Shows "O"

THE OTHER SCHOOL A Psycho-Logical New Musical in 2 Acts Book by Dominic Marsh | Book, Music and Lyrics By Dougal Irvine First performed by National Youth Music Theatre August 2013 at St James's Theatre, London SYNOPSIS A group of bored students hang out at a bus stop. Zombie like, threatening. Kester (13) and Polly (15) Parish approach. It’s their fifth new school in five year thanks to their Mum’s job. They’re tired of the constant changes. Kester is confident with strangers and teases Polly about her shyness. Polly is reading a self-help book and confesses she’s not sure whether the book is making her shyness worse or not. The queue dissolves into their new school, which doesn’t seem like what they remember from their tour. After some confusion, they are shown into a classroom by the Caretaker. Mr Morton, the teacher arrives and makes the class give a ‘reason register’ reminding students why they must attend school. One by one, the students recount tragic accidents which resulted in their deaths and subsequent enrolment at The Other School. Polly and Kester are horrified. They don’t have a reason, so are sent to the Head office in the company of a pupil called Daniel, who doesn’t believe the school exists. They encounter the class bullies, Axel, Wilkes and Leonard; but are rescued by the Caretaker. At the office, the secretary reveals Kester has a place at the school and gives him his ‘reason’. There is no reason for Polly, so she is sent through to the Headmistress’ office to sort out why. The Headmistress breaks the news that although Polly is still alive, Kester is indeed dead, having been hit by a bus. Polly has ended up by mistake at The Other School, where lost souls are educated in the afterlife until they progress to ‘higher education’. Polly is distraught and the Head gives her a special pass, making a bargain with her that if she doesn’t tell anyone, she can come and go as she pleases. In a hospital somewhere, Ms Parish (Polly and Kester’s mum) is approached by a Doctor. Polly is nearby in a bed and although unresponsive, going to be okay. The Doctor advises Ms Parish that Polly is still in shock and is likely to progress through the stages of grief (Denial, Depression, Anger, Bargaining, Acceptance) as she comes to terms with her brother's death. The Doctor promises to try and get hold of Polly’s Father. Left alone, Ms Parish begs Polly to come out of shock so they can begin grieving together. Back in the Other School, Kester is cheered up by the Other students, who show him the potential an afterlife can afford. Polly enters and is horrified. She tries to get Kester to leave, but he refuses, accusing her of being her typical social outcast self. The two fight and it is revealed Polly got most of the attention from their Mother when their Father left the family. Polly is left crying on her own and is comforted by the Caretaker. When she shows him the Head’s pass he becomes angry, telling her to leave and not come back. He explains the history of the school, revealing it is indeed ‘not there’ and only exists in Polly’s head. She must leave soon or she may find herself inventing more reasons to stay. The reality of the school breaks down and Polly finds herself at Kester’s funeral. Kester appears and after apologizing for fighting, asks Polly if she will return to school with him. Ms Parish (obviously unseeing Kester) beckons Polly to go with her. Act I ends with Polly deciding if she will abandon her pass and face real life or not. Act II begins in the real and Other world, six months after Act I ended. Polly has kept the pass and is managing to live in two places at once. She’s attending therapy in the real world, while in the Other School, classes go on as normal. Ms Parish is unhappy and feels she’s losing her daughter. The doctor rings to tell her they have found her ex-husband if she would like to see him. Ms Parish talks with Carol, a neighbour, about