John Godber’s Teechers follows three Year 11 students putting on their end-of-term play, documenting the new Drama Teacher, Miss Nixon, during her first year at Whitewall School. Miss Nixon attempts to inspire her students to love drama, she also fights against the unfair system, and the temptation from local private schools. Salty, Gail, and Hobby, our Y11 storytellers, take us through the ups and downs of school life. 

Credit: Savannah Photographic

As the audience arrives, the actors are interacting with the audience as teenagers, Victoria Spearing’s set is simple but effective – a school gym floor covered in graffiti with three school desks and chairs, also covered in graffiti. 

Godber wrote Teechers in the early 1980s and this production looks at whether those same issues exist now. Sadly, the answer is yes and some new challenges have arisen as well. Blackeyed Theatre gives Teechers a much-needed update with the characters (and graffiti) referencing Covid, zoom lessons, modern music, and social media – many a TikTok dance is utilised. This is carried out very effectively but with the world moving on so quickly, it would feel dated sooner than you would hope. 

Actors Michael Ayiotis, Terenia Barlow, and Ciara Morris play our three students and a range of other students and teachers in the play (all 21 of them!). They all show strong characterisation as they transition from character to character with ease and conviction. Ayiotis’ face has a wonderfully humourous elastic quality, completely embodying every character. Morris is hysterical as the site manager and the French teacher. All three actors have so much energy, but Barlow stands out, bringing unrelenting energy, and an emotional quality to the performance which is truly moving – a beautiful performance. 

Having performed this play for my A-levels (many years ago now) this play holds a certain amount of nostalgia for me and yet, as a Drama Teacher in secondary schools now it is scarily relevant. The chemistry of the cast, the wittiness of the script, and the well-choreographed transitions make this utterly watchable for the current secondary school students in the audience and those of us whose high school days feel far behind. 

Teechers Leavers ‘22 is witty, slick, and poignant.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Teechers Leavers ‘22 is on a UK tour – find out tour