REVIEW: Teechers - The Queens Theatre 16/03/15

























John Godbers Teechers is a brilliant interpretation of life at modern day schools depicted as a play within a play by students Gail, Salty and Hobby. Teechers, as the name implies, tells the story of how the three slightly low aspiration kids who originally had no motivation or work ethic were inspired by their new drama teacher Mr Nixon. The music and fast-pace dance routines may have been updated to include some 1D, T-Swift and even Uptown Funk but the rest has stayed pretty much the same. Mr Nixon, the drama teacher at the demanding comprehensive, has to tame the zoo of kids in his drama class and put up with the self-absorbed range of teachers at Whitewall High. Mr Nixon disapproves of the flaws to the seemingly unfair school system. As only Gail, Salty and Hobby are telling the story of their school year they often have to imitate the rest of the pupils and teachers. You are left with some hilarious caricature impersonations of stereotypical school goers. Performed with a very minimal set and only a 3 person cast the performance was not just the laugh out loud kind of funny but was also very witty and and at no point did any cast member lose the high energy or fast pace that was necessary throughout the performance.

I knew even before the house lights had gone down that the performance was going to be a good one. This being because as the audience were taking their seats the three adults-turned-schoolkids were walking around the room and interacting with everyone in there. My favourite remark was when Hobby walked up to an elderly couple and announced that if they thought the performance was "s*** or bad [they] should probably keep it to themselves". In fact he couldn't have been more wrong. I have to say that it was quite possibly one of the best performances I've seen at the theatre to date.

Being a GCSE Drama student myself I had performed a reasonable chunk of Teechers in school so the story line was already clear in my head. What excited me though, lame as it may be, was that I was able to see someone else's take on the key part to the performance- how each of the three students multi-role the numerous different characters. When working with it at school I often found it difficult to get my head around who I was supposed to be performing as; yet the three cast members seem to create a difference caricature for each character whether it was the overly dramatic Mrs Parry, the indignant Mr Basford or the expressive Miss Jackie Prime.


On a typical trip to the theatre I normally find that one actor or actress seems to shine out to me as being the best. This time though I found I couldn't possibly pick. Jacob Addley, Lucy Benson-Brown and Brad Calpson all stood out to me as being incredibly good in their own different ways. For one, Lucy was awesome at portraying Gail and her romantic interest in Mr Nixon. We were presented with a very funny scene where she had her legs wrapped awkwardly around Mr Nixon as they turned in tune to Aerosmith I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing. It was almost impossible to not get sucked in and believe that they were in fact school kids the whole time.

Together with the endless jokes and the realistic impression by Hobby of Mrs Parry giving an hour long thank you speech, I was impressed with how Teechers stood the test of time. Considering it was written in the 1980s there was nothing to it that made us feel that it was written any earlier than yesterday apart from how well practiced it was as a whole. The show was so much about how the characters used their voices, faces and body language that the lack of set and simple lighting just complemented their acting skills in general. All our attention was on what they were saying and doing rather than what was going on around them and I liked that raw feeling to it.

Adrian Mcdougall has directed something wonderful that is both highly-entertaining and true to life and I had a large grin on my face for every second of it. If you would like to see Blackeyed Theatre perform their version of the highly praised Teechers on their Spring 2015 tour you can book tickets by clicking here.

If this review has left you really in the mood for a good trip to the theatre Teechers is just one in a variety of shows put on at North Devon Theatres. Check out there website to see which shows are up and coming: http://www.northdevontheatres.org.uk/



2 comments

  1. This looks like a great show, loved this post :) xx

    ellaselement.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. It really was! Thank you very much.
      Katie xx

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