On Friday I, along with another teacher, took 37 year 11 and 10 students to see a play called Bassett. It was put on by State Drama students in association with the Department of Education. The actors were in year 11 and did an amazing job with some pretty heavy themes.

Bassett follows an hour in the life of a class of students who are locked in their classroom after they were particularly horrible to their supply teacher. The thing about these kids is that they live in the town of Bassett in England where the bodies of English soldiers who are brought back from Afghanistan are driven from the airport through the middle of town to a hospital. The people of Bassett one day, began to come out into the street when the bodies were driven through their town to pay their respects.

This particular day, the body of an ex-student of their school is being brought home and the students who have been locked in the classroom claim to know him. Leo, the central character and the most aggressive character claims that Charlie was his mate. As the hour goes on, the students become more and more frustrated as they want to be down on the street as the soldiers are driven through. Different points of view come out over the course of the hour, some agreeing with the war, some saying they don’t think it’s doing any good, and one from a Muslim student, which particularly aggravates Leo.

The final scene is extremely intense, where we see Leo snap and begin to humiliate the students, making them lay on top of one another, forcing once student to stand on a table, drop his pants, and put a shirt over his face. Many of the acts echo those of the American soldiers who were found to be humiliating and torturing prisoners of war.

The year 11 actors produced amazing emotional performances, nearly having me in tears and their characters were extremely powerful. They are to be commended for their efforts and talent. I recommend you all go and see this play.

The year 11 students we took were amazing, extremely well behaved, even when we were forced to evacuate the train on the way back, making us 2 hours late arriving back to school. They also really enjoyed the play and got a lot out of it.

It was, all in all, a great excursion, even if it was pouring rain.


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