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Down At Our School

Another verbatim-remiscence project, this time about people’s memories of their experiences in the education system.

Not a particularly happy project, this one. There was tension between director David Thacker and writer Ron Rose. Ron didn’t see why edited research material needed to be the sole basis for what the actors said in the show. He wanted to contribute dialogue of his own. I, meanwhile, was becoming weary of touring and wanted to do a ‘proper’ play. Looking back, I can see I was insufficiently appreciative of the fact that I’d not struggled to enter the profession, having leapt straight out of university without even having to audition to get my first job. It was all too easy for me to be complacent, at the grand old age of 24.

The school photo above has nothing directly to do with the production. It is a class photo, circa 1959, from Harry Gosling School, Stepney, London, E1. I’m in it, second row, third from the left. I’m grateful to Simon, the son of my lovely schoolteacher Helen Eshkeri (standing on the right of the photo) for this evocative reminder of my East End childhood.