The interplay of characters from different generations, social backgrounds and working roles is used to explore themes including dreams and reality, ambition, rebellion and mental illness.
What causes Spanky to question Phil’s rebellious behaviour?
His abduction of Hector
His cheek towards Mr. Curry
His mocking of Alan Downie
Upon meeting Alan, how do the Slab Boys establish that he is from a privileged class?
He went to a private school
He drives to work in an MG
He is attending university and earns three pounds a week
How does the discovery of Phil’s folio reveal Mr. Curry’s prejudices around social class?
He assumes the folio belongs to Jack Hogg
He assumes the folio belongs to Alan Downie
He assumes the folio belongs to Spanky
How does Byrne assure the audience that, despite his setbacks, Phil remains an ambitious dreamer at the end of the play?
Phil reapplies for art school
Phil tells Spanky he has a plan
Phil cartwheels off the stage
By the end of the play, who has achieved their dream?
What does Jack Hogg represent?
The middle classes
The older generation
Is Lucille concerned about aging?
Yes, she is afraid she will lose her beauty
No, she has not even considered getting old
No, she thinks she craves a large family around her
Where does the suggestion that mental illness carries a stigma come from?
The Slab Boys mock Phil’s mother
Phil only confides in Spanky about his mother
Mr. Curry is dismissive of Phil’s stories about his mother
What is the common thread through each of The Slab Boy’s themes?
According to The Slab Boys, is conformity or rebellion the key to success?
Rebellion. Phil is an ambitious character who is upwardly mobile.
Conformity. Mr. Curry’s discipline has brought him success and contentment.
We don’t know. As we only see one day in the lives of the characters, the audience are left to decide which the right path is.