by Steve Waters Wed 19 Jan - Sat 19 Feb, 2011

The Schools Season at the Bush

In response to one of the most urgent and divisive issues of our times, the Bush presents The Schools Season: The Knowledge by John Donnelly and Little Platoons by Steve Waters. The season will bring together an ensemble company of ten actors and a series of talks, debates and events which will examine education in Britain today. NB: These two productions will run in rep with each other. Please check here for times and dates for The Knowledge and here for the full programme of education events.

Little Platoons

You can call it liberalism. You can call it empowerment. You can call it freedom. You can call it responsibility. I call it the Big Society.
David Cameron

A group of West London parents are driven by desperation to take the new government up on their offer and start their own ‘free school'. They want to create an education that their children will enjoy rather than endure. But as they find their lives given over to a disturbing version of the Big Society, their fervour turns to panic.

Free schools are getting ready to transform from policy idea to classroom reality. But what do we know about them?
This dark new comedy takes the pulse of Coalition Britain, by exploring what the retreat of the state and the growth of people power might actually mean. Moving from satiric comedy to poignant family drama, it asks why we're all so obsessed with education and what happens when we get what we wish for.

Steve Waters’ previous work for the Bush Theatre includes The Contingency Plan (On the Beach and Resilience) which was shortlisted for 2009 John Whiting Award).

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What the papers say

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I can't recall a more urgently satirical local play at this address in all the wonderful 38 years of its existence...Waters is a dab hand at needling dialogue, nabbing public sector good intentions, and nailing false aspirations with the very best of them, and they include David Hare.


"Well-researched and pitilessly funny"




Writer - Steve Waters
Director - Nathan Curry
Designer - Signe Beckmann
Lighting Designer - Mark Doubleday
Sound Designer - Tom Gibbons



Joanne Froggatt
Christopher Simpson
Joe Cole
Susannah Harker
Kerron Darby
Claire Price
Holli Dempsey
Andrew Woodall
Richard Henders
Mandeep Dhillon
Otto Farrant



Times - 7.30pm & 2.30pm Saturday Matinee £15 (£7.50 concessions)
Dates - 19, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 January & February 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19
Sat matinees - Feb 5,19 2.30pm £15 (£7.50 concessions)
Previews - 19, 20, 21, 22 January £15 (£7.50 concessions)
Press Night - 24 January
Audio Described performance - 5 February 2.30pm
Captioned - 4 February 7.30pm
Equity Night - 27 January 7.30pm (£15 Equity members)
Prices - £20 (£10 concessions)
Running Time - 2 hours 20 minutes
The School Season offer - Book tickets to The Knowledge & Little Platoons at the same time & receive a £5 discount. Just use the code 'SCHOOL' when booking via Box Office or online. Full priced tickets only inc previews & mats
New Season Multi Buy offer: 3 shows for £50 - Book 3 shows in our Autumn/Winter Season at the same time & receive a £10 discount*. Just use the code 'MULTI-BUY' when booking via Box Office or online. Full priced tickets only, excluding previews & matinees.