Kes revision

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  • Publicado : 16 de octubre de 2010
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Barry Hines' classic novel A Kestrel for a Knave, about a boy who does not fit into either the regimented education system or the expectations of his working class upbringing but who has a specialtalent, has been adapted for the stage by Lawrence Till, retaining the shortened title of Ken Loach's 1969 film. Billy Casper (Andrew Garfield) does not do very well at school and is bullied both atschool by his former friend MacDowall (Steven Webb) and at home by his older brother Judd (William Beck). Billy's father disappeared when he was six and his mother is always going out, leaving him tofend for himself. Judd works in the local coal mine and Billy is expected to follow in his footsteps when he leaves school in the next few months, but is determined not to. However when he finds akestrel chick and teaches himself how to raise and train it with the aid of a library book, he discovers a real passion that gives him an escape from the mundane reality of the rest of his life, and hefinds that he is not as useless as his teachers and family keep telling him he is.
Sarah Frankcom's production conjures up the late sixties / early seventies period nicely. It shows various battlesbetween the old and the new that were going on at that time: discipline and corporal punishment in schools as opposed to rebellion and understanding of the individual; following the trade or occupation ofevery other male in the family as opposed to breaking out and following personal aspirations or abilities; the very real class structure and the narrow constraints of behaviour and activitiesacceptable for members of each class.
The early school scenes produce plenty of laughs of recognition at the clichés trotted out by both pupils and teachers, such as the tuneless muttering along to the hymnby the boys in school assembly and the head teacher's complaint that "the bell is for my benefit, not for yours!" However the family and school setup scenes, as entertaining as many of them are,...
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