram…

As a result the 350,000 words of Bleak House and four hours of Hamlet are in a different reality.  The entire concept is incomprehensible when everything is reduced to an instant.

So how do we persuade pupils and students to read the classics?

Our research shows that one key point is that pupils and students do judge books by their covers.  And so in response we have produced our range of classic novels with covers that will appeal to teenagers and at the price of just £1.88 each.

And just in case you think the price means we’ve compromised on the text in some way we’ll send you a free copy (we don’t even charge for delivery) so you can see what the quality really is.  Just email us at the address below.

In total we have over 400 titles in print, including over 230 works of classic literature, all with the full text, nearly all with exclusive introductions and notes, and with no minimum order.

If you would like to see a list of around 50 of the most frequently used set texts which are available direct to schools at the special price of £1.88 that is available here.

To see the full list of our titles in print we have a page with those details as well.  Plus there is currently a 25% discount on all the prices shown.

If you would like a free without obligation sample of one of our classics, just email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you, with our compliments

Image removed by sender.

There’s still time to book Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet for in-school or on stage performances

Fred Theatre is now touring with two Shakespearean classics: Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet.

Rehearsals have gone well and I’m confident these shows will get a great response from both pupils and teachers alike.

Our 90 minute adaptations are fresh and exciting re-tellings of familiar and much-loved stories. Each features a cast of six professional actors. We concentrate on the text and producing a faithful representation of the original—just a little shorter!

All productions can be performed in your school; all we need is a space approximately 5m x 5m with room (of course) for the audience. If you have room, and feel it would be a good idea, you can also invite some parents along too, so that they can see what their sons and daughters are studying.

To find out more, simply e-mail Helen in our office, helen@fred-theatre.co.uk, or call us on 01789 777612. We’ll collect a few details from you and respond with potential dates and a quote.

Both shows also have in-theatre public performances. We are at:

The Cockpit, Marylebone, LONDON 20-21 February

The Bear Pit, STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, 5-9 February

Tickets for the public performances may be booked direct with the venues.

Finally, here’s the latest Fred Fact, #4…

Group leaders, teachers, etc go free at public performances. In addition to keeping student ticket prices as low as possible, we fee it’s only right to include free tickets for group leaders.

Robert Ball
Artistic Director
fred-theatre.co.uk

PS: We had wonderful feedback from students during our autumn tour of A Christmas Carol. Here are just two of our favourite comments:

Very funny but the best scene was when he changed from not caring to caring, it shows that anyone can change (Raymond, year 11)

The superb acting, everything was excellent, I enjoyed this performance (thumbs up, smiley face)(Baker, year 11)

A production of Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing or Romeo and Juliet in your school, prior to opening in a London theatre

Following our recent sell out tour of A Christmas Carol in schools across the UK, Fred Theatre is now touring with three Shakespearean classics: Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Much Ado About Nothing.

Having seen how the rehearsals are going I’m confident these shows will get an equally great response from both pupils and teachers alike.

Our 90 minute adaptations are fresh and exciting re-tellings of familiar and much-loved stories. Each features a cast of six professional actors. We concentrate on the text and producing a faithful representation of the original—just a little shorter!

All productions can be performed in your school; all we need is a space approximately 5m x 5m with room (of course) for the audience. If you have room, and feel it would be a good idea, you can also invite some parents along too, so that they can see what their sons and daughters are studying.

To find out more, simply e-mail Helen in our office, helen@fred-theatre.co.uk, or call us on 01789 777612. We’ll collect a few details from you and respond with potential dates and a quote.

Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet also have in-theatre public performances. We are at:

The Cockpit, Marylebone, LONDON 20-21 February

The Bear Pit, STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, 5-9 February

Helen can provide more information on these performances, or you can book tickets with the venues. I look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, since Fred Fact numbers 1 and 2 went down so well here is Fred Fact #3…

Fred Theatre’s education officer, Abigail Walton, is always on hand to discuss with schools any particular needs they may have associated with an in-school performance. Whether this be a workshop with students, or a requirement for a more relaxed performance. Abi can be contacted via Helen (details above).

