Page extent: 88
ISBN: 9781786821232
Binding: PaperBack

School Play

Alex MacKeith

PaperBack (30 Jan 2017)

The headteacher’s office of a south London primary school is always busy. But today is results day and the phone won’t stop ringing. Jo, the headteacher of St. Barnabas, knows that the arrival of the school’s SATs results puts her job on the line. With the future of the school and its pupils at stake, Jo struggles to maintain order as her staff and superiors demand answers. Can she protect her students and herself?

A sharp, wry and timely drama. Set against the backdrop of an education system in turmoil, Alex MacKeith’s debut play asks what it means to be a primary school teacher in contemporary Britain.

Additional Information

ISBN13 9781786821232
Binding PaperBack
Page Extent 88


'A sharp, snappy and timely examination of our flawed education system... School Play is a real gem. Just when Theresa May has raised the spectre of selective education, Mackeith powerfully suggests that it's time we all went back to school.' The Stage ★★★★

'The head teacher's office is always a scary place for anyone, but no day is more stressful than results day at St Barnabas' Primary School. This is something that playwright Alex MacKeith would know all to well; his experiences working at a London primary school have shaped his debut play... School Play shows us that education today is about playing the system, meeting national targets to get government grants, rather than trying to produce world-class thinkers... a promising first play.' What's On Stage ★★★★

'In Alex MacKeith’s richly promising debut play, tough-minded primary school head teacher Jo is under pressure...while much of the play’s strength lies in its finely observed specificity, there’s a broader and important story here about the dangers of public services being treated like tradable commodities.' Evening Standard ★★★★

'Given that MacKeith worked in one after leaving Cambridge, I take the play to be authentic. What makes it good drama is that it deals with the nuts and bolts of a test-driven system, rather than taking refuge in waffly generalities... MacKeith’s sympathy clearly lies with teachers who work a 65-hour week to make an imperfect system work. Because his play is so detailed, it also acts as a metaphor for other hard-pressed professions, such as nursing or social care... “Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first call promising,” said the critic Cyril Connolly. But if I say that MacKeith has real promise, it is because he has understood that plays work best when they provide concrete evidence from which audiences can draw their own conclusions.' Michael Billington, The Guardian ★★★★