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April 22 2016.

Top actors including Zoe Wannamaker, David Harewood and Sheila Hancock have publicly criticised new GCSE drama guidelines that do not require students to watch and analyse a live performance.

In a recent open letter to the Sunday Times, they wrote: “Trips organised by schools are the only contact with the theatre that some pupils get. Many of us remember those magical experiences all our lives. Countless writers, actors, artists and others working in the creative industries were inspired to take up their craft by those enriching evenings in the stalls."

In response, Seaford Musical Theatre Juniors (SMTJ) has offered free tickets for GCSE drama students for its upcoming National Theatre Youth Connections play 'Bassett' at the Barn Theatre in Saxon Lane, Seaford on April the 29th, 30th and May the 1st.

"I totally agree with the sentiment expressed in their letter" said SMTJ Director, Paula Woolven. "Recordings of live productions are valuable teaching tools, but they should be in addition to the experience of live performance, not a substitute for it. I am delighted to welcome all drama students and teachers to our show free of charge."

To book free tickets for Bassett go to: and use code GCSE.

To see an earlier HAVEN NEWS story on the show CLICK HERE