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Simon Callow to open EducationLive 2012

Simon Callow CBE will make a special guest appearance at this year’s EducationLive event for teachers, on Monday, 12 November 2012, 5.30 – 8.45pm at the Lyceum Theatre in the heart of London’s West End.  Bookings are open now at www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/EdLive/ (limited places available).

The popular British actor, director and writer who is currently starring in Peter Ackroyd’s The Mystery of Charles Dickens at the Playhouse Theatre in London,  is well known for his many theatre and film roles, including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, Phantom of the Opera, Amadeus and the Hollywood blockbuster Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls. He is also a great advocate of the educational benefits of drama, as evidenced by his role in Jamie’s Dream School, the experimental Channel 4 television series in which he taught Shakespeare to a class of underachieving teenagers.   

He says: 'I did my formative theatre going at the Old Vic Theatre, in the early days of Laurence Olivier’s time there. I saw the greatest plays in the greatest imaginable productions, with the greatest actors of the time – Olivier, Gielgud, Maggie Smith, and, among the young ‘uns, Derek Jacobi, Mike Gambon, Jane Lapotaire – on Thursday afternoons, thanks to the encouragement of the then Inner London Education Authority. These shows changed my life, and the life of many of my contemporaries, who became lifelong theatre-goers. They brightened up the school week no end, and gave the teachers a fantastic springboard: this was great literature brought to life, funny, emotional, unforgettable. Nothing in my view could be more important both for the growth of the theatre and for the effectiveness of education than for kids to come to plays with their schools. That’s what Education Live is all about. Bring it on!'

Teachers at the event will have the chance to meet face to face with education representatives from more than 20 of London’s top theatres including the Almeida, the Barbican and the Donmar Warehouse, as well as organisations such as Delfont Mackintosh and Nimax Theatres.

The annual EducationLive is organised by the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), Creative & Cultural Skills, Mousetrap Theatre Projects and the Society of London Theatre (SOLT).