DOI: 10.5040/9781784600938.00000002
Scenes: 68. Roles: Male (25) , Female (10) , Neutral (0)

David Edgar's Testing the Echo is a play that explores contemporary national identity in multicultural Britain, and examines the efficacy of the British citizenship test. It was first performed by Out of Joint Theatre Company at Salisbury Playhouse, on 17 January 2008, followed by a UK tour.

The citizenship test (or Life in the UK Test) became a requirement for anyone seeking British citizenship or settlement in the UK under the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act, 2002.

In the play, Emma is a dedicated ESOL teacher (English for Speakers of Other Languages), teaching British citizenship to people from all over the world. At the same time, Tetyana, Mahmood and Chong have their own, very different reasons for wanting to pass the citizenship test. As the Home Office worries about the questions on the test, Emma faces a challenge to her deepest-held beliefs. The play explores the notion of Britishness and asks whether it can really be defined by a simple test of multiple choice.

The Out of Joint production was directed by Matthew Dunster and designed by Paul Wills. The cast was Teresa Banham, Kirsty Bushell, Sushil Chudasama, Farzana Dua Elahe, Ian Dunn, Robert Gwilym, Syrus Lowe and Sirine Saba.

From Testing the Echo


Nick Hern Books

David Edgar

ISBN: 9781854595539

Series: NHB Modern Plays

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