Newcomers ready to impress on main stage

Drama teacher Jeff Nixon (left), played by Niall Murray, in confrontation with the 'Cock of Whitewall' Oggy Moxon (Anthony Pollard) about who should take Gail (Erin Napier) home after the school disco
Drama teacher Jeff Nixon (left), played by Niall Murray, in confrontation with the 'Cock of Whitewall' Oggy Moxon (Anthony Pollard) about who should take Gail (Erin Napier) home after the school disco

John Godber’s hilarious

comedy Teechers is aiming to kick start the new year in style at Harborough Theatre.

Market Harborough Drama Society is following up its successful sold-out production of Anne Boleyn in November with Godber’s 1980s-penned hit.

It runs at the theatre, in Church Square, from Tuesday, January 13, until Saturday, January 17, with performances at 7.30pm each night, as well as a matinee on the Saturday at 2.30pm.

The play is set in a rundown and unsuccessful school where staff and pupils alike are disillusioned and frustrated.

But during one group of students’ final year, new drama teacher Jeff Nixon (Niall Murray) arrives.

He gives them hope for the future and inspires them that they can escape from “Colditz” – the nickname staff and students give their school, Whitewall High.

Six final-year students decide, as a tribute to Mr Nixon, to mount an impromptu play about their last year.

Their re-enactment takes every chance to lampoon staff, other students and the events of the year, including a Christmas disco, a production of “The Mikado” and a grudge tennis match.

As a former drama teacher himself, Godber’s script is an honest recreation of school characters and scenarios that will chime with most people, but without the rose-tinted spectacles.

The town drama society’s version is being led by guest director Arthur Aldrich.

He said: “Teechers is not only an incredibly funny script, it also touches on several issues which are very pertinent for all involved in education today.”

Among the cast are six talented newcomers to the society – Beth Lawson, Niall Murray, Erin Napier, Anthony Pollard, Kruti Pabari and Daniel Shorley.

All are former members of the Harborough-based Parsnips Youth Drama Group and have appeared in Parsnips’ shows at the theatre in the past, but this is their first appearance in a main season production.

Tickets cost £10 (concessions £7.50) and are available from website www.market harboroughtheatre.com or from the theatre’s box office, which is open on Tuesday and Saturday mornings.

The society stressed that it is keen to welcome disabled audience members.

Reduced ticket prices of £6.50 are charged for both wheelchair-user and carer.

The theatre has access to a ramp, a lift and even a spare wheelchair on hand.