2010年12月25日 星期六

Leading writers condemn children's book funding cut

Philip Pullman Author Philip Pullman described the project as one of the most imaginative and generous ever conceived

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Leading writers have condemned a government decision to withdraw funding from a charity that provides free books to children to encourage reading.

Booktrust will lose its £13m support for schemes in England from April.

Author Philip Pullman called it an "unforgiveable disgrace", and ex-poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion said it was an "act of gross cultural vandalism".

The Department for Education said ministers had to take "tough decisions in difficult economic times".

'National institution'

Children's writer Mr Pullman told the Observer: "Bookstart is one of the most imaginative and generous schemes ever conceived.

Start Quote

The savings made by its abolition will be negligible, the damage done will be immense”

End Quote Sir Andrew Motion Former poet laureate

"To put a gift of books into the hands of new-born children and their parents is to help open the door into the great treasury of reading, which is the inheritance of every one of us, and the only road to improvement and development and intellectual delight in every field of life."

Sir Andrew said Booktrust had become a "national institution and the envy of the world".

"The savings made by its abolition will be negligible, the damage done will be immense," he said.

Bookstart provides packs to parents when their babies are first born and then further books at later stages in their development.

The project started in 1992 and has received money from the government since 2004.

It is funded separately by the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

'Joy of reading'

Co-founder Wendy Cooling was awarded the MBE in 2008 for services to children's literacy.

Bookstart chief executive Viv Bird said she was "immensely surprised and disappointed" to hear that funding would be withdrawn.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "The abolition of Bookstart will deprive children of an early opportunity to discover the joy of reading."

Ms Bird said the charity would be seeking other sources of support.

A Department for Education spokesman said: "We believe homes should be places that inspire a love of books and reading.

"However, in these difficult economic times ministers have to take tough decisions on spending and the particular fund managed by Booktrust will end at the end of this financial year."

pantomime during the Christmas season

Pantomime with a twist

What happens when Prince Charming has a foot fetish? We join the fun of Britain’s great pantomime tradition for a somewhat different performance of Cinderella.

The performance of pantomime during the Christmas season is one of Britain’s great traditions. But this season one of the annual favourites, Cinderella, is a ballet with a difference - set in London during the Blitz. Choreographer Matthew Bourne takes great leaps – pardon the pun - of imagination and has presented a war-time Cinderella, a bespectacled, shabbily-dressed and unloved mouse in a large family dominated by a murderous stepmother.

Report: Sylvia Smith

2010年12月20日 星期一

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2010年12月17日 星期五

Why education fails the poor

Why education fails the poor

Students took to the streets of London last month to protest against a stiff increase in course fees.


I can hardly blame them, but the fee increase is not the great injustice that they claim. In one sense it is unfair, of course: earlier generations of students paid less. Some paid nothing at all. My Oxford education was free – as was that of David Cameron, who did the same course in the same college less than a decade before me – and I am grateful.

我很难责怪他们,但学费上涨并不是他们所宣称的最大不公。从某种意义上说,这当然是不 公平的:前几届学生付的费用较少。还有人根本就没有付费。戴维·卡梅伦(David Cameron)在牛津(Oxford)接受的教育是免费的;我也一样——我比他入学晚了近10年,在同一所学院学习了相同的课程。对此我很感激。

But was that free education an example of great social progress? Cameron’s family was hardly poor. He did well enough out of his Oxford education. Is it really outrageous to suggest that he, rather than taxpayers, should have paid for some of it?


And while the percentage of under-thirties attending university rose from 5 per cent to 35 per cent between 1960 and 2000 – with a surge during the early 1990s – it is still the preserve of relatively wealthy families. According to the economists Jo Blanden (University of Surrey and LSE) and Steve Machin (LSE and UCL) this expansion actually widened the participation gap between richer and poorer children. (To oversimplify, only kids from well-off families go to university, but whereas it was once just the bright boys, now the girls and the dim boys also get to go.)

虽然从1960年至2000年,英国30岁以下年轻人就读大学的比例从5%提高到了 35%——上世纪90年代初的升幅尤为迅猛,但高等教育依然是相对富裕家庭的专利。根据萨里大学(University of Surrey)和伦敦政治经济学院(LSE)经济学家乔•布莱登(Jo Blanden),以及伦敦政治经济学院和伦敦大学(UCL)经济学家麦展勋(Steve Machin)的研究,这种扩张实际上拉大了贫富家庭子女就读大学的差距。(如果以过分简单的方式来讲,那就是只有富裕家庭的子女才能上大学,只不过以前 只接收聪明的男孩,如今女孩和笨男孩也都能上大学了。)

In short, a university education is a valuable product, largely consumed by the sons and daughters of well-off families, which plays a major role in ensuring that the sons and daughters are themselves well off – and, helps them to marry each other. This is the perk that students demand that the taxpayer should provide.


Of course, raising fees will discourage students a little. My reading of a recent study, commissioned by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and conducted by researchers from the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Institute for Education, is that adding an extra £5,000 of annual tuition fees, and funding that with an extra £5,000 of cheap loans, would dent higher education participation by about 6 percentage points. That is bad news (and subject to a high margin of error). But regressive? No.

