God Bless the Kid overview – entertaining satire of formulaic educating

Stepping into the Theatre Upstairs is a return to main college, thanks to Chloe Lambard’s convincing set: named pegs, collages (“4N loves autumn”) and a studying corner. The young children (eight- and nine-12 months-olds) give marvellous, unselfconscious performances in Vicky Featherstone’s gripping manufacturing of God Bless the Little one. We, the audience, flip into school inspectors.

College can be a theatre of the absurd too. Molly Davies has worked as a instructor and this is an entertaining, satisfying satire on formulaic teaching and mindlessly constructive thinking. Castlegrave Neighborhood Main school is placing into practice “Badger Do Best” – a rigid scheme (with toy badger superintending) to increase children’s behaviour. “Behaviour is massive at the second,” bleats beleaguered head Ms Evitt (Nikki Amuka-Bird). Her agenda is far from hidden: if the writer of Badger Do Greatest approves, they will get funding to develop an annexe.

Ony Uhiara plays Ms Newsome with floundering gaiety. Her class sings – in unison – about individuality. But 1 kid: Louie (superbly clear Nancy Allsop) is already commencing to mutiny. Amanda Abbington is excellent as Sali Rayner, inventor of the scheme – cringe-makingly bogus. The only person to embody naturalness is old-college classroom assistant Mrs Bradley (empathetic Julia Hesmondhalgh) total with baggy cardy and sense of humour. It a extensively fulfilling evening and Davies has bags of talent – but tends to make her situation as well effectively, too soon. There is not a lot of a establishing argument. She demands to request herself: “What would you do in a different way subsequent time, badger?”

God Bless the Kid is at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court, London SW1 right up until 20 December

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