STAGE REVIEW: Trojan Horse @ Live Theatre, Newcastle (15.10.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Reliably informed

A truly powerful, impactful production, meticulously produced, rich with integrity and insight, Trojan Horse is informed by over 200 hours of interviews with witnesses, including many of the teachers, pupils, parents and governors affected. The play centers around the real-life stories of Muslim teachers and governors accused of plotting extremism in Birmingham’s schools in 2014.

After Theresa May’s Home Office leaked an anonymous letter, outlining an ‘Islamist plot’ to take over the schools (a letter which proved to be fake!) a local story hits the national news.

Opening in a classroom, the characters sat at wooden school desks. An old-school blackboard stands in the background, where projected visuals punctuate each scene with quotes in Urdu and English. A live audio recording of hysteria in parliament, whipped up by the then Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove, reminds us that this is very real. Performed by an impressive ensemble of actors, capturing each character’s frustration and despair as they witness their identity and culture being vilified in the press in the name of so-called ‘British Values’ the play packs a powerful and much-needed political punch.

Before the audience leave, after rapturous applause, the cast announce proudly that they’ll be performing the show in the communities affected, and in the Houses of Parliament in 2020. I really hope Theresa May and Michael Gove attend.

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