Skip to main content

Back to all posts

Drama Lesson at Number 10


Last Friday we were thrilled to host, as part of Lessons at 10, a one-off Drama lesson for 30 primary school pupils at 10 Downing Street.

Lessons at 10 brings education to life and encourages a love of learning for children from across the UK. Year 5 pupils from primary schools in Devon, Hertfordshire and young people from military families took part in workshops and creative sessions to learn about the magic of theatre and discover behind the scenes of our recent production of Roald Dahl’s The Witches.

Pupils discovered how props and costumes are made with theatre director Séimí Campbell, created mouse ears with participatory artist, designer and educator Del Taylor and took part in a drama workshop on how to ‘become a witch’ with actor and theatre practitioner Johnny Ball.

Arts in Schools

We often remember stand-out lessons at school or inspiring drama teachers who left a lasting impact on us. It’s vital that we create access to creative opportunities and spark the imaginations of the next generation of creative thinkers, makers and problem solvers.

At the National Theatre we believe every child in the UK should have access to the arts as part of a broad education. Our Learning Activity is present in every local authority in the UK through digital and in-person programmes. 1 in 4 pupils watched a production on the National Theatre Collection last year, and 73% of learning activity took place outside of London in partnership with local theatres and cultural organisations.

Building skills for life

We are incredibly grateful to the UK Government for the recent flagship investment of £26.4m in last month’s Spring Budget. The investment is vital in supporting the creation of our pioneering National Theatre Skills Centre. This will provide engagement, skills development, career support and training opportunities nationwide for over 5,000 people each year, inspiring future artists, craftspeople and technicians.

The National Theatre Skills Centre will increase our engagement with young people from across the nation. It will offer opportunities to work with industry experts, at the National Theatre and nationwide through local partnerships, made possible thanks to this landmark investment.

We champion creativity in education, in work and for life. We hope that the experiences these pupils took away today will open up their imaginations and spark a thirst for learning and creativity which continues well beyond the classroom.

At the National Theatre, with the support of government, we are committed to inspiring young people across the country through programmes delivered nationwide, including primary schools and especially those who have never experienced live theatre. We were delighted to take part in Lessons at 10 giving primary school pupils an opportunity to discover the craft and creativity behind the scenes. All young people should have access to the arts in schools to spark their imaginations, strengthen their creativity and develop skills that go beyond the classroom.
Kate Varah, Executive Director of the National Theatre