June 19, 2023


Kevin's Blog takes centre stage this week as he talks about EDERED, a European wide organisation, creating regular theatre encounters for young people with a keen interest in the Performing Arts.

Four Theatretrain students from Chester and the Isle of Wight have just returned from a Drama Encounter in Debrecen in Hungary. This was organised by European Drama Encounters (EDERED) a European organisation that each year gathers together young people interested in drama and theatre from different European countries and brings them together to stay and work, ending up with a piece of theatre usually taken out on the streets as well as a performance at a theatre. The host country pays for the food and accommodation and the young people find the travel costs there and back. They sometimes raise that money themselves by various means.

It’s a fantastic experience – especially for those from Great Britain, partly because the common language used is English. Over the course of the week, they get to know each other, find and similarities and differences and because another common language is their shared love of theatre, they quickly get to put their feelings into the work. For many of them, this is the first big taste of adventure away from home and they often make friends that they stay in touch with for a long time. You can imagine the communal sadness when the time comes to say goodbye.

My own connection with EDERED goes back to 1990 when I took the British group to Luxembourg. I later became the British representative for the organisation and then had the honour to be the President from 2007 through to 2013. I had many adventures along the way including a group of us dining with the President of Croatia. I also attended quarterly meetings at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. I got to see up close how the non-governmental bodies operated across Europe and while they talked a lot, they got things done. I was sad when we lost a lot of these connections – but EDERED remains.

I bowed out by hosting an Encounter in Ipswich. We got funding from the British Council and made a great connection with the mayor’s office in Ipswich. We created an Encounter called Tribes and used the young people’s own ideas to create stories about different kinds of human ways of living. I’ll never forget the enthusiasm and energy they brought to their work, it was truly inspiring.

I think EDERED is a wonderful organisation. It’s not widely known but it does great work. The idea of young people coming together across Europe is great in itself – it helps them feel part of the bigger world around them and they usually remember it all their lives.

Theatretrain, a nationwide provider of weekend theatre schools for young people aged 4-18, specialises in weekly classes in acting, singing, and dancing. An emphasis is placed on learning valuable life skills such as confidence, empathy, courage, and resilience. If you know a child who loves to dance, act and sing or could do with a little confidence boost why not visit to find out what our performing arts classes can offer your child at one of our 80 locations across the UK.

Related Articles

A Great Cause!

In this week's blog, Theatretrain's Artistic Director expresses gratitude to the remarkable students and parents who played a crucial role in the danceathon on October 7th. Together, they raised an impressive £48,254.00 for Theodora Children's Charity, supporting their Christmas campaign for children's mental health. The collective efforts will undoubtedly make a significant impact on Theodora's valuable work, bringing joy and laughter to children in hospitals and hospices nationwide.
Read more >

Flying through Flanders

Kevin Dowsett, Artistic Director of Theatretrain, recounts his Antwerp escapade, from coffee calamities to exploring vibrant theatres and explores how Belgium see value in the arts.
Read more >

Crazy for You

Join Theatretrain Artistic Director Kevin Dowsett as he shares the enchanting experience of watching 'Crazy for You' at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. Dive into the magic of tap dancing, embrace the cheesy love stories, and discover why this musical is a perfect blend of joy and optimism.
Read more >

A Success Story

Dive into the vibrant world of theatre magic with Kevin Dowsett, Theatretrain's Artistic Director. Today, he shares the incredible journey of Callum Balmforth, a former student turned professional performer, making waves on and offstage!
Read more >

Saying Yes to Ideas

In this insightful blog, our Artistic Director, Kevin Dowsett, explores the power of saying yes to ideas and the transformative impact it can have on creativity and communication.
Read more >

I Have a Dream   

In this blog post by Kevin Dowsett, the realms of reality TV and musical theatre come together. The blog provides a exploration of the inner mechanisms of a reality show, the varied skills of its contestants, and the skill of establishing a connection with an audience through song and character. His distinctive viewpoints illuminate this considerate analysis. For the complete blog post, please click on the link either above or below in the bio. ☝️👇
Read more >