What was your most memorable cultural experience when you were young and how has it stayed with you?
Below is a sample of your inspiring examples of the power of cultural learning. Please see the menu on the right for more videos and stories.
Ashley Walters, Musician & ActorAshley Walters, Musician & Actor
The whole experience left a big impression
John Hart, Specialist Schools & Academies Trust
At the age of 17, thanks to the skill of an A-level English teacher and his inspirational teaching of Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’, I understood the joy of poetry. As a consequence of this I chose to read English Literature at university and have subsequently thoroughly enjoyed my career as a teacher. This experience taught me that a skilled and knowledgeable teacher can have a long-lasting impact on his or her students. A passionate joy of the arts can enthuse others with quite profound and long-lasting consequences.
Andrew Clover, Writer and comedian
When I was nine, every class at my school put on a play. 300 of us sat on the floor, and we saw Rocky O Leary, the school's smallest boy, who was playing Chicken Licken. Hilarious. I saw loads of short plays culminating in a fine comic turn from Andrew Brown, that I can still imitate. Sure, I'd been on a couple of coach trips to watch big musicals in big theatres, but this was way better. The big theatres didn't have Rocky O Leary.
Sir Alan Ayckbourn
A number of cultural experiences have stayed with me from my younger years, the earliest and strongest as a child was seeing The Crazy Gang at the Victoria Palace. This may explain the level of my cultural appreciation today! Cinema in general and the films of Buster Keaton were a huge influence – certainly on much of my playwriting. Music also played a major part. I was under ten when I saw a short film at a news cinema of an orchestra playing Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony and going with my mother to a concert rehearsal of a Beethoven Piano Concerto with Solomon as the soloist made an impact. My father was a violinist and one time leader of the LSO and although I was very young when he departed the marital home, music remains a vital part of my life.