after Harper Lee
It was February, it was cold, you’d come in
from break time and your fingers
would seize into a rigor mortis claw,
Atticus, he was real nice. – Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird
the room is ripe with adolescent sweat
pressed periwinkle to our backs as flies swoon
in circuits around our teacher perched on a table
with her feet inches from the ground
and whoever is still awake quietly questions
her decision to imitate Calpurnia’s accent
Recently, I went on a school visit to see To Kill a Mockingbird at The Barbican, and whilst I think the actors played their parts incredibly well – especially Zackary Momoh, who played the role of the falsely accused Tom Robinson – I’m not writing here to give a glowing review. I read the book around the time I started my job at the school three years ago, yet the play, adapted by Christopher Sergel, had a different impact on me.
Actors slipped in and out of character to read directly from the book, narrating through a multitude of different accents, obviously showing that they were each sentimentally and emotionally affected by the text. This sentimentality, however, was lost on me, and as the production drew on, I came to think of it as unnecessary that it was being heralded to such acclaim in 2015.
by Cadi Cliff.
The reality of UKIP topping the polls in the UK European election with 4,352,051 votes still stings and outrages. Over at Westminster a nationalist Union Flag appears to be flying from our education department as the Tory education secretary Michael Gove proposes a GCSE English Literature syllabus out of the 1940s. We’ve somehow just painted ourselves as purple, nationalistic, and self-important. What happened to looking outward?