The Cane

The Cane

4.1 (11) · Contemporary, New Writing

Mark Ravenhill’s previous work for the Royal Court includes Over There (& Schaubühne, Berlin), Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat and Shopping and Fucking.

Lyn Gardner avatar
29 November 2018  ·  Follow on Stagedoor
“We haven’t heard from Mark Ravenhill for a while so it’s good to have him back at the Royal Court with a new play. It’s about a teacher who is retiring after 45 years of dedicated service. But if he’s so loved, why are a group of angry students laying siege to his home? Chloe Lamford designs and Vicky Featherstone directs a fabulous cast: Alun Armstrong, Maggie Steed and Nicola Walker.”


“It will be the biggest send off any teacher has ever had. No teacher is as loved”

After 45 years as a dedicated teacher, Edward is looking forward to the imminent celebration to mark his retirement.

But his home is under siege. A mob of angry students have gathered. A brick has been thrown through the window, he and his wife haven’t left the house for six days, and now his estranged daughter has arrived with her own questions.

“Why would they attack the most popular teacher in the school?”

Critic reviews

A deputy head’s historical deeds trouble his retirement in this tense drama starring Alun Armstrong, Nicola Walker and Maggie Steed

The Guardian

Mark Ravenhill’s new play is clever, witty and slyly provocative

The Independent

Mark Ravenhill’s tense, slippery and superbly performed new play about corporal punishment

The Stage

As the family conflict ebbs and flows, Ravenhill's characters take the time to meditate on the symbolism of the rod

The Arts Desk

Mark Ravenhill's accomplished but academic corporal-punishment drama

The Telegraph

Tale of school beatings has a nightmarish concentration

Evening Standard

Utterly terrific


This complex moral drama tackles a topical debate about remorse and retribution

Financial Times

A compelling new play by Mark Ravenhill is breathtakingly savage and, as our dread mounts, quite terrifying

The Times

Date & time

Show ended
Thu 6 Dec - Sat 26 Jan, 2.30pm & 7.30pm


Sloane Square SW1W 8AS London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
11 user reviews
Loading user reviews…

View all user reviews & add yours too!

Open in app