REVIEW: Top marks for Teechers

Teechers at the Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield.
Teechers at the Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield.

Whatever experiences you have had in the education system, a trip to the theatre will make school seem like the happiest days of your life.

Whatever experiences you have had in the education system, a trip to the theatre will make school seem like the happiest days of your life.

Teechers, written by the master of social commentary John Godber, leaves an indelible mark on audiences with its heavy emphasis on comedy.

A class act paints a vivid picture of life in a comprehensive, defying viewers not to be a touch nostalgic about their lives as teenage students.

James Dryden, Laura Bryars and Frances Wood, the latter from telly’s The Voice, give a masterclass in character acting by playing more than 20 roles in a lively production which has hit Derbyshire this week.

Hormnally-charged students fixating on a new member of staff, teachers dancing at a disco, disenchantment among colleagues and bullying among pupils are pointed up in the production.

References to O-levels and teachers smoking in a staffroom may seem alien to today’s 15-year-olds but the messages are as relevant as they were in the 80s when the piece was written. These include lack of resources in a state school compared to a fee-paying establishment and job uncertainty at the end of the education process.

Teechers is at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre tonight (Tuesday, October 1) and at Buxton Opera House from October 3-5. Produced by Theatre Royal Wakefield and John Godber Company, the tour ends at Derby Theatre from November 26-30. GAY BOLTON