The plays in this book came about through the unique work done in schools by Peter Mortimer – creating pieces of drama through workshops in which the pupils themselves turned creators, producers, actors. The youngsters helped to create the plot, characters and style of each play, were often involved in costume/set design as well as producing programmes and posters, and acted out the finished roles.

The plays’ themes, all of which are run through with humour, include the pitfalls of winning the lottery, the trappings of power, and global pollution as seen through an alien invasion; and the settings are as diverse as a circus, a sealed palace where nothing has ever changed, and a beach in Brazil.

All these plays were given public performances, often in professional theatres. This approach gave the pupils an involvement in and commitment to the plays which no ordinary drama class could offer. In an age of increasingly narrow school curricula, Playtime is the proof of the rewards that such a risky, often terrifying approach can bring.

Plays published in Playtime – Eight Plays for and with Young People are:

Playtime – Eight Plays for and with Young People was published by Flambard Press in September 2011; it is available for purchase through Inpress. To celebrate publication, Star of the Sea Primary School Whitley Bay restaged the play titled Triple Act, which the author created with the school’s children in 2009.