Friday, June 01, 2018

‘Education, Education, Education’ by The Wardrobe Ensemble

1 June 2018

On Tuesday we were at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton to see ‘Education, Education, Education’ by The Wardrobe Ensemble. This play takes place in a comprehensive school on the day after Labour’s landslide general election win in May 1997. Looking forward to the prospect of massive new funding for schools, it highlights the state of education at the time and enjoys its 1990s pop-culture references. With a cast of seven playing both the teachers and the pupils, often talking directly to the audience, it reminded me of John Godber’s ‘Teechers’ (reviewed here in September 2010). The adults playing children was also similar to 'Blue Remembered Hills' by Dennis Potter (reviewed here in June 2013). While the script of ‘Education, Education, Education’ wasn’t as sophisticated as either of those other plays, The Wardrobe Ensemble’s physical movement was excellent. It was a really slick ensemble performance with brilliant timing. In the end it felt more like a fairly conventional school story, rather than having much to save about the politics of education funding, but it was really enjoyable and drew a ratpurous reception from the Royal Theatre audience.

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