当然,不断上涨的费用会让学生们有点灰心。我近期读到英国商业、创新和技术部 (BIS)授权、财政研究所(IFS)和教育研究所(Institute for Education)研究员实施的一项研究。研究显示,如果每年再增加5000英镑学费,以5000英镑额外的低息贷款作为资金来源,将使高等教育的参与 度下挫6个百分点。虽然这是个坏消息(也存在很高的误差率),但这算是倒退吗?非也。

If you want something to get angry about, I wouldn’t look at tuition fees. I’d look at a little graph produced by Leon Feinstein of the Institute for Education, which shows tests of cognitive development given to almost 2,500 children at the age of 22 months, 42 months, five years and 10 years. The very brightest 22-month-old working-class kids were inexorably overhauled by the very dimmest children of professional or managerial parents – apparently by the age of about seven, and emphatically by the age of 10.

如果要对某些问题表达不满,我不会盯着学费,而会着眼于教育研究所的莱昂•范斯坦 (Leon Feinstein)制作的小图表,它展示了对近2500名儿童在22个月、42个月、5岁和10岁阶段进行的认知发展测试结果。在大约7岁时,22个月 大的群体中最聪明的工薪阶层的孩子,就会明显地为父母是专业人士或管理阶层的最笨的孩子无情地超越——到10岁时更为显著。

Research by Jo Blanden and by Paul Gregg and Lindsey Macmillan of the University of Bristol, underlines this. We know that “income persistence” is high in the UK – that is, parents wealthier than average have kids who also grow up to be wealthier. In other words, social mobility is low. We also know that education seems to play a strong role in this: countries such as Denmark have egalitarian schools and low income persistence. Blanden, Gregg and Macmillan have found that you can predict much of this income persistence simply by looking at exam results at age 16. Higher education is the icing on the cake.

乔•布莱登以及布里斯托大学(Bristol University)的保罗•格雷格(Paul Gregg)和林赛•麦克米伦(Lindsey Macmillan)的研究凸显了这一点。我们知道,英国的“收入连续性”较高,即比平均水平更为富有的父母,其子女长大后也会更为富有。换言之,就是社 会流动性低。我们还知道,教育似乎在其间扮演了重要角色——诸如丹麦这样的国家,教育比较公平,收入连续性也较低。布莱登、格雷格和麦克米伦发现,你只要 看看16岁时的考试成绩,就可以大致对这种收入连续性做出预测。高等教育只是锦上添花。

The real problem in British education starts very early indeed. Subsidising tuition fees for relatively prosperous students is not the solution. Subsidising poorer kids to stay on at school after 16 might help – although even that is too late for many – but this is a policy which the coalition government is set to scrap. It’s the three- and four-year-olds from poor families who have for decades been let down by this country’s education system. But toddlers don’t take to the streets in protest, no matter how right their cause might be.

英国教育的真正问题始于低龄阶段。为相对富裕的学生补贴学费并非解决之道。资助相对贫 穷的孩子,让他们在16岁之后仍然能接受教育,或许会有帮助——尽管这对许多人来说已经太晚了——然而,这项政策却是联合政府决心要废除的。这个国家的教 育体制几十年来所耽误的,正是贫穷家庭3至4岁的孩子。但是,蹒跚学步的孩子们不会走上街头抗议,无论他们的理由多么正当。


2010年12月9日 星期四

















2010年12月6日 星期一




兩年前英國合拍劇團(Complicite)融匯《春琴抄》與谷崎潤 一郎散文《陰翳禮贊》,編創偶戲《春琴》,下周首度登台,女星深津繪里將親自操偶主演。合拍劇團有廿七年歷史,由藝術總監麥克伯尼(Simon McBurney)成立,目前是英國劇場界引領潮流的代表性團體。麥克伯尼畢業自法國賈克.樂寇戲劇學校,強調肢體劇場,並擅於運用肢體、物件、偶戲、多 媒體等元素,創造出具有強烈視覺效果的想像空間,他和同樣擅長舞台視覺效果的加拿大導演羅伯.勒帕吉齊名。麥克伯尼在劇場外也曾參與電影《謊言對決》、 《最後的蘇格蘭王》、《黃金羅盤》演出。

