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Howard Atkin



Why I Enjoy Drama

I was introduced to drama at the tender age of 14 by a charismatic English teacher and actor and was instantly hooked. Working back stage for tow week at a time then eventually getting parts and acting in two week runs was so much fun. Taught how to make scenery, by professionals, how to operate the flies, where the scenery is lowered in from above. There is an immediacy about drama you don’t find elsewhere in life. You commit to a play as an actor or a director, props maker costume maker and it has to happen on the appointed day and time. It is the pressure, management of people, logistics, disasters and mayhem of every sort, let alone the artistic efforts needed and at the end of it all you have a performance to give. This shared experience of the challenge, all the joy and the tensions and then succeeding is simply wonderful, rewarding and fun.

My Drama Experience

I have enjoyed all aspects of drama, the technical and the artistic. I have directed many plays including “Blue Remembered Hills”, “Our Day Out”, “Teechers” and “A Yorkshire Tragedy” and made and assembled the scenery for many more. Taking a part and making the best of it is the essence of the matter, be it large or small. I have been lucky enough to have had some terrific parts and shared the stage with some great actors. Amongst many other parts I have played Toad in “The Wind in The Willows” and the second murder in “Macbeth”, I have played dragons, witches familiars (a full sized cat) and an itinerant Irish conman. I have played a 4 year old child and a prim lady headmistress, a mute clown, a foul mouthed Russian bully, a gay transvestite, a country yokel in a Victorian melodrama and a deranged lighthouse keeper. I always look for a new and different challenges in any of the parts I take on.

Away from Drama

I work full time as an engineer and new product developer and I am kept fully busy, but I what spare time I have I love fell-walking and industrial archaeology, and I am the baker and an archer and rope maker in the Towton Battlefield Medieval Re-enactment group which takes up weekends during the summer.

Editors note:  Howard will be directing Alan Bennet’s The Lady in the Van later this year.