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This pulls most of its punches before it has even started. The real coup d’theatre happens as you enter through the kids cloakroom into an uber-realistic primary school classroom (designer Chloe Lamford) where the kids are playing. It takes your breath away. Sadly, it’s all downhill from there.

We’re at a school where Sali Rayner’s learning system is being piloted. She’s the writer of the Badger Do Best children’s books and she is seeking to exploit their potential in collusion with the authorities. If it succeeds the school gets a capital injection, so head teacher Ms Evitt colludes. Class 4N’s teacher Ms Newsome conforms until the kids rebel and she goes off with stress. Teaching assistant Mrs Bradley is clearly against and covertly supports the rebellion led by young Louis. In 35 short scenes (average length less than 3 mins) we get progressively bored without really getting anywhere. This play by Molly Davies really is dull. It takes 100 minutes of heavy-handedness to drive home its point – central control of education patronises our children and stifles their individuality. In doing so, it patronised me.

The seven child actors are great. The adult roles are all a bit stereotypical, so not even seeing Julie Hesmondhalgh (Corrie’s now deceased Hayley) and Amanda Abbington (Mrs Martin Freeman) off the telly can lift your spirits. Vicky Featherstone’s production needs a firework up its arse to give it anything like the energy you’d get in a classroom of eight-year-olds.

Another disappointment at the Royal Court, I’m afraid. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record…..

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