Robert Ball
Artistic Director
fred-theatre.co.uk

PS: It’s always good to get comments from teachers, and here’s one I received recently which I thought I’d share:

I just wanted to send a quick email to extend my thanks for last night.  The performance was phenomenal!  All of the pupils were extremely complimentary and positive about the performance.  The actors were truly brilliant.  The ‘faithfulness’ to the text has left the pupils engaged and ready for their English Literature studies. Please keep us updated with further performances as we would love to have the company in again! Thank you
Stephanie Robson, Dyke House Sports and Technology College, Hartlepool

 

From the Secret Garden to the Jungle book: letting every student read a classic at a fraction of the normal price.

Quality copies of classic novels that appeal to teenagers at just £1.88 – with teenager friendly book covers to match! 

Now that might seem too good to be true, but I’d like to reassure you these are printed paperback editions of hundreds of classics with the complete, full text – not edited versions or ebook editions.  Better still there is free delivery and no minimum order.

And here’s a further point: it has been pointed out that some teenagers, if they see a book cover which they feel suggests something that is not modern enough or suitable for their age and status, they then refuse to read that book.

We’ve therefore consulted with schools and selected 12 very popular titles and produced new editions with new covers to make them teenager-friendly.  There is a list of these titles below.

Throughout, these books are of the highest quality in terms of production and printing.  And just to reassure you totally we now have an extra offer: to help you see what our publications look like, we’ll send you a free book without any obligation whatsoever.

In total we have over 400 titles in print, including over 230 works of classic literature.  Each volume contains the full text, with the classics also including a set of exclusive introductions and notes.

Additionally, not only do we have individual titles at £1.88 but we also have the World Literature and Poetry series at just £3.99 before discount, and our complete works series for just £7.99 each.

If you would like to see a list of around 50 of the most frequently used set texts which are available direct to schools at the special price of £1.88 that is available here.

To see the full list of our titles in print along with a ready-to-use order form, should you need it, we have a page with those details as well.  Plus there is currently a 25% discount on all the prices shown.

Meanwhile here is the list of new editions with new covers that appeal to older readers: Little Women & Good Wives, The Secret Garden, The Jungle Book & The Second Jungle Book, A Christmas Carol, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz & Glinda of Oz, Robin Hood, Anne of Green Gables & Anne of Avonlea, Little Prince, Black Beauty, Kidnapped & Catriona, Treasure Island, Swiss Family Robinson.

If you would like a free without obligation sample of one of our classics, just email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you, with our compliments

The advantage of live performance: MACBETH and ROMEO AND JULIET

Here’s what just a few students have to say about Fred Theatre’s current touring production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL:

It was real wonderful thank you (smiley face) (Elisha, year 10)

The happy vibe and great actors/actresses! (Emily, year 10)

The superb acting, everything was excellent, I enjoyed this performance (thumbs up, smiley face)(Baker, year 11)

After the Christmas break, Fred Theatre is touring with two Shakespearean classics, MACBETH and ROMEO AND JULIET, and we’re confident both shows will get an equally great response.

Our 90 minute adaptations are fresh and exciting re-tellings of familiar and much-loved stories. Each features a cast of six professional actors, and we concentrate on the text and producing a faithful representation of the original—just a little shorter!

Both productions can be performed in your school, all we need is a space approximately 5m x 5m with room for the audience.

To find out more, simply e-mail Helen in our office, helen@fred-theatre.co.uk, or call us on 01789 777612. We’ll collect a few details from you and respond with potential dates and a quote.

Both shows also have in-theatre public performances. We are at:

The Cockpit, Marylebone, LONDON 20-21 February

The Bear Pit, STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, 5-9 February

Helen can provide more information on these performances, or you can reserve tickets with the venues.

