play for young people 11 to 16 to read and perform
play about early teenage, its plot mixes the elements of a dare
between leaders of rival neighbourhood 'gangs', emerging teenage
boy-girl friendships, the issue of social class divisions, and
a potentially serious crime, making a naturalistic comedy about
a moment of growth from childhood to adolescence. Two production
features are strongly emphasised. Considerable scope for individual
and group movement in fights, chases, and comic byplay, along
with cut-and-thrust dialogue which the actors are encouraged
by the writer to change and adapt to their own style and fashion.
with the co-operation of young actors, the first production
used a proscenium stage. Since then, others have set the play
in the round and in other forms.
used for play-reading in classrooms and though now old fashioned
and ageing, to judge by sales and response, it still touches
a nerve and is enjoyed, especially by less experienced young
readers and actors.
published by Heinemann, 1966
contents are ©Aidan Chambers unless otherwise stated.