  • 010-12-07
  • 中國時報
  • 【汪宜儒/台北報導】

 日本作家谷崎潤一郎的名作《春琴抄》,以優雅又變態的耽美風格道出一段主僕之愛。這部小說曾數度被改編成電影、電視劇與舞台劇。兩年前英國合拍劇團(Complicite)融匯《春琴抄》與谷崎潤一郎散文《陰翳禮贊》,編創偶戲《春琴》,下周首度登台,女星深津繪里將親自操偶主演。  合拍劇團有廿七年歷史,由藝術總監麥克伯尼(Simon McBurney)成立,目前是英國劇場界引領潮流的代表性團體。麥克伯尼畢業自法國賈克.樂寇戲劇學校,強調肢體劇場,並擅於運用肢體、物件、偶戲、多 媒體等元素,創造出具有強烈視覺效果的想像空間,他和同樣擅長舞台視覺效果的加拿大導演羅伯.勒帕吉齊名。麥克伯尼在劇場外也曾參與電影《謊言對決》、 《最後的蘇格蘭王》、《黃金羅盤》演出。  早在十二年前,日本的世田谷公立劇院就邀請麥克伯尼到日本開設工作坊,並提出由麥克伯尼執導《春琴》的計畫。但礙於谷崎潤一郎在文壇的重 量級地位,擔心引起爭議,加上麥克伯尼當時提出的手法無法讓日本方面放心,演出計畫於是暫停。後來麥克伯尼在日本演出以作家村上春樹短篇小說《象的消失》 改編的舞台劇,獲得好評,在各國巡演,這才奠定了世田公立劇院對於麥克伯尼製作《春琴》的信心。  其實,麥克伯尼改編經典相當有經驗,他曾改編過莎士比亞《一報還一報》、貝克特《終局》、布雷希特《高加索灰闌記》等。《春琴》在二○○八年首演,很是轟動,還得到日本讀賣戲劇獎與最佳導演獎。  《春琴》呈現《春琴抄》裡的主僕之愛,同時融入《陰翳禮贊》中傳統日本居所陰翳的視覺感受。故事女主角春琴是三絃琴老師,九歲因眼疾失 明,年長她四歲的男主角佐助,成了替她引路的僕人。日日夜夜的相伴牽引下,兩人有了情愫,卻因階級差距而無法突破。加上春琴日漸乖戾的性情,這段感情多了 隱晦的暴力感。後來,佐助為能貼近春琴的世界,刺瞎自己雙眼。  在麥克伯尼的處理之下,舞台畫面乾淨簡潔,僅有樸實的榻榻米,但靠著演員的快速位移與巧妙演出,靠著幾根竹竿排列組合就讓舞台上這一刻是森林、下一秒就成了有門窗的房間。小型物件的靈巧使用,加上演員靈巧的手法,那些暴力毆打濺血的畫面,在舞台上卻成了另一種創意。  麥克伯尼希望觀眾可以看到春琴從小一路成長的過程,因此選擇以戲偶代替真人演出兒時的春琴。這也是他閱讀谷崎潤一郎故事中對於春琴這個角色的感受:「一開始非常疏離,隨著故事發展,作者對她的描述越來越接近她的肉體。對我來說,使用木偶,一點一點地從木頭、布料到變形成有血有肉,也是一種模擬原作的方法。」  以電影《惡人》獲蒙特婁影展影后的深津繪里在這次演出中將親自操偶,並且演出長大後的春琴。《春琴》將於十二月十七至十九日在台北國家戲劇院演出。

The British experimental theatre company Complicite was founded in 1983 by Simon McBurney, Annabel Arden, and Marcello Magni. Its original name, Théâtre de Complicité, is French for Theatre of Complicity; the company wanted the audience to be involved, or complicit, in the production. The company's work—usually created jointly by the performers and directors—combines realistic and stylized acting with narrative text, movement, music, and visual art. Its work has been influenced by Jacques Lecoq and Vsevolod Meyerhold. The company produced their first work in 1983. In 1985 they won the Perrier Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Their productions often involve dazzling use of technology, such as projection and cameras, as well as lyrical and philosophical contemplation of serious themes.

The company's lineup changes frequently, though McBurney continues to be the company's Artistic Director. Complicite is currently more active as an international touring company than within the UK.

Major productions include The Elephant Vanishes (2003, 2004) (performed in Japanese, adapted from the work of the writer Haruki Murakami), The Noise of Time (2000) (about the Russian composer Dimitri Shostakovich, title from the 1925 memoir and collected essays by the poet Osip Mandelstam, published in English in 1993); Mnemonic (1999); and The Street of Crocodiles (1992) (inspired by the life and works of Bruno Schulz).[1]

A recent UK production was A Disappearing Number (2007, 2008) at the Barbican Theatre and Theatre Royal, Plymouth, a play about the mathematicians Ramanujan and G.H. Hardy, the study of pure mathematics, the concepts of infinity and string theory. It focuses on our "relentless compulsion to understand".[2] The music was written by Nitin Sawhney and the dramaturg was Ben Power. The play won many awards, including the Laurence Olivier Award 2008 for Best New Play. It was produced at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York City in 2010.

Their most recent work is Shun-kin (2008), another Japanese play, adapted from Junichiro Tanizaki. It was first performed in Tokyo (February 2008) and then toured to London. It was revived in Tokyo in March 2009.

Their main principles of work are: "seeing what is most alive, integrating text, music, image and action to create surprising, disruptive theatre."

complicit[形](…に)共謀の[した], 共犯の[した], 連座した((in ...)).

(kəm-plĭs'ĭ-tē) pronunciation
n., pl., -ties.
Involvement as an accomplice in a questionable act or a crime.

complicity in murder