No Child...

Nilaja Sun spent six years as a teaching artist in the Bronx . Her students must surely have been the luckiest in New York.In this show – seen by many thousands across America – she is centrally a teacher creating a performance of a complex and moving play which involves imprisonment, conflict with authority, cruelty and much else – things that will resonate with the kids; and the play gives her some good quotes. She is creating this play with the most difficult class around, and - she plays the parts of all these students as they react to her, as well as playing other teachers, the disabled janitor, parents – you get the idea. And she does this brilliantly, moving between very different characters in a flash.Don’t think, 'Oh, dear – yet another one person show.' Here the stage seems really to be populated by a wide range of characters, who are fixed in seconds by Sun’s impressive skill. We see the gradual effects this teacher has, and the setbacks that she faces in her exhausting task. (No school production is easy to bring off. And this was clearly the most difficult of productions).Nothing puts this teacher off and she keeps at it. The controversial American, 'No Child Left Behind' Act is behind the thinking in this play. Not only the resourcefulness of this teacher but the resourcefulness of Nilaja Sun in portraying such an array of characters presented here is to be admired. The recounting of the future successes of the students at the close was something I wondered about. Did we need so much detail? Was this too much optimism? However, Sun warmly deserved the partial standing ovation she received at the performance I saw. See this and be inspired!

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

A heart-wrenching tour de force and joyous exploration of the New York City public school system by acclaimed actress and teaching artist, Nilaja Sun. 'Marvelous! Touching and funny.' (New York Times). www.barrowstreettheatre.com.

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