Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Future Conditional

I watched Future Conditional at The Old Vic and give it 3/5 rating.

 I don't know much about the educational system in Britain but suffices to say it's confusing and people are always complaining.
There are of course, some basic issues everywhere like elite schooling gives you more probability of getting admission into an elite university like Oxford or Cambridge (or Oxbridge as it is referred to here). (And here I must say I was very surprised when I found out that not only are a chunk of the influencing members of the ruling conservative party from a single elite high school, so are some of the most influential members of the opposing labour party which was supposed to represent the working class.)

What the play suggests is while these issues exist and while the society fights it out to try to change these, some of the more powerful people who can bring about change are not enthused to do it because in effect they are removing the privileges that they and their families enjoy.

At times characters are shown as really stupid and funny to highlight the plight of parents in this educational system. The parents outside a primary school who only want the best of their children, come off as manipulative, cunning and hypocritical. They fight like kids. A thought that circulates through out the play and portrayed beautifully by ensuring that every single actor enters dressed as a school kid and then transforms into the adult, either a parent or a teacher or a committee member, on stage. At heart, everyone is still a child who wants everything for themselves, even at the cost of others.

Yet the play also shows you that it is possible for someone to come from nothing and gain everything through the educational system as seen through the eyes of a refugee. This young once-Pakistani girl who came to the country with nothing and goes through multiple foster homes and multiple schools with no compliants and tons of gratitude, goes on to open the eyes of the bickering elite to the possibilities and successes of the British educational system. In spite of all the hardships and the subtle tones of racism she faces, she blinds herself to it and latches on the encouragement she receives from one single teacher.

It is a system with its own flaws, but with a few good teachers like Mr Crane, played inspiringly by Rob Brydon, the system really works. Isn't it the same everywhere?

PS: acting was pretty average


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