We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime…

Fred Fact #2

Every student at a Fred Theatre schools’ performance receives their own copy of the programme for the show as well as a feedback card. Once we’ve had a look through the cards, we return these to schools so you may use them as a tool in class when discussing the play and/or the production.

Fred Theatre Limited

classic drama, contemporary theatre

www.fred-theatre.co.uk

 

New: A Graphic Revision Guide for GCSE English Literature

A study conducted by researchers at Sheffield University has revealed that students who are given information in comic-style format show significantly higher memory scores compared to students who receive the same information in text-only format.

The study consisted of 90 participants who were split into groups. Some participants were given test material in comic-style format while others were given test material in text-only format. The participants were then tested on their retention of the information using ten multiple-choice questions. Participants that were given the comic-style format material scored more correct answers.

Which is why we have recently produced:

Jane Eyre: A Graphic Revision Guide for GCSE English Literature 

This Graphic Revision Guide for Jane Eyre is an essential tool for anyone studying this book for GCSE English Literature. It contains comic-style sheets, especially tailored to strengthen your students’ understanding of plot, characters, quotes, … read more and see sample pages

>> Click here to order a single copy of this book on our website for just £15.99 <<

If you order 20 copies or more, a 20% Discount will be applied to your order at checkout – that’s just £12.80 per book!

Alternatively, you can place an order:

  • over the phone on 01449 766629
  • by email to orders@tradecounter.co.uk
  • by fax on 01449 767122
  • by post to Brilliant Publications, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND.

Booking now open for MACBETH and ROMEO AND JULIET

Give your students the advantage of live performance

Two vibrant productions guaranteed to encourage in-class discussion

Designed to engage and entertain

After the Christmas break, Fred Theatre is touring with two Shakespearean classics: MACBETH and ROMEO AND JULIET.

Our 90 minute adaptations are fresh and exciting re-tellings of familiar and much loved stories. Typically these feature a cast of six professional actors. We concentrate on the text and producing a faithful representation of the original—just a little shorter!

We can bring both productions to your school, and booking is now also open for our public performances.

LONDON, The Cockpit, Marylebone

Macbeth: Tuesday 20 February 2018 @ 2pm and 7.30pm
Romeo and Juliet: Wednesday 21 February 2018 @ 2pm and 7.30pm

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, The Bear Pit

Macbeth: Monday 05 February 2018 @ 2pm and 7.30pm
Romeo and Juliet: Tuesday 06 February 2018 @ 2pm and 7.30pm
Macbeth: Wednesday 07 February 2018 @ 2pm and 7.30pm
Romeo and Juliet: Thursday 08 February 2018 @ 2pm and 7.30pm
Romeo and Juliet: Friday 09 February 2018 @ 2pm and 7.30pm

To find out more, simply e-mail Helen in our office, helen@fred-theatre.co.uk, or call us on 01789 777612. We’ll collect a few details from you and respond with potential dates and a quote.

We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime…

Fred Fact #1

Did you know that our artistic director, Robert Ball, has an MA in Shakespeare and Theatre from the Shakespeare Institute (University of Birmingham), Stratford-upon-Avon?

Robert studied at the Institute from 2009 and maintains close links with both staff and former students. He completed his degree by writing on small-scale touring theatre at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Fred Theatre Limited
classic drama, contemporary theatre

www.fred-theatre.co.uk

Now booking: A CHRISTMAS CAROL, MACBETH, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING and ROMEO AND JULIET

Last chance to book: A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Give your students the advantage of live performance.

Fred Theatre is taking to the road this autumn with the company’s specially commissioned schools friendly version of Charles Dickens’ classic novella.

Performed by five actors in 90 minutes, this lively adaptation really brings the book to life. A faithful retelling of the much loved story, it is a great introduction to the text or a timely revision tool. There’s even audience interaction!

There are only a few unfilled slots on the tour schedule, but there is still a chance to grab a performance this year.

To discuss your requirements please email Helen today (details below).

Coming up: MACBETH, ROMEO AND JULIET, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

After the Christmas break, the company is touring with 90 minute versions of three Shakespearean classics.

