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A Higher Education

    by Angela Pressland


Drama Play Script: 'A Higher Education' by Angela PresslandPatrick is suffering in his personal and professional life. A broken man in need of female comfort, he arrives at a London brothel, harbouring a dark secret. When the madam (Eleanor) stumbles across a letter in his belongings - the contents of which could lead to his imprisonment – she decides to use it to blackmail him.

With the brothel 'bouncer' (Casio) installed outside the room, Patrick meets the young, black prostitute, Summer. He is shocked when he recognises her as Bethany Yates - an ex-pupil from the school where he still teaches. Without any help from the State or her parents, Summer has been struggling to pay her way through university, and has now turned to the sex industry. Debt-laden and having been promised a regular high-paying client if she pleases Patrick, Summer is anxious to get down to business.

Meanwhile, an uncomfortable Patrick secretly hopes he can spend their hour together just talking. They reminisce about Summer's time at school, and speak candidly about her work at the brothel, and student prostitution. Patrick tells of his failed marriage and the difficulties arising from teaching celebrity-obsessed teenage girls in a society that sexualises them from an early age.

But Summer's chance discovery of a girl's blazer in Patrick's luggage soon changes everything, and with Summer wearing the blazer, they act out what she initially believes to be Patrick's fantasy of a sexual encounter with one of his pupils. It is not long before she discovers that this fantasy is firmly rooted in reality, and in the frequently explosive exchanges that follow (including one that leaves Patrick bloodied and unconscious), she gradually learns the whole horrifying truth.


105 mins approx (Two Act split point provided)


(2m, 2f)

Patrick Jarvis - mid-forties, handsome, world-weary
Eleanor - fifty-two, hard-bitten, a looker in her day
Summer (Bethany Yates) - nineteen, pretty, black
Casio - eighteen, man-mountain, ungainly

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