First News - - BIG NEWS -

SCHOOLS look set to clamp down on al­low­ing pupils to per­form in the­atre shows.

That’s the warn­ing from top chil­dren’s cast­ing direc­tor Jo Hawes. She says she is al­ready see­ing signs that schools won’t let chil­dren miss classes to be in shows, be­cause they have missed so much al­ready due to the COVID-19 pan­demic.

Jo, who has cast chil­dren in shows such as Les Misérables and Mary Pop­pins, told

The Stage mag­a­zine that a child had al­ready told her they couldn’t do a show next year, as their school said they had to catch up on missed les­son time.

Jo said: “I sup­pose from a head teacher’s point of view they have missed a whole term and they want them to be in school all the time, but that doesn’t take into ac­count how the kids might feel about it.” Jo wants schools to “think about the whole child”.

To help keep the pas­sion for the­atre alive in young peo­ple, Jo is launch­ing Show­stop, a new week­end drama school for young peo­ple, where show pro­fes­sion­als will run mas­ter­classes with chil­dren.

Zaris-An­gel Ha­tor, who played the role of Matilda in the West End pro­duc­tion

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