Our 90 minute adaptations aim to be fresh and exciting re-tellings of familiar and much loved stories. Typically these feature a cast of five or six professional actors. Less technical than public performances, we concentrate on the text and producing a faithful representation of the original—just a little shorter! An excellent introduction to the text in-hand, often more convenient, and nearly always more cost-effective than a trip out to a theatre.

Recognised for our quality, professionalism and accessibility Fred Theatre has built an excellent reputation for our schools friendly productions.

RATHER SEE FRED IN A THEATRE?

We’re pleased to announce that Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet can both be seen on stage if you’d rather organise a field trip.

Both shows will be playing in rep in February at The Bear Pit (Stratford upon Avon) and The Cockpit (Marylebone, London). To discuss a group booking, please contact Helen in the office.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

To find out more, simply e-mail Helen in our office, helen@fred-theatre.co.uk, or call Robert on 07974 210265. We’ll collect a few details from you and respond with potential dates and costs.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Fred Theatre Limited

classic drama, contemporary theatre

www.fred-theatre.co.uk

PS: Get in touch today to secure your preferred dates

The simplest way to ensure that every student has every encouragement to read the classics

Whether your students will be taken with the Picture of Dorian Gray or Jane Eyre….  Whether they enjoy Pride and Prejudice or Frankenstein… in all cases it is vital that each student has the chance to read at least some of the classics during the school years.

Which is why it is rather helpful that so many of the top classics are now available at just £1.88 each after discount, with free delivery.

And to be very, very clear about this, I am talking about a printed paperback edition of the full text, not a shortened version or an ebook rendering. The full text as a regular paperback at £1.88 each with free delivery and no minimum order.

(I am sorry to have repeated this, but I was recently told by a recipient of one of my notes that he had seen the price, but didn’t buy, even though he wanted the book for his students, because he thought it must be a mistake.  But there is no mistake.  £1.88 it is.)

However, this misunderstanding did make me realise that I really did need to show that these are books of the highest quality in terms of production and printing.  And so we now have an extra offer: we’ll send you a free book without any obligation whatsoever.

We have over 400 titles in print, including over 230 works of classic literature.  Each volume contains the full text, with the classics also including a set of exclusive introductions and notes.

Additionally, not only do we have individual titles at £1.88 but we also have the World Literature and Poetry series at just £3.99 before discount, and our complete works series for just £7.99 each.

If you would like to see a list of around 50 of the most frequently used set texts which are available direct to schools at the special price of £1.88 that is available here.

To see the full list of our titles in print along with a ready to use order form, should you need it, we have a page with those details as well.  Plus there is currently a 25% discount on all the prices shown.

Finally if you would like a free without obligation sample of one of our classics, just email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you, with our compliments.

In the battle between the paper book and the ebook, the physical book is now winning, hands down.

They were not the figures that anyone was expecting, but the fall in the readership of ebooks first noticed two years ago has continued.  Meanwhile sales of paper books are growing.

And better still, this growth in paper book sales is not being driven by the older generation holding onto the way things used to be.  Rather it is the youngsters who are feeding a growth in the purchase of books in print.

Overall last year sales of physical books in bookshops (the best measure we have of the readership of paperbacks and hardbacks) went up by 7% while ebook sales went down by 4% for the second year running.

Which in turn means that any previous notion we had of student resistance to physical books is most certainly now in retreat.

And what we can add is that classics, such as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and A Christmas Carol, are still being read in huge numbers.  And with brand new editions of works such as these now being available at just £1.87 each after discount with free delivery, the ebook’s appeal has declined.

To help ensure the continued dominance of the paper book we have over 400 titles in print, including over 230 works of classic literature.  Each volume contains the full text, and with the classics there is also a set of exclusive introductions and notes.

Additionally not only do we have individual titles at £1.87 but we also have the World Literature and Poetry series at just £3.99 before discount, and our complete works series for just £7.99 each.

If you would like to see a list of around 50 of the most frequently used set texts which are available direct to schools at the special price of £1.87 that is available here.

