WHAT would Britain be like if Education Secretary Michael Gove became Prime Minister?
That is the question students from St Edward’s School, in North Oxford, are trying to answer in a comedy play, Who’s Afraid of Michael Gove?, they will take to Edinburgh Festival Fringe next month.
The drama students have devised a story in which Mr Gove’s radical reforms have led to the removal of arts from the national curriculum.
Ru McGrath, 18, plays roles including a “Gove robot”
and the father of main character Lawrence. He said: “It is a comedy, but also with a serious message about how important the arts are.
“Michael Gove has been in the press a lot saying things which suggest the arts should be more of an extracurricular activity for students.
“We wanted to satirise that idea and imagine what a world without the more creative subjects would be like.”
Mr Gove joins other politicians in the story, which also reveals that while he has risen to be PM, his Tory colleague and Mayor of London Boris Johnson has gained his own TV talk show.
Mr McGrath and co-stars Theo Smith, 18, who plays Mr Johnson, and David Kelly, 18, who plays Mr Gove, performed the show for their A-Level exams, all gaining A* grades.
Mr McGrath added: “I particularly love a scene in a pub with the boring ‘Gove robots’ – the generation of students who have grown up in Mr Gove’s art-free world.”
The play takes place at The Space, in Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh, from August 18 to 22.
A second drama group from the school will be performing Blood Wedding – a rural tragedy originally penned by Spanish playwright Federico García Lorca – at the Fringe from August 5 to 8.
Headteacher Stephen Jones said the school’s association with the North Wall arts centre in South Parade, which it owns and runs, was key to its drama output.
He said: “Given this background, it is no wonder that our pupils are enthusiastic and highly competent dramatists and performers.”
For more details, see stedwardsoxford.org
5:10pm Thursday 8th October 2015
A 15-YEAR-OLD girl was raped in Barns Road, Cowley on her way to the bus stop. According to Thames Valley Police the girl was walking to the stop before Blackbird Leys bridge between 2pm and 4pm on Sunday, September 20. She was approached by a man who walked alongside her. As they came to the bridge he grabbed her arm and pulled her down to a muddy track at the side of the bridge. He then raped the victim and left her on the track, walking away. The offender is described as white, aged in his late teens, 5ft 7ins or 5ft 8ins tall and slim. He had very short dark hair, blue eyes, freckles on his face and a short ginger beard, and was wearing a chain around his neck, black trainers and dark grey Nike jogging bottoms. The girl reported the rape to police on Tuesday ((06/10)) this week. Investigating officer Det Insp Steve Raffield of Banbury CID said: “Specialist officers are supporting the victim who has reported this rape to us. "What happened to this young girl is unimaginable and I am sure that members of the public will be shocked to hear about this incident, which happened in broad daylight. "“A full investigation is now under way and there are officers in the area today making enquiries and providing reassurance to members of the public who may have concerns. “Incidents like this are extremely rare, but it is essential that we identify the offender as soon as possible. I would urge anyone who has any information about this incident, or who saw or heard anything out of the ordinary in the Barns Road area around the time of the offence, to contact me as soon as possible by calling 101.”
5:00pm Thursday 8th October 2015
A boy has been taken to hospital after being involved in a crash in Bicester.
6:36pm Thursday 8th October 2015
CCTV footage from an Oxford travellers’ site has shown a man who was allegedly kept as a slave being pushed around and treated “like a ragdoll”.
4:50pm Thursday 8th October 2015
AN E-FIT of a man who ran away after being caught holding a little girl's hand in Greater Leys has been released by Thames Valley Police. According to officers, a two-year-old girl was playing outside a property in Shepherds Hill at about 6.20pm on Friday, September 11. When her mother came to check on her she saw a man holding the girl's hand. When she challenged the man, he ran away. He is described as white, in his thirties, about 5ft 7ins or 5ft 8ins with short spiky blond or brown hair. He was wearing a knee-length jacket that may have been leather. Investigating officer Det Con Lorna Briggs of Force CID in Oxford said: “We are keeping an open mind regarding this incident. There might be a innocent explanation as to why the man was holding the girl’s hand. “If anyone recognises the man in the E-fit or has any information about the incident then please contact your local police station."
4:50pm Thursday 8th October 2015
A BEGGAR has been banned by police from approaching people in Oxford and asking them for money, food or cigarettes.
7:50am Thursday 8th October 2015
MISSING teen Michaela Rose from Chipping Norton was found safe and well last night.