Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Trojan Horse review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘slick, stylishly fluid show’

Trojan Horse at Summerhall, Edinburgh. Photo: The Other Richard Trojan Horse at Summerhall, Edinburgh. Photo: The Other Richard
by -

This is vital verbatim theatre. Adapted from more than 200 hours of interviews and reams upon reams of public documents, Lung Theatre’s Trojan Horse delves into the thorny issues surrounding the 2014 outcry over the alleged radicalisation of predominantly Muslim state schools in Birmingham.

Matt Woodhead’s production, co-written with Helen Monks, follows several different storylines – a struggling GCSE student, a Muslim teacher, an outraged headmistress and a concerned local councillor – weaving them together in a slick, stylishly fluid show. Five cast members in school uniforms whisk rolling desks around a bare stage, donning hijabs, jackets and headscarfs as they become different characters.

Trojan Horse doesn’t just provide a pacy, pulsating account of what happened at Park View Educational Trust after it was accused of radicalising its students, it manages to pull at the threads of that particular ethical knot, expanding to become a thought-provoking and unapologetically political exploration of identity in modern Britain. Why, it ultimately asks, are certain sections of society so keen to draw a line between British and Islamic values?

It’s well crafted, well structured, well acted, and asks deafening questions about both our education system and our society at large. This is important, absorbing and intelligent, from start to finish.


We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Vital verbatim theatre piece exploring the alleged radicalisation of predominantly Muslim schools in Birmingham