OUR SPACE – Success & Failure by Rod Dungate


SUCCESS & FAILURE is one of a series of short plays suitable for young people to perform.  They can be used in KS3 and KS4.  The plays are incorporate a number of themes, important among these are Criminal Damage.

The scripts are transcribed from plays which  formed a successful TIE tour, which had been developed from improvisation.  The original tour also incorporated a range of additional materials for teachers and students.  These were mapped to previous curriculums.  However conversations with practising teachers confirm the current relevance, so a comprehensive range of differentiated material forms this package.

Each package contains the following;

  1. The script of the play.
  2. Filmed version of the script lasting 10-15 minutes
  3. A short extract of young peoples’ reaction to the play
  4. Guidance notes for teachers and facilitators
  5. A student activity related to the topic being discussed.






Shane and Jake talk about a Detective Inspector that’s looking for Jake – he’s been tagging
garages. At the point at which they decide on a plan of action we realise these two lads are
performing a script as part of a BTEC module. Their teacher is full of praise for them.
The boys go home but their mothers are unable to give them the attention they need. To
overcome their disappointment they go to a local off-licence to buy beer. The shop-owner
refuses to serve them and a row breaks out.
The two boys buy drink elsewhere; later they decide to go back to the off-licence to take
revenge. They damage a row of shops.



Shane, a young lad

Jake, a young lad

A Teacher

Shane’s Mother / Jake’s Mother

Mr Popovic, Off-Licence owner

Shopkeeper Next Door



Please take a look at this taster video of the OUR SPACE project – Click here



Context and History

These six plays were created by playwright-director Rod Dungate, working with a team of education specialists and actors.  The plays were toured with a company of four actors.  There were two tours.  Each play can be performed by four actors.  The development work was supported by a group of Home Office and police representatives.

The tour was aimed primarily at Years 9 and 10, but played to a wide range of ages in schools and youth clubs.  The idea is that students can engage with the actors and characters.  Although the plays are about criminal damage, they pull no punches in the complexities they raise.  Young people in the audiences never took advantage of the drama situations and often had thoughts and insights that took the actors’ breath away.

The plays were created by improvisation.  The scenarios were created by Rod Dungate based on research from police and other workers in the field.  Rod Dungate directed the plays, with the four actors making incredibly valuable creative and practical inputs.  These scripts have been transcribed from the improvised plays.

Accompanying these scripts are films of each play, teachers’ notes, and extension work.


Using the Scripts

There is much guidance on the use of the plays in the Teachers’ Notes.  However the Teachers’ Notes were originally written to support the use of the film

In addition, when using the scripts, it will be useful to keep these thoughts in mind.

Casting:  Each play can be performed by four people.  But this usually requires some multi-rolling.  Feel free to enlarge the number of actors if you wish.  For the most part genders of characters could be changes; feel free to make choices – and to change names.

Transcription:  These have been transcribed from improvised dramas.  Sometimes it has been impossible to capture the exact tones and rhythms.  Learning lines and ‘making them your own’ is an important skill for young people to learn.  However, some sections cry out to be filled out with managed improvisation.  Work with the scripts as suits your circumstances.

Note that a small error regarding police procedure was noted after the filming of the plays – Play Five, Swings and Roundabouts.  This was corrected for the tour and for these scrips, but it was too late to correct in the filmed version.

Settings:  All sorts of things are built into the scripts – gardening, cars, children’s playgrounds, a fall from a railway arch, vandalising a classroom.  There are no indications in the scripts about how this may be done.  When touring, Our Space used some step ladders, planks of wood, a table and some chairs.  And creative imaginations.

Structure and Drama Techniques:  A number of different styles and techniques are used in moving the actions along.  For instance Shane’s and Jake’s mothers in Success and Failure, the use of time in Making My Mark, the way Jason is handled at the end of Just a Geezer’s Car.  This may help students build up a bigger store of techniques.



Please find a preview of the script here

Additional information

Cast Size


Script Author

Script Type