Cynthia Lawford came into my school, Beal High School, of Ilford, Essex, on the 7th February to deliver a one-hour long presentation on Tennessee Williams and, in particular, his play A Streetcar Named Desire to a selection of our students. I am responsible for the English Literature A level at the school and in total we have nearly 50 students studying the course, all of whom attended. Streetcar is a key text for our year 12 students, who study and complete a very important coursework assignment on this text and I feel they benefited immensely from the experience.
I can’t speak highly enough of Cynthia’s efforts on the day: she was engaging, enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable. The response from the students was fantastic, and it was a delight for me as a teacher of literature to see so many students staying behind, after the talk had finished, to pepper Cynthia with more questions on the text and the writer she is so passionately interested in – a real testimony to her ability to engage young people when discussing drama and literature.
I recommend her without any reservations for any similar venture in the future and hope that others get the chance to hear her speak with the same energy and insight. My details are at the bottom in case you need to contact me for further details.
Key Stage 5
Subject Leader for English
Beal High School, Ilford, Essex
Cynthia Lawford was kind enough to visit Lansdowne College to address my A2 class on the subject of Will Eno’s Thom Pain (based on nothing). She spoke enthusiastically for twenty minutes, distilling a wide variety of original research and challenging ideas into a clear narrative. As well as being intellectually stimulating, her good humour and obvious rapport with young people made her lecture a pleasure to listen to. My students were engaged by what she said and she dealt splendidly with their questions. I would recommend her services to all teachers interested in developing their classes’ understanding of the contemporary theatre. I will certainly be booking her again!
Teacher of English
Dr Cynthia Lawford came to give a talk to our Year 5 and 6 pupils on the subject of Shakespeare the stage and the age and specifically about the play Macbeth, which our pupils are studying and staging with the Shakespeare in Schools Festival. Dr Lawford was engaging and communicated a great deal of detail in a lively and interesting way. The content appealed to younger listeners with just the right amount of gore to catch their attention! What could have been dry political background was also delivered well and with just the right amount of detail. Dr Lawford was accommodating and flexible. I thoroughly recommend her engaging talks. Her enthusiasm and passion is catching!
St Elizabeth Catholic Primary School
I thought your talk to the girls was engaging, informative and well-paced. The group were certainly captivated by your exploration of the context of the play and your evaluation of the different meaning of words such as ‘Nothing’!! It also helped them to contextualise their characters, developing a deeper understanding of the main players and their relationships to each other. I think they came away from your talk with a renewed interest in the play and a more specific idea of how to create their character on stage. I thought you had a lovely manner with the girls and judged your audience well.
Streatham and Clapham High School
Cindy’s enthusiasm for Shakespeare and the detailed background knowledge that she shared with the pupils inspired us all. Our performance was definitely enhanced as a result of her visit as the pupils had a better idea of the mood and atmosphere in the Globe in the 1600’s.
Assistant Head Teacher
Hathaway Primary School
We all loved your lecture! The students said afterwards that they had really enjoyed it and had a lot to think about. They got an awful lot out of it and felt that they were bright, intelligent and able to cope with concepts that challenged them. I am looking forward to see how they have used that new knowledge in their essays! They feel more empowered and see the Bard in an even more positive light; they also loved your enthusiasm (they stated that you and I are very similar in that aspect!) and would be delighted to come to the British Library to hear your views on A Streetcar Named Desire.
I also learned so much: I hadn’t ever considered the references to cold or the context of the humours; nor did I know about Katherine Hamlett. I could have listened to you for hours, so I am really looking forward to hearing you on Streetcar. It was so lovely to meet you. You really inspired us all.
Head of English Department