tue 26/09/2017

school

Educating Greater Manchester, Channel 4 review - a study of hope, humanity and heart

Cast your minds back, if you will, to 2011. Remember Jamie Oliver’s Celebrity Fight School? I think that was the title… in any case, it was an astonishing vanity project which seemed to suggest that the reason so many kids were being failed by...

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No More Boys and Girls, BBC Two – baby steps lead to great leaps for children

Whether it’s the £400,000 that separates Mishal Husain from John Humphrys, or the 74 million miles between the metaphorical markers of Venus and Mars, there is a gulf between the genders. Despite legislation to enforce equality, the reality is...

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Ackley Bridge, Channel 4 review – can the town's new academy bring racial and social harmony?

Welcome to Ackley Bridge Academy, home of a new Channel 4 drama and a new amalgam of two segregated schools in a Yorkshire mill town setting out to prove itself “a new school with a new attitude”. This, at least, is the vision of new headteacher...

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Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour review - West End transfer hits all the right notes

Sacred and profane, trivial and profound blissfully combine in this irresistible, Olivier Award-winning tale of choirgirls gone wild. Lee Hall, of Billy Elliot fame, adapts Alan Warner’s 1998 novel with a similarly shrewd grasp of youthful hope...

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Speech & Debate, Trafalgar Studios

There's something to be said for encountering a playwright fresh out of the starting gate. Since his debut play Speech & Debate premiered Off Broadway almost a decade ago, Stephen Karam has gone on to write two altogether wonderful plays, the...

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School Play, Southwark Playhouse

Hot on the heels of Katherine Soper's award-winning Wish List, about the UK benefits system in crisis, and John Godber's This Might Hurt, about an NHS in crisis, comes this play about our education system in crisis. One suspects there will be plenty...

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The Lesson

Young Bulgarian writer-directors Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov have made a tight, bleak, suspenseful drama in The Lesson (Urok), driven by a commanding, unforgiving performance from actress Margita Gosheva who leads the film. Clearly made on...

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Four Minutes Twelve Seconds, Trafalgar Studios

Teenagers lie – that’s nothing new. But are the activities they’re concealing from anxious parents in this oversharing digital age more extreme, more likely to define their lives and those of the people around them? James Fritz’s 90-minute debut,...

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Martyr, Unicorn Theatre

Following a dangerously selective reading of a religious text, 15-year-old Benjamin has adopted a fundamentalist doctrine that espouses misogynist, homophobic and puritanical views and, at its extreme, violence. Neither his mum nor his teachers know...

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Future Conditional, Old Vic

Can we – should we – control the future? That’s the dilemma faced by anxious parents attempting to steer their offspring through a labyrinthine school system, educational think-tanks, and the teachers shaping young lives. Tamsin Oglesby’s play is an...

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The Falling

The pupils at a girl’s school are afflicted by fainting. It’s spreading. A teacher is affected too. The epidemic began after Lydia and Abbie's friendship has irrevocably ended. Lydia became the first to faint. The school’s headmistress, Miss Alvaro...

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First Person: Learning the lessons

A Level Playing Field is the first play in my trilogy Education Education Education. The trilogy is my response to the black cloud of exams which has arrived in our household every spring for the last nine years – just as the sun was beginning to...

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