Audience pays attention as Teechers are in town.

Teechers

Walker Theatre

Wednesday 31st January 2018

 

Back in the Nineteen-Eighties things were changing, Music, Fashion, Art etc.  However there was a quieter revolution happening in theatre and playwrighting in general. Amongst all this new drama along with Willy Russell and Alan Bennet we see rising to the top very quickly, John Godber and The Hull Truck Theatre Company.  Godber and his contemporaries brought to us a new kind of theatre.  A minimalistic approach to the maximum of a subject; and to the top of the pile rose, “Teechers,” it is always now on somewhere and is worth seeing if you never have.

Salty, Gail and Nicole are three kids at the tail end of their school years, there is a problem with the Mikado and Mr. Nixon the beleaguered Drama teacher (know how he feels) is being bullied by Mr. Bassford who wields power over the cover rota. The story is told brilliantly through the three school children taking on the gamut of parts that such a story offers. The results are hilarious and one can see that Godber has earned his place at the top but Blackeyed Theatre Company should be right up there with him.

This two act play calls for true commitment and true emersion into the character to even make it possible. The three players had nothing to fall back on: they were the show. There were three school tables and chairs,( the tables were sporting graffiti that even we Priory Boys would have been proud of.) Other than that it was a blank stage. These three troupers filled that space, one was able to see the classroom, one saw the sports fields and one winced at the school disco.

With a combination of the group’s ability to use words to draw images, their gesturing and movement, even the tables could have been lost if needed be. The rhythm these three have built between them is like electricity. They are so so tuned in to each other and carried the show beautifully to entertain a very full house with their talent and exuberance.

The speed they could change characters was breath-taking. From meek child to browbeating teacher the skills waited like arrows to be used in the very full, actor’s quivers.

Nicole Black’s Miss Jackie Prime was absolutely hilarious. One would add if you have ever been in a teacher’s staff room you will know exactly how well she nails it. Stole this reviewers heart and it isn’t given lightly.

Rosalind Seal’s characterisation was fantastic she flicked and flipped through her characters equally each one different, each one superb and each one stunningly well observed.  Jake Addley added sheen to this already brilliantly cast show. Jake’s characters again were so different and so engaging and so utterly conceivable. One saw everything he saw and if he said there was an elephant on the front row we would have believed and moved accordingly. He was so watchable.

What marks these guys out as different from the hundreds of Drama Student hopefuls that see this show is their ability to commit. A part can-not become a part without commitment. No matter what the director tells you, that is what you do. No arguing, no moaning but a commitment. 

Moreover it is an intellectual commitment too that gives the depth. A full understanding to who you are being. So good for so many young Drama students to see tonight.

Catch this show if you can, Godber is a great writer and Blackeyed Theatre Company are a great company. What a winner!

This is a Four Star Review

Owen J.Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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