James Saunders   |   bibliography

The Pedagogue - A Monodrama  -  by James Saunders (1963)

A recording of "The Pedagogue" made in July 2010, produced by Nigel Deacon,
with Nick Oliver playing the role of the pedagogue, is available for  download.
The file is 36 MB and is in MP3 format.
This is an excellent performance, capturing the nuances of a script which no
doubt draws on the author's own experiences of being a teacher. A fine balance
is maintained between James Saunder's sensitive wry humour and the deeper,
sometimes darker questioning which underlies much of his work. Recommended.

First performance at the Questors Theatre, Ealing, June 1963 -

    Played by Lawrence Irvin
Directed by John Miles-Brown

First professional production at the Theatre-in-the-Round, Scarborough, Summer 1963 -

    Played by David Jarrett
Directed by Stephen Joseph

© 1968 James Saunders
published by Andre Deutsch, (London, England), 1968
(Neighbours and other plays - James Saunders)
ISBN-10: 0233960309
ISBN-13: 978-0233960302
also contains Neighbours + Trio + Triangle + Alas, Poor Fred + Return To A City + A Slight Accident

© 1968 James Saunders
published by Heinemann Educational Books, (London, England), 1968
(Neighbours and other plays - James Saunders)
ISBN-10: 0435237861
ISBN-13: 978-0435237868
also contains Neighbours + Triangle + Trio + Alas, Poor Fred + Return to a City + A Slight Accident
commentary by Ronald Hayman

The Pedagogue: a monologue by a schoolmaster which brilliantly combines the most naturalistic observations with the most profound illumination of the human condition.

- (inside cover, Andre Deutsch, 1968)

The Pedagogue was... written for the Questors - in April 1963. They produced it two months later. The schoolmaster.. [lives] by logic and [expects] things to go smoothly. He believes in science, authority, man's capacity for survival, and has faith that everything happens for the best.

The children in the classroom are created partly through sound-effects but chiefly by writing in one side of the dialogue that the schoolmaster has with them, which makes it possible for us to guess not only what they say but also how they move. Beryl is particularly vivid.

The second half of the play becomes less realistic, as the teacher gets carried away from Phipps's essay into his own account of the Creation. This prepares for the end of the play when the unspecified events outside - perhaps the beginnings of a nuclear war - scare all the children into running away. The pedagogue talks on to an empty classroom and finally the Word fades into silence.

- Ronald Hayman (from the commentary, Heinemann, 1968)

James Saunders   |   bibliography

comments to: weed@wussu.com
revised 18 August 2010
URL: http://www.jamessaunders.org/jstheped.htm