Oliviers 2017: Winners lambast cuts to creative subjects at schools

The Stage reports that Olivier award winners have widely condemned “catastrophic” cuts to the arts in education.

Speaking at the awards in London, winners including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child director John Tiffany and Dreamgirls star Amber Riley argued for the importance of creative subjects in education.

Tiffany said: “Austerity has led us to a terrible philosophy where we think we’ve got to cut back on everything that’s ‘frippery’, like the arts.”

He said creative subjects such as art history were disappearing from state schools.

“That is catastrophic,” Tiffany added. He added: “If I was graduating from high school now I certainly wouldn’t be holding this award, and I’m not being dramatic about it.”

Tyrone Huntley, who was nominated for best actor in a musical for Jesus Christ Superstar, echoed Tiffany’s comments. “Without the teachers who encouraged me when I was younger, I would never have taken it seriously as a career, so it’s really important that we encourage drama and music in schools from an early age.”

Lighting designer Neil Austin, who won for his work on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, claimed design and technical professions would be diversified only if more were done to encourage schoolchildren to take an interest.

“If you’re not getting education in school about drama and theatre studies, or if you’re not being taken on school trips, you certainly might not realise that performing is an option, and if you don’t go to those things, you will never realise that there are all these other jobs.”

Read more Oliviers 2017: Winners lambast cuts to creative subjects at schools

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