The Volunteer

The Volunteer is the story of Martin Lovell, a recent Oxford graduate who, eager to escape the privileged world of his education, opts to work as a Community Service Volunteer in a boys’ assessment centre. His idealism is swiftly put to the test by a series of bruising encounters with a group of 13 and 14 year-olds, in particular the violent Andrew Higgins and the inadequate David Small. His attempts to help the latter end in disaster, and he is forced to reflect whether Eric Nash, the hardened housemaster, may not be right in his verdict that ‘One volunteer’s more trouble than a house full of boys.’

The Volunteer was first performed by the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain at the Shaw Theatre on 14 April 1980, with the following cast:

Martin Lovell John Elmes

Eric Nash Peter Lennon

Joan Lewis Jane Wilkinson

Kevin Dodd Anthony Howes

Peter Gordon Anthony Reynolds

Andrew Higgins Jonathan Cullen

Steven Lloyd Jonathan Wingrave

David Small Colin Dayan

Tom Sharpe Max Cowell

Gareth Williams Adam Swift

Mrs Small Katy Behean

Directed by Michael Croft

Designed by Bernard Culshaw

Lighting by Mark Jonathan