To see the full list of our titles in print along with a ready to use order form, should you need it, we have a page with those details as well.  Plus there is currently a 25% discount on all the prices shown.

But even that is not all, for we also have an offer of a free book.  Just in case the notion of books at £1.87 each with free delivery seems just too good to be true, we’d like to assure you of the quality of our publications.

So, if you would like a free sample of one of our classics, just email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you, with our compliments.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Give your students the advantage of live performance

It’s the beginning of term, time is precious, so I’ll keep it short.

Fred Theatre has four productions touring to schools this year:

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (autumn term)

MACBETH and ROMEO AND JULIET (spring term)

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (summer term)

Our schedule is filling up, but we are still able to book in performances.

To receive more information, please call Robert on 07974 210265 or email helen@fred-theatre.co.uk

Fred Theatre Limited

classic drama, contemporary theatre

www.fred-theatre.co.uk

 

What is the most powerful way of showing students the importance of the novel?

It is self evident that we live in a world in which pupils and students primarily value the new.  Indeed it is an era that is said to have evolved the Cult of the New.

From the latest phone to the latest software upgrade: new is everything.

Which can add a barrier to the students’ appreciation of literature.  Especially if the copy of a book they are studying looks a little… well, not to put too fine a point on it, old.

Yet there is a simple solution to this dilemma.  Brand new editions of classic works of literature which are available at the discounted price of just £1.87 each with free delivery when ordered directly from us.

The range of titles available at this price is extraordinary.  We have over 450 titles in print, covering over 230 works of classic literature.  Each volume contains the full text, and with the classics there is also a set of exclusive introductions and notes.

And there is still more, for not only do we have individual titles at £1.87 but we also have the World Literature and Poetry series at just £3.99 before discount, and our complete works series for just £7.99.

If you would like to see a list of around 50 of the most frequently used set texts which are available direct to schools at the special price of £1.87 that is available here.

To see the full list of our titles in print along with a ready to use order form, should you need it, we have a page with those details as well.

Plus there is currently a 25% discount on all the prices shown.

But even that is not all, for we also have an offer of a free book.  Just in case the notion of books at £1.87 each with free delivery seems just too good to be true, we’d like to assure you of the quality of our publications.

So, if you would like a free sample of one of our classics, just email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you, with our compliments.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Give your students the advantage of live performance

Along with us here at FRED Theatre HQ, I hope you’re enjoying the summer break.

I realise not all work stops though, and thought now would be a good time to remind you we are currently accepting enquiries for our in-schools productions for 2017-18.

JUST ADDED: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

In response to a number of requests, we’ve added Shakespeare’s much loved comedy to our programme of in-school shows for the new academic year.

In common with our other productions, Much Ado will run at approximately 90 minutes, using an edited version of Shakespeare’s play. A bright, bold and colourful production, this will be just right for the summer term. You might even want to think about an outdoor performance (space and weather permitting).

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

First up though, in the autumn term, we are touring a fresh adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas ghost story.

A professional cast of six actors will faithfully present this much loved story in an innovative and low-tech setting. All you need supply is a space and an audience.

It’s an excellent introduction to the novella for students, or a timely refresher, that ensures all the key themes (including responsibility, poverty, education, change) are included giving classes plenty to discuss post-performance.

A Christmas Carol can be performed in-school at a time to suit your schedule, and is available for bookings throughout October, November and December 2017. The show runs at 90 minutes and is suitable for all ages, especially those studying the text.

SPRING 2018: MACBETH and ROMEO AND JULIET

After Christmas we are back in schools with 90 minute versions of two of Shakespeare’s classic tragedies.

Macbeth toured in early 2017 and was very well received. We’re delighted to bring back that production for a second tour along with a new production of Romeo and Juliet.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Simply e-mail our office (open throughout the summer): admin@fred-theatre.co.uk, or call Robert on 07974 210265.

