Nation Robbed of Their Future Acting Stars – By Sam H and Sam K

23 May 2024

So many kids in the UK love their drama lessons and sometimes put on great shows. While we are aware of costs, it makes us very distressed that some kids didn’t get the opportunity in their time at school. We have interviewed Sir Nicolas Hytner, a theatre and movie director who owns The Bridge theatre in London, for his view on the matter and also got some amazing advice for those who are passionate on the subject.

In the past few years there has been a huge decline in Performing arts GCSEs, in fact since 2010 the percentage of pupils who have applied for the GCSE has dropped by 72%. Whilst this might just be a loss in interest. We believe that if more students had been introduced to the subject it would be more popular. Nicolas Hytner says, “One of the things that makes me very angry is that in state schools it has been dropped from the curriculum.” Whilst we completely understand that so many state schools have the best of the best drama enthusiasts who love the arts, and that this doesn’t apply to all schools in the UK. The fact that many schools that don’t support it is staggering. 

So, why should we encourage drama in schools?  There is extensive research and proof on how drama is vital for the development of young children. We also spoke to our school’s drama teacher. We discussed all of the benefits of acting.

 Empathy is a huge part of acting, all great actors put their shoes into the roles of others. You live and experience a different life to your own as you try to understand how other people feel as you immerse yourself in their world. This gives you awareness of people around you and the many backgrounds they come from; and most of all how they feel. Acting also gives helps develop many life skills, including communication, for example presentations in your workplace, courage to do anything you set your mind to and putting yourself out of your comfort zone.

Teamwork also plays a huge part in a play. You may be thinking that you just do not enjoy acting, and that is completely fine. There are so many other jobs in theatre and movies. ‘In a movie, like a simple shot of two people talking, behind the camera there are probably 40-50 people, all with different, really important creative functions’ the same follows for everyone who wants to do, music, tech, costume, directing, set. And all of these roles include the skills you learn in acting.

Acting is so important for our country, whilst this does include economy, it also allows our people to express exactly who they are. According to Nocholas Hytner, ‘You should be able to create any kind of theatre you want’. This is so powerful for those who enjoy it, people who need to tell a story, even if it’s not their own.

Nicolas Hytner also gave some amazing advice for those out there who are enthusiastic about drama, ‘I’d say do as much as possible, find out what you think you’re good at.’ He also found out at university he wasn’t the best actor and was glad he didn’t go to drama school as he found his love for directing at university. He also talked about his new movie which has a certain actor who is very similar to his role yet, ‘He was not being introduced to [acting] at school, which is a real crime’

So many people can experience these pleasures if the government didn’t make cuts to arts at state schools. Hopefully this encourages people to understand how important this subject is. For so many people it allows them to express themselves in ways they have never done before.

Watch the Interview Here.