chapter  1
Education or theatre? The development of TIE in Britain
ByTony Jackson
Pages 22

The story of the growth of TIE in Britain is one that oscillates between surges of enthusiasm and rapid growth at one extreme and periods of cutbacks, gloom and despondency at the other. The development has of course never been even nor free of anxiety: struggle for survival has rarely been far from its practitioners’ minds. TIE is indeed one of theatre’s most vital yet most vulnerable forms. At the time of writing, it is facing one of its most devastating threats (from the ramifications of the most radical shake-up of the education system for fifty years), yet survive it will even if in different shapes and more varied and more fluid permutations. Just as several TIE teams fall prey to the economic axe wielded by beleaguered repertory companies or education authorities and as some discuss the imminent demise of TIE in Britain, so new companies form (if with different briefs and even less secure futures) and interest in TIE across the world increases (not always modelled on the British pattern). Why this bumpy ride? Why has TIE not been accepted as an integral, necessary part of our cultural and educational infrastructure? Why does it refuse to go under?