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British Theatre Guide

Education in our schools has radically changed over the years and the pressures on head teachers and teachers to meet targets and raise standards with endless concentration on data and results with league table is overbearing.

Trimran’s Productions’ The Inspectors Call is an insightful look at the stresses that the struggling and challenging urban Ardley Green School are put under with the pending visit of the Ofsted Inspectors.

The clever, sharp-witted script is written and skilfully directed by Peter Campling who was once a headteacher in London and his observations over the years are passionately presented.

George Smith has been head of this school for 12 years and has a mantra of “stay positive”. However the school is falling apart and the promised new one has not been realised.

There is much competition from the Academies Trust and the opening of a new free school effecting prospective numbers At Ardley.

There are up-to-date references to Harry Potter with “Dumbledore” Joe Cushley as the loveable head who wants to “prepare the kids for life”.

The acting throughout is superb and the cast double up roles to create believable characters. We meet the senior management team who are diametrically opposed in their ideas with one concentrating on statistics and targets and the other more concerned and caring about the pupils as individuals and wants to liven up the learning.

There is so much to like in this production as the various factions in the staffroom are revealed. The union dispute, the Teach First new teacher that George comments, “it’s like ordering through Amazon, the new teachers just turn up.”

We have the irate parent complaining about the cost of the new uniform, the upcoming production of Bugsy Malone and an illicit romance between staff members at the Christmas staff party, plus the school is in financial difficulties.

Then there is the problematic maths department that is the school’s Achilles heel and there is little support from the Local Authority which has a hidden agenda concerning the future of the school.

Then the dreaded call arrives and the day of judgement is soon to begin and their future will be sealed.

The deputy head explains that, “teaching is exhausting and emotional” and the disillusioned new teacher asks the audience, “what sane person would want to teach at all?”.

This snapshot of school life is an absolute delight and most certainly an A star.

Reviewer: Robin Strapp
Reviewed: 19th August 2016

Trimaran Productions

The Inspectors Call

Inspectors Call @spotlites @edfringe

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Preview: Sun 14th - 9.35pm
Mon 15th - Sun 28th August - 8.05pm

(1 hour 20 mins)

From England

Exploring the impact of creeping corporatism and excessive accountability.
George Smith cares deeply for his school, his local community and the embattled values of comprehensive education.

But the pressures build: poor maths results, a budget deficit, outside interference, competition from the new free school, disgruntled unions
and scandalous behaviour at the staff party. Judgement day finally arrives, the inspectors call…

‘Outstanding theatre exploring the relationship between schools and Ofsted’ (
‘A comic and very moving tragedy’ (Morning Star).
‘Passionately political, highly recommended!’ (Schools Week).

Nominated for the Off-West End Best New Play Award 2015.

Performer's website



Preview: Sun 14th £5

Sun - Thurs: £7 (£6 Concession)
Fri & Sat £8 (£7 Concession)

Group discount: 10% off for groups of 10+

Friends of Fringe: 2 for 1 anytime – only available from Fringe Box Office

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Venue 278. 22-26 George Street. EH2 2EP
Venue Box Office: 0131 240 2784

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