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Simon Callow in The Mystery Of Charles Dickens

Callow to open EducationLive 2012

Published October 2, 2012

Simon Callow will make a special guest appearance at this year’s EducationLive, the annual event that offers teachers the unique chance to discover the incredible educational opportunities offered at more than 20 of London’s top theatres.

Taking place on 12 November at the West End’s Lyceum theatre, 200 secondary school teachers will have the chance to network with theatre industry professionals and find out details of special events, teacher resource material and workshops offered at theatres including the Almeida, Barbican and the Donmar Warehouse, as well as organisations such as Delfont Mackintosh and Nimax Theatres, helping to enable their schools to offer children the magical and educational experience of theatre.

Callow, who can currently be seen in The Mystery Of Charles Dickens at the Playhouse theatre, is a great advocate of the education benefits of drama, something he explored in Channel 4’s 2011 series Jamie’s Dream School in which the Four Weddings And A Funeral star taught Shakespeare to students taking part in the educational experiment.

Speaking about his own experience of the theatre when he was a school pupil, Callow said: “I did my formative theatregoing at the Old Vic theatre, in the early days of Laurence Olivier’s time there. I saw the greatest plays in the greatest imaginable productions, with the greatest actors of the time – Olivier, Gielgud, Maggie Smith, and, among the young ‘uns, Derek Jacobi, Mike Gambon, Jane Lapotaire – on  Thursday afternoons, thanks to the encouragement of the then Inner London Education Authority.” The BAFTA nominated actor added, “These shows changed my life, and the life of many of my contemporaries, who became lifelong theatregoers. They brightened up the school week no end and gave the teachers a fantastic springboard: this was great literature brought to life, funny, emotional, unforgettable. Nothing in my view could be more important both for the growth of the theatre and for the effectiveness of education than for kids to come to plays with their schools. That’s what EducationLive is all about. Bring it on!”

EducationLive costs £20 to attend and runs from 17:30 to 20:45. As well as the chance to meet face to face with those working in the industry, the event also includes two 45 minute workshops led by West End professionals and access to exclusive theatre offers. For more information and to book visit our EducationLive page.