George Green’s pupils turn West End theatre critics for Arbuzov’s ‘Promise’

From critics to performers... pupils prepare for Arbuzov's 'The Promise'

From critics to performers... pupils prepare for Arbuzov's 'The Promise' - Credit: Donmar Education Project

School pupils on the Isle of Dogs turned West End theatre critics in a programme aimed at protecting drama and the arts in mainstream education.

The youngsters from George Green’s Secondary took part in workshops to learn the basics of theatre criticism as part of the Donmar education project held at the Trafalgar Studios theatre.

The ‘critics of tomorrow’ got to grips with ‘The Promise,’ a wartime siege drama by Soviet playwrite Aleksei Arbuzov written in 1965, performed in an updated version by Penelope Skinner. They submitted their reviews after working with the actors and theatre professionals.

The programme for London schools is funded by United House social housing group, whose chief executive Jeffrey Adams said: “Education budgets are being slashed and new government measures focusing on core academic subjects threaten the future of arts subjects.

“Our support for this programme will have been worth every penny if we can ignite a passion for theatre and arts in just a handful of youngsters.”

Each workshop ended with George Green’s pupils and kids from three other London schools performing their own version of the play they were reviewing—to know first hand what it is like at the sharp end of a theatre critic’s pen.