Kicking Tots and Revolutionary Trots: The English Stage Company Young People’s Theatre Scheme 1969-70

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Colleges, School and Institutes


This chapter looks at the period between 1969-1970, a time when the English Stage Company faced accusations of ignoring rapid developments in what is commonly termed ‘fringe theatre’ (Brenton, 1992; Roberts, 1999). In particular, it will argue that the work of the Royal Court’s Young People’s Scheme, ran at the time by Jane Howell and Pam Brighton, covertly smuggled in the ethics and sensibility of the counterculture into the theatre.
Drawing extensively on archival sources from the English Stage Company and the Arts Council of Great Britain, the chapter looks at three significant case studies: the On Violence workshops to mark the 1969 Edward Bond season, the devised show Revolution! In 1970 where children and adolescents were said to have been ‘instructed in revolutionary techniques’ aimed at the overthrow of the state and the revival that same year of Anne Jellicoe’s The Sport of My Mad Mother for school that faced accusations for glamourizing gang violence.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEthical Speculations in Contemporary British Theatre
EditorsMiriea Aragay, Enric Monforte
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Royal Court , Edward Bond , Saved , Anne Jellicoe , Sport of My Mad Mother , Young People's Theatre Scheme