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Behind the Fringe

The TES asked teachers and students about their experiences at the Edinburgh festival...

Yvonne Waring, supply teacher, South Lanarkshire; actress in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: "Acting is completely different to teaching. It's a great break away from life in the classroom. I speak, and people actually listen to what I have to say. And it's a great release to spend all day working with adults."

Sam Pimblett, 16, Bishop's Stortford college, Hertfordshire; lighting and sound operator, Richard III: "You have a very small space to work with here. So you have to be inventive in order to create different atmospheres.

Then you can go back home and use the ideas you've experimented with."

Ben Burns, 16, King Edward VII community college, Leicestershire; technician, Once a Catholic: "You experience the real stresses and strains of theatre life. You go to bed at the end of a 13-hour day and realise you have really learnt something. You can't write that in an essay. You have to live it."

Sarah Gibson, drama teacher, Bishop's Stortford college, Hertfordshire; director, Richard III: "There's a school of thought that says that school drama is about touchy-feely social work, and making people feel good. But, actually, you want to get A grades. And you don't get A grades by putting on a shabby performance. You need team-building and discipline. You wouldn't get a decent production if you didn't develop those."

Michael Brett, 17, Ashby-de-la-Zouch grammar school, Leicestershire; actor, Once a Catholic: "It's not like performing in school. You feel like you're doing something real. And performing here helps you to understand all the different elements that go into a theatre production."

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