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Playtime
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The plays is this book came about via the unique work done in schools by Peter Mortimer. In each case, he worked through a series of workshops with a group of pupils, and out of these a dramatic piece slowly evolved. With one exception - a play created in a Palestinian refugee camp - the first session started with a totally blank sheet awaiting the input of the creative team. As Peter Mortimer stresses, such a process is risky and at the start often terrifying, but ultimately proves to be highly rewarding for all. The youngsters helped to create the plot, characters and style, and were often involved in costume and set design as well as producing programmes and posters. And then they became actors. All these plays were given public performances, often in professional theatres. This approach gave the pupils an involvement in and commitment to the plays which no ordinary drama class could bring. In his Introduction, Mortimer writes about the beneficial effects such projects can have on young developing minds, but also warns how such work is increasingly difficult to undertake in a school philosophy of tick boxes, league tables and inflexible curricula.
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Peter Mortimer is a poet, playwright, editor, and traveller who has lived in the North-East of England since l970. More than twenty of his stage plays have been produced and he is the founder and artistic director of Cloud Nine Theatre Productions. In l973 he founded IRON Press, a respected independent literary publisher of new fiction, poetry and drama, and he remains editor to this day. In addition to three poetry collections, he has published various 'extreme' books, including Broke Through Britain, his account of a penniless 500-mile journey from Plymouth to Edinburgh, Cool for Qat, about his travels through remote parts of Yemen to research a play, and recently Camp Shatila, describing the two months he spent living in a Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut.

About the Author

Peter Mortimer is a poet, playwright, editor, and traveller who has lived in the North-East of England since l970. More than twenty of his stage plays have been produced and he is the founder and artistic director of Cloud Nine Theatre Productions. In l973 he founded IRON Press, a respected independent literary publisher of new fiction, poetry and drama, and he remains editor to this day. In addition to three poetry collections, he has published various 'extreme' books, including Broke Through Britain, his account of a penniless 500-mile journey from Plymouth to Edinburgh, Cool for Qat, about his travels through remote parts of Yemen to research a play, and recently Camp Shatila, describing the two months he spent living in a Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut.

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