Dulwich College & James Allen’s Girls’ School join together under the Young Pleasance program to present John Godber’s play Teechers.
The play takes us through the year in the life of Whitehall school and Mr Nixon the new drama teacher as he takes on the task of teaching an inner city school that is beset by problems from a government that doesn’t care, parents who are glad their kids are out there hair and pupils who know there facing an uncertain future filled with hopelessness.
The play was debuted at the fringe in 1987 and this production pays testament to that by setting the show in the 1980’s with rundown of 80’s pop chart hits as the musical background, although this does slip on a couple of occasions with tracks that aren’t actually 80’s. However instead of using 3 actors to portray the nearly 20 characters this production as an ensemble of over 24 actors sharing the characters. This at times can be a little confusing as we jump from actor to actor playing the same role to various effects. That said the two actors who performed the title role of Mr Nixon who is actually Mr Harrison do so to great effect.
The production is excellently directed with moments of tableaux, slow motion and a twist on Michael Jacksons Thriller being used to great effect.
The cast whose age range spans from 15 to 17 do them self-justice and there are a couple who will go on to forge careers in the theatre industry, such was there intensity of performance.
This is an excellent piece of lunch time comedy drama and it’s nice to see pleasance not only hosting a major venue but producing excellent home grown productions within it too.