Fred Theatre Limited
classic drama, contemporary theatre
www.fred-theatre.co.uk

Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and A Christmas Carol at your school in 2017-18

As the current academic year draws to a close, everyone at Fred Theatre wishes you a great summer.

We’ll all be fitting in holidays, but the office remains open to respond to enquiries regarding our three in-school shows for next year.

MACBETH

“All of the actors in this show gave passionate and haunting performances.”

“Fred’s production of Macbeth proved that a small theatre company can produce big theatre in a small space.”

“Despite being an hour and a half, the show did not feel rushed and the integrity of the show was not compromised.”

(Quotes from student reviews, details on file)

This year’s 90 minute Macbeth is returning in spring 2018. Fred Theatre brings Shakespeare’s tragedy of greed, lust and betrayal to life in a new and intimate production.

Six actors present this timeless classic in a contemporary setting. The production asks who, in the twenty-first century, can be trusted to tell us the truth? How easy is it to manipulate others? And, what happens if ambition is left unchecked?

ROMEO AND JULIET

We’re delighted to announce the addition of Romeo and Juliet to the schools’ repertoire for spring 2018.

As with Macbeth, Shakespeare’s text is cut to be performed in 90 minutes, with the focus firmly on the young lovers and their journey from the bliss of first true love to tragic victims of a family feud.

Performed by six actors, Romeo and Juliet will be an excellent introduction to the text or a timely revision tool.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

This autumn Fred Theatre is on the road with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Recognised for our quality, professionalism and accessibility Fred has built an excellent reputation for our schools friendly productions.

Our 90 minute adaptation is a fresh and exciting re-telling of the familiar and much loved story.

A Christmas Carol is already booked in to perform at many schools in the run-up to Christmas, but there is space on the schedule if you’re interested.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Simply email our office (admin@fred-theatre.co.uk) or call Robert on 07974 210265. We’ll collect a few details from you and respond with potential dates and a quote soon after.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Fred Theatre Limited

classic drama, contemporary theatre

www.fred-theatre.co.uk    @FRED_Theatre

PS: Our office remains open throughout the summer holidays, so feel free to get in touch at any time.

 

October is National Poetry Month

Dear Head of English,
        
October is National Poetry Month: this is our 17th year. 

How to get the new school year off to an exciting start? 

Every year the Performance Poetry Society arranges a National Tour of Interactive Poetry and Song Shows to enrich and entertain students in Year 7 and Year 8.
To find out how your secondary school can take advantage of this and join in, please telephone Sandra Dennis our Tour Co-ordinator on 0208 688 6951 or email performancepoetry@yahoo.com for further details.
Jim MacCool

Premier Poet 
JIM MacCOOL
leads the Tour
 THE PERFORMANCE POETRY SOCIETY
Working In Universities, Colleges, Schools, 
Arts Centres, Libraries And Prisons
The Performance Poetry Society is the longest-serving provider of quality Poetry Services to Schools.
Performance Poetry Society
Tigh a Bhaird
7 Harepit Close
Croydon
CR2 6PN 

TEL 0208 688 6951
performancepoetry@yahoo.com
October is National Poetry Month
We operate throughout the year.

See us on Facebook 
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English Literature Summer School 2017

In the words of C.S. Lewis, ‘Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.’

The English Literature Summer School is an opportunity for like-minded students aged 15-18 to indulge their passion for literature and explore some of the most exciting and challenging ideas in contemporary literary theory. Each part of the course consists of a structured five-day programme taught by expert postgraduate tutors.

The English Summer School – Part 1 will cover literature dating from 650 to 1790, including Middle English, Medieval Literature, Chaucer, The Renaissance, Shakespeare, Restoration Literature and the Rise of the Novel. As part of this course, students will explore Historicist and Feminist critical approaches.

The English Summer School – Part 2 will cover literature dating from 1790 to 2017, including Romanticism and the Gothic Movement, Victorian Sensation Novels, Literature and the British Empire, Modernism, and Postmodernism. As part of this course, students will explore Postcolonial criticism and the ‘Death of the Author’.                                 

