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.


Ru McGrath

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.”

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