The Helios project, which we put together in Ham House last June, has won the Walpole award for teaching and learning. I'm well chuffed - particularly as the work had real student ownership. I picked up the award from the Principal, at the feast day lunch, but last year's Drama in the Community students deserve the credit.
The facebook group we set up is still active, so I was able to write and tell them about their success and had some happy responses by closing time this evening. It's a rewarding way to end the year.
After work I went with Matt to the Orange Tree to see Leaving, the Vaclav Havel play, that's been in rep for most of the Autumn. It's most odd and I'm not sure I really got my head round it. Essentially it's a piece which fuses King Lear, The Cherry Orchard and Havel's own musings about leaving office, but I found the humour hard to translate and the pace of the piece seemed too slow to support the witty lines.
Occasionally Havel's disembodied voice comes across the PA system offering advice to the actors or questioning his own intentions - like the director's commentary on a DVD - but after a while this also interrupts what little flow there is.
It's self deprecating autobiography and fine for that, but I'd be more interested in less insular play about the future of the Czech Republic or the psychological effects of retirement, rather than this cerebral pathos.
Mark is the Academic Director of the Drama Programmes at St Mary's University in Twickenham. He has worked internationally as a theatre director and educator for the past 15 years, focused mostly on youth, community, and conflict resolution work.
As a lecturer Mark taught at Goldsmiths College, Coventry University and was Head of Performing Arts at Canterbury College prior to joining St Mary’s in 2006.
His Professional directing credits include Henry V (One of US?) and Valhalla for RSC Education; The Wind in the Willows, Jack Cade, The Red, Red Robin for Sevenoaks Playhouse; Tender Souls, The Quality of Mercy and Playhouse Creatures for the Ambassadors Theatre group.
Mark is a director of subVERSE Theatre company for whom has directed fringe premieres of Chief, Dinnertime and OxfamC**t at Theatre 503.
Site specific work includes Purka and Shadow on Icelandic volcanoes and Novocento with students from the University of Genoa.