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 The Theatreguide.London Review

Royal Court Theatre Upstairs      Winter 2010

E. V. Crowe's new play is a look at what happens among ten-year-old girls in a boarding school - and it turns out that nothing terribly interesting happens.

There are minor crushes and minor bullying and minor homesickness, and even a play that runs an hour and a quarter stretches the material pretty thinly.

To fill up the time we also briefly see a suspicious torch-bearing teacher sure there is evil lurking under every duvet, a visiting governor with no real interest in either girls or education, and an older brother who is perhaps the most sensible of the lot, assuring his sister that this is just a trial all kids have to get through and that things will eventually get better.

Maybe there is a play to be written about prepubescent crushes or the possibility that even posh girls' schools have a Dickensian misery to them, but Crowe hasn't written it, and there is simply too little here, either as drama or documentary.

The schoolgirls are played by alternating casts all making their professional debuts, and the trio I saw were, respectively, physically awkward, gabblingly unintelligible and mainly inaudible, while the adult actors all looked as if they would much rather be someplace else.

Gerald Berkowitz

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