29 October 2019

“Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to.” – Willem Dafoe

Year 11 BTEC Performing Arts students were invited to the Playhouse Theatre, Preston, on Monday to take a tour of the only working theatre left in the city. 

Mr Richard Catmore very kindly opened the space to give the students an exciting opportunity to take part in various workshops.  This opportunity gave students an insight into how a theatre works and the dedication required by all roles within the performing arts industry.

The students took part in acting, lighting and costume workshops. The acting workshop was about getting into character, students took part in physical exercises about status and body language. The lighting workshop saw students take on the lighting desk, which is no mean feat, and how to operate different lighting states creating mood and atmosphere.

The students that took part in the costume workshop were given a brief that outlined a character within a certain time period. Students needed to research ideas before they were let loose on the costume cupboard! 

These workshops have allowed all students to embed and extend their prior learning.

The students were a credit to our school showing enthusiasm and respect at all times. Drama Teacher, Miss Howell, said: "I would like to thank the Playhouse Theatre, Preston, Mr Richard Catmore and all the volunteers who gave up their time to accommodate our school. I would also like to thank the staff for their support in driving the minibuses. It was a truly enjoyable and informative experience for all. We cannot wait for our next trip to support our last locally remaining theatre."

Following the visit, Headteacher Mr Eastham, received this email from the theatre:

Dear Mr Eastham,

This morning we at Preston Playhouse had the pleasure of hosting your Year 11 Performing Arts students for a tour of the theatre and then a workshop on stagecraft, lighting and costume.

They were a delight: keen, enthusiastic, engaged. We’re pretty sure that they also enjoyed the experience, as did we.

They were a credit to your school in general and the guidance and supervision of Ms Howell in particular.

As a postscript: if they were slightly late in returning to school that was our fault, I’m afraid: we were enjoying ourselves too much!

Best wishes


Richard Catmore
Preston Drama Club at The Playhouse