The English Summer School – Part 3 will cover Contemporary English Literature, including prose fiction, poetry and drama. As part of this course, students will explore psychoanalytic criticism and theories of the canon.

Please note that although the courses complement one another, they can also be treated as stand-alone events, and there is no requirement to have attended Part 1 in order to register for other Parts of the course.

Classes are small, typically containing twelve to fourteen students, all of whom should have a passion for Literature, a curiosity to build on their existing knowledge and a desire to embrace and exchange new ideas. The tutors for the course range widely in their specialisms, from Medieval folk tales to Renaissance drama to contemporary criticism. This ensures that students will benefit from the broadest possible range of perspectives and approaches. Literary theory and criticism will play an important role in each session, and students will be invited to examine texts they have studied in the light of competing theories of the nature and value of literature and the role of the critic.

Feedback from previous students 

‘This was such an amazing course! I think the thing that made it so enjoyable were the staff running it. Although challenging, the course opened my eyes to a whole different perspective on literature – and the speakers really helped me to understand some of the harder texts. I would definitely recommend this course as it is worth every minute.’

‘I would absolutely recommend this course to anyone doing A-Level English or considering studying English at University. The week left me feeling inspired and wanting to learn more about the subject areas we covered, most of which are not even touched upon at school. The teachers encouraged us to discuss theories and philosophies of literature that piqued our interests, and several of these debates spilled over into lunchtime and even after class! The other students were friendly and easy to get along with. I went home feeling equally uplifted and educated by my time here… Thank you to everyone for making the experience so enjoyable!’

‘The Debate Chamber Summer School was a fantastic experience and one well worth applying for. Not only was it made thoroughly enjoyable by the effort and expertise of the tutors, but will undoubtedly prove invaluable in the future when drawing on the variety of skills learnt.’

‘I found this Summer School immensely enjoyable and extremely beneficial to my English studies. I knew before attending this course I wanted to study English Literature at university, but this informed me greatly of older literature (such as Old English, Medieval literature and the rise of the novel) as well as explaining fascinating literary criticism such as new historicism. I also met some lovely people who I hope to stay in contact with. I can’t recommend this course enough! If you have a passion for analysing and discussing the best texts in the English language, then you will relish this summer school.’

How can my students attend?

The English Literature Summer School will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and is open to students aged 15 – 18.

Part 1 will take place on the 24th – 28th July, Part 2 will take place on the 31st July – 4th August and Part 3 will take place on the 7th – 11th August 2017.

You can find full details of schedules, dates, costs, student reviews and tutors at https://debatechamber.com/project/english-literature-summer-school/.

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

 

Autumn 2017: A Christmas Carol @ your school?

Fred Theatre is back in schools this autumn with another great adaptation of a literary classic: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Recognised for our quality, professionalism and accessibility Fred has built an excellent reputation for our schools friendly productions.

Our 90 minute adaptation is a fresh and exciting re-telling of the familiar and much loved story. A professional cast of six actors will faithfully present A Christmas Carol in an innovative and low tech setting–all you need supply is a space and an audience.

It’s an excellent introduction to the book for students, or a timely refresher.

A Christmas Carol can be performed in-school at a time to suit your schedule, and is available for bookings throughout October, November and December 2017.

Want to save money on your in-school booking?

If your school can host a public performance around the same time as booking an in-school show for students we may be able to save you money. We are looking for schools where we can perform to the general public in the evening. If you can host one of these shows, in return we will share the box office takings with you as a discount on your booking.

Want to know more?

Simply email our office (admin@fred-theatre.co.uk) or call Robert on 07974 210265. We’ll collect a few details from you and respond with potential dates and a quote soon after.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Fred Theatre Limited

classic drama, contemporary theatre

www.fred-theatre.co.uk    @FRED_Theatre

PS: Our popular 90 minute Macbeth is back on the road in the spring term, along with a new production of Romeo and Juliet. To register your interest in either of these please email the office (address above).