Monday, March 29, 2010

10 Top Tips for Theatre Directors

It's been a while. Sorry. I've done a lot of travelling, adjudicating and examining over the last few weeks. It's been very enjoyable though. I've met a lot of teachers, seen lots of confident young people perform, and written hundreds of report sheets. I've seen some of the results of very creative and skillful teaching and some mature and talented performances from very young people.

Anyway. this is more a filler than anything else. It's something I came across on the Guardian website, and here it is:  10 Top Tips for Theatre Directors

Do have a look at the 'Stage' section of the Guardian. Some excellent blogs, news and guides. Here's the general link: Guardian website: Stage

Friday, March 19, 2010


I well remember my Mum's 'costume room'. It was the box room in her house and was piled high with costumes for any solo, duologue or play that she had ever put on or even thought she might put on sometime in the future. She had made and/or customised many of the costumes herself. I'm sure there are many such costume rooms in existance throughout the country. Time passes and I think that many speech and drama teachers now buy costumes for their productions.

At our recent drama teachers' workshop in Limerick, Mary McCoy-Rudden, during her session on putting on plays with children, referred to a company in Britain called IDS. IDS stands for International Dance Supplies but they supply, according to Mary and others, a wide range of durable, washable and, most importantly, reasonably-priced costumes to suit most productions. She said that they are also very reliable, easy to deal with and send costumes well-packed and promptly. (I know this sounds like an ad but it's not!)

I've just been on to IDS to see how to access the catalogue. A very helpful woman called Jan told me the following:

As IDS is a wholesale company, any body wishing to purchase from them needs to register their school/ academy/ group name with IDS (they won't sell to individuals). Once this has been done, IDS will give you a password which you can use to view the full catalogue on-line and make purchases (you can also purchase by phone). Once registered they will also send you a hard copy of the catalogue and email you with updates and special offers. There is no minimum spend, by the way. They say that they understand that many drama groups are small.

So here are the contact details:

IDS, Harlequin House, Forde Court, NEWTON ABBOT, Devon, TQ12 4BT, UK

The person I talked to (Jan) gave me her direct line and said that anyone reading this who is interested in registering could contact her. So, Jan's number is (from Ireland) 00.44.1626.882206.

The website is

If anyone has other suppliers, please let me know at

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Poetry For Children

Anyone who teaches speech and drama to children will have heard of Kenn Nesbitt, author of such poems as 'My Hamster Has a Skateboard'.

Well, yesterday I was examining in Killygarry National School in Cavan (nice school, great atmosphere), and the Resource Teacher there, Paula O'Neill, referred me to Kenn Nesbitt's website. I don't remember coming across it before, but I'm glad I know about it now. It's got loads of free poems on it, most of which are more than suitable for classroom, exams and feiseanna.

It's called Poetry4kids.  Have a look: Poetry4kids

Click on the Poems tab at the top of the site for the free stuff.

While you are there, take a look at the Links page. Lots of links there for other childrens poetry sites.

Em ... Happy St Patrick's Day, by the way.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Complicite is a theatre company based in Britain. As well as doing the usual stuff that theatre companies do, Complicite also has an education and resource programme which looks pretty interesting.

Two things stood out for me:

A Workshop on Commedia D'ell Arte.

Some FREE devised drama resources, with loads of exercises for your drama classes: Teacher's Notes on Devising Drama

The 'About Us' page to their website is here: Complicite

(Link thanks to David Farmer: