Lesson idea: ‘The Devil’s Alliance’

This issue's activity is based around a drama, ‘The Devil’s Alliance’, which has been written by Radio 4 playwright Alastair Jessiman

This drama looks at themes of personal responsibility, isolation and the transmission of TB.

Students will have an opportunity to listen to the play and to learn about the complexities of decision making about infectious diseases. They will also gain insight into a specific bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

The play is in two parts – the first set in prison, the second in a hospital isolation ward. It is about one man’s personal experience of TB and the emotional consequences of isolation.

What you’ll need to get started

To help you with this lesson idea, we’ve provided these files, which can be downloaded below:

  • High resolution and low resolution audio files of ‘The Devil’s Alliance’
  • Audio files with more information about TB
  • Teachers’ notes (PDF)
  • Student activity sheet (PDF)
  • Homework sheet (PDF)

‘The Devil’s Alliance’, written by Alastair Jessiman, features Steven Cree as Bounce, Finlay Welsh as Mickey, Stephanie Farrell as Siobhan and Frances Thorburn as Fran. Additional roles are played by Alastair Jessiman. The production was recorded and edited by Neil Gardner, produced by Neil Gardner and Karen Gilchrist, and directed by Hilary Durman. ‘The Devil’s Alliance’ is a Resource Base production for the Wellcome Trust.

The activities and the play have been made available under a Creative Commons licence, which allows users to copy and distribute content, provided the Wellcome Trust is fully attributed and it is used for non-commercial purposes.

Downloadable resources

About this resource

This resource was first published in ‘Epidemics’ in September 2007.

Health, infection and disease, Immunology
Education levels:
16–19, Continuing professional development