John Donnelly Wed 12 Jan - Sat 19 Feb, 2011 Book tickets

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 Little Platoons and here for the full programme of education events.

The Knowledge by John Donnelly

Being a teacher means weekends.It means thirteen weeks holiday. It means a secure job in uncertain times

But Zoe doesn’t want to have to rescue her students.
She doesn’t want to be called a slag.
She doesn’t want to sleep with the Head of Science.
And she doesn’t want to teach a group of kids how to do life.
Because that’s something Zoe’s not sure she knows how to do herself.

John Donnelly's searing new play examines what happens when a young teacher goes off the rails in a failing school. Shocking, revealing and darkly funny, the writer draws on his own experience working in schools.

John Donnelly has worked in various primary and secondary schools across London, Essex and Kent, including programmes aimed at curriculum development, Irish and Romany Travellers, enterprise, literacy, sex education, addictions, student voice. His previous plays include Bone (Royal Court Theatre), Poll Tax Riots (Hampstead Theatre) and Songs of Grace and Redemption (Theatre 503). He is a past winner of both the PMA Award for Best New Writer and the NSDF Sunday Times Playwriting Award.

Please be advised, this play contains real cigarettes, strong language and sexual content. Please call the Box Office for more information

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What the papers say

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What counts is that Donnelly grips our attention from start to finish. He is well served by Charlotte Gwinner's production which, surrounding the audience with a four-sided blackboard, reeks of authenticity...
Clearly written from experience, the play offers a wincingly plausible picture of life at the bottom of the educational heap.



"Thoroughly entertaining...horribly credible,bitterly funny"




Writer - John Donnelly
Director - Charlotte Gwinner
Designer - Signe Beckmann
Lighting Designer - Mark Doubleday
Sound Designer - Tom Gibbons



Joanne Froggatt
Christopher Simpson
Joe Cole
Kerron Darby
Andrew Woodall
Holli Dempsey
Mandeep Dhillon



Dates - 12, 13, 14, 15, 25, 26, 29, 31 January & February 1, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 19
Times - 7.30pm & 2.30pm Saturday Matinee
Saturday Matinee - 29 January, 12 February 2.30pm £15 (£7.50 concessions)
Previews - 12,13,14,15 January £15 (£7.50 concessions)
Press Night - 17 January
Audio Described - 29 January 2.30pm
Captioned - 12 February 2.30pm
Equity Night - 25 January 7.30pm (£15 Equity members)
Prices - £20 (£10 concessions)
Running Time - 2 hours 10 minutes
'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 when booking via the Box Office or online. Full priced tickets only excluding previews & matinees.
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 including previews & mats