‘SKYVERS’ by Barry Reckord

Listen at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b01806nx

1960s London. A group of lads spends the last few days at their sink London comprehensive. What will become of the would-be footballer, the ambitious chancer or the boy on probation?

Cragge ….. Danny Worters
Brook ….. Jason Maza
Colman ….. Abdul Salis
Adams ….. Rikki Lawton
Jordan ….. Theo Barklem-Biggs
Helen ….. Joan Iyiola
Sylvia ….. Shannon Tarbet
Freeman ….. Carl Prekopp
Webster ….. Gerard McDermott
Headmaster ….. Paul Moriarty

Directed by Mary Peate

First produced at The Royal Court Theatre in 1963. Director Pam Brighton, to whom the play belongs, according to Reckord, says ' When I first came across Skyvers in 1970, it struck me as a powerful, relevant and hugely articulate work…How had Barry, a Jamaican teacher in a London comprehensive, described so accurately the alienation and rage of South London boys? The entrapment of both boys and girls bounded by sex, violence and either dull dead-end jobs or crime was described so perfectly by Barry.'

Playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah has curated new radio productions of three 20th Century plays for Radio 3's Drama on 3 and Skyvers is the last in the series. The three plays are introduced by Kwei-Armah, who describes how each of the writers influenced his own development as an actor and playwright. Kwame is currently based in Baltimore where he is Artistic Director of Center Stage Theater.

Michael Billington on Skyvers in The Guardian:

' Other dramatists such as Nigel Williams in Class Enemy went on to explore the failure of the system to cope with those at the bottom of the heap. But Reckord got there first and while it is tempting to say times have changed, new figures show that up to 16million adults today have the reading and writing skills of primary schoolchildren… a piece that proves that the best drama offers vital social evidence.'

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