In 2016, new academic syllabuses set by GCSE exam boards AQA and OCR dropped the requirement for schools to ensure that pupils watch and analyse at least one live theatre production. Guidelines stated that, in place of a visit to the theatre, teachers could show pupils recordings of plays instead.
But is a film or recording a sufficient educational substitute for live performance? Research suggests not. For secondary school pupils, a visit to the theatre provides much more than just entertainment. If students are studying a play at school, for example, they’ll have a much better understanding of it if they see a live performance.