REVIEW: Teechers at Harborough Theatre

From left, drama teacher Jeff Nixon (Niall Murray), Oggy Moxon (Anthony Pollard) and Gail (Erin Napier) during rehearsals for Teechers at Harborough Theatre.
From left, drama teacher Jeff Nixon (Niall Murray), Oggy Moxon (Anthony Pollard) and Gail (Erin Napier) during rehearsals for Teechers at Harborough Theatre.

REVIEW: John Godber’s Teechers by Market Harborough Drama Society at Harborough Theatre (January 13-17).

The drama society got off to a great start to 2015 with the hugely entertaining Teechers, directed by Arthur Aldridge.

It was an impromptu re-enactment of a year in the life of a drama teacher’s brush with the madness of an all-ability (and personality) secondary school.

The cynical Salty, played with confidence by Daniel Shorley, immediately had the audience involved in what proved to be a funny, and at times, touching play which hinged around how thankless and frustrating it must be to be abused on a daily basis from staff and students alike.

At times, there was more drama in avoiding drama, than there was in the drama itself!

Niall Murray was the naïve but excessively-keen new teacher of drama Jeff Nixon who really had the audience wondering if it really was all worth it.

His head teacher Mrs Parry, beautifully executed by Kruti Pabari, was a bubbly and garrulous thespian - totally over the top in her commitment to the much-maligned Whitewall High.

This play was fast-paced and furious with seamless interplay between all the characters, each playing a variety of staff and students in a dizzying display of accents, attitudes and grievances.

Anthony Pollard was superb, both as the old-school Basford and the streetwise Oggy – a bit of ASBO attitude with a dash of Ronnie Kray thrown in for good measure.

His angsty attitude was counterbalanced carefully with contrasting characters such as the eminently likeable Hobby – beautifully played by Beth Lawson – the teenage girl who had seen it all before but secretly wanted it all to be much better.

A scene at the school disco was a highlight, with the fantastic Erin Napier as Miss Prime, finally getting close to Mr Nixon, while everyone else was having a share of the action as T. Rex blared out from the antiquated sound system.

This play gave the audience a chance to see the great talent that has come up through the various youth theatres and schools in Harborough.

They were versatile, confident and a breath of fresh air as the new faces to watch in 2015 and beyond.

Review by Rachael Eddy.