Wednesday, 26 April 2017

“Teechers” by Festival players
Sir Robert Martin Theatre, Loughborough University.
“Teechers”, by John Godber, is a play within a play in which three students put on a performance to their teachers. Everything in the play is reduced to the bare essentials, with very little set and the three actors playing twenty other parts. However, Godber has said that it could also be performed with twenty different actors.
Godber also specified the use of contemporary chart music to keep the play current. The Festival Players moved the play on by a decade from when it was written in 1987 and focused on the year 1997 for this production
Gail Saunders is the flirty one of the class and is played by Victoria Price. Like the other two actors, I was very impressed by the accents and characterisation of the various teachers and kids. Especially loved the caretaker sections when she sounded so much like Julie Walters in "Acorn Antiques"
Lillian “Hobby” Hobson is played by Claire Malpas. Again, loved all the characters, and she has a wonderful talent for facial expressions to distinguish the characters from one another.
“Salty”, who doesn’t know what he’ll do when he leaves school, is played by James Daw. I know James'work from "One Man Two Guvnors" so I was already aware of his comic talents, and he made the most of these talents in this play, especially in the "ninja" section of the play within a play within a play.
All three actors gave some wonderful portrayals with a beautiful sense of comic awareness, and even when the words may not have come out in the right order, they capitalised on it and worked the comedy into the performance professionally.
Directed by Rachel Ingham who also was responsible for the sound design of the play.A great soundtrack of school disco classics including tracks from Robbie Williams, Take that, Oasis, REM and Madness among them.
The graphics were designed by Jez Malpas and really gave the impression of the various settings and scenes, especially in the brilliant Christmas disco section.
Godber's plays are all about the words and the comedy and the Festival players have taken these elements to heart and produced a brilliant evening of laugh out loud comedy which will also take you back to your school days.
Gold stars all round and well worth being kept back in school to watch these teechers. And please take time to read the writings on the wall. You'll know what I mean if you go and see this play!
“Teechers” is at the Sir Robert Martin Theatre inside Loughborough University until Saturday 29 April 2017.

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