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Theatre must show government what it can do for education says Sir Lenny

By: stagedoorscribbler - April 9, 2018

Sir Lenny Henry

It's good to hear that Sir Lenny Henry has been calling on the theatre world to “step up and be more bullish” in a bid to convince the government of its value and the vital role of drama in education.

He was speaking at the recent launch of the National Theatre’s new Let’s Play initiative to help schools stage specially commissioned drama that’ll connect with other strands of the national curriculum.

NT Board member Henry argued that the government should being providing greater financial support to enable the arts to become more central to UK education.

The Stage newspaper quoted him as saying: “Drama needs to step up and be a bit more bullish about what it can offer. We are often in a bubble… but drama has a lot to offer to our GDP. Look at how much money we make for Britain. We should be bullish and talk about the things we do that help society – about relationships, morals and ethics. We can bring that to bear on the school curriculum,” he said.

He wants the government to provide match funding for the Let’s Play initiative, which costs £350 per school, per academic year.

It is also hoped that, in the long run, Let’s Play will help to make theatre and acting a viable career for working class students. At the moment the iundustry seems skewed in favour of the monied and privileged.