The importance of The Arts


"The gift of being human is that we have deep creative resources and from these we cancontinuously transform our lives if we choose. Whether you aim to change the whole world or the world within you, the limits are set as much by your imagination as by your current circumstances. This has been true for all people since the beginnings of human history."   - Sir Ken Robinson

As you've probably gathered I am a huge fan of Sir Ken Robinson. He is a recognised leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human potential.  He advises governments, corporations, education systems, and some of the leading cultural organizations. He understands the importance of The Arts in education and peoples lives which is an issue very close to my heart.  He believes that in The Arts we can focus on the qualities of our human experience and what it is to be a human being in vision, in sound, in movement and in words.

Theatres, galleries and other arts organisations are feeling the squeeze from government funding cuts. In the midst of austerity-driven cuts to UK local council budgets, the Local Government Association (LGA) recently said that while cutting arts budgets is understandable under the current circumstances, it may not be the right thing to do. It has been proven that investing in the arts can generate growth and create jobs. It says that for every £1 invested in the arts another £4 is generated. Investment in the arts can deliver an impressive rate of return. However, I think more importantly, the arts bring joy and a calming cohesiveness to communities. Without the arts life would be pretty boring!

The Arts ..........promotes diversity of culture
The Arts...........encourages expression
The to improve social well being
The Arts...........start a dialogue
The Arts...........brings people together
The Arts...........entertain and brings joy to communities
The Arts...........improves and strengthen communities
The Arts...........drives economic development

At the new St James Theatre in Victoria (where I'm an ambassador) they have created a new paradigm for The Arts and Business for the 21st century. They are setting a grand example of how Arts and Business can work together to create an economically successful, powerful and effective coalition in changing the face of Victoria with the local developers Land Securities.

A theatre, cinema, museum or festival draws visitors who do not simply spend money on their ticket or entrance fee, but also buy meals in local restaurants, go to local shops, or perhaps stay in hotels as part of their visit. These people may never have visited that location without the pull of its cultural attractions. The St. James Theatre is positioned in the heart of the Land Securities development scheme - creating a whole new Victoria. This is living proof how The Arts and business can work together and create a dynamic that works creatively and economically!

The Arts are a cultural expression of society. The Arts are so important to the human spirit and soul. People get closer to reaching their full potential when they can express themselves through The Arts. The Arts make the world a better place to live. That's why they are so important in education too! Please support your local arts communities wherever you can by going to all the incredible entertainment they produce and spread the word!

'Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions"  -  Albert Einstein

(PS - Talking of fantastic creativity - please go and see the film 'Behind the Candelabra' about Liberace starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. I was fortunate to go to a small Bafta screening last week with Michael Douglas - the man himself. He and the film are superb! Rob Lowe as the plastic surgeon is hilarious. I highly recommend it - to be released on June 7th.)

Image courtesy of Imaginative Creative Therapies

Life is an Epic Production

I started 'Life is an epic production....." because one of the biggest buzzes I got from producing and running my own production company was finding and developing talent - be it a director, producer or acting talent. I have also mentored many friends children over the years who have worked for me in their school holidays. It's wonderful to see people grow and embrace their success. It's my way of giving back all those people who helped me along the way when I first started. Talking of talent - we had one of our first parties at St. James Theatre this week on 5th September and Camilla Kerslake sang for all our guests from this fabulous Italian marble staircase and then down in the studio. She is the girl who Gary Barlow first signed to his new label 'Future Records' in 2009. She has since performed as Cosette in Les Miserables. What a voice - what a talent!

The staircase in the foyer from where Camilla sang is a sculptured staircase designed by international award winning artist and designer, Mark Humphrey. Crafted in Pietra Santa, by Pocelli Marmi, where Michelangelo carved David. The work of the staircase celebrates the best of British design alongside Italian craftsmanship! It's beautiful!.


The party was pretty good too - a fantastic turnout of people from Lord Archer to Tracy Worcester to His Excellency Khaled Al-Duwaisan Kuwaiti Ambassador to London etc. Thank you for a wonderful evening team!