Playwrights call to save drama in schools

Two highly regarded British Playwrights have joined calls to save drama in schools and keep it on the curriculum.

Speaking to the Guardian James Graham, known for plays This House and The Vote, said that it would be ‘dangerous’ if education turns into a ‘fact-gathering exercise’ that has ‘no space for children to make emotional or creative sense of their lives’.

Patrick Marber, a screenwriter and comic actor nest known for Dealer’s Choice, Closer and The Red Lion, told the Guardian: “Personally, I gained as much ‘old school education’ from being in plays as I did from anything else. Theatre encourages imaginative empathy. It shows how people lived and how they live now, and it inspires historical and artistic research. What is more, people have fun and find themselves, as well as forming deep and lasting bonds, when they’re engaged with theatre.”

Their comments come amidst the government push for a more ‘academic’ curriculum, with the introduction of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), which requires pupils to study subjects such as English, Maths, Sciences and a language, but omits many creative subjects.

Marber said that he was not against ‘promoting the core subjects’, but said it should not be ‘at the expense of the creative arts’.

He added: “We need to inspire children from a young age. Performance and storytelling are ancient arts, they provide the oldest kind of education known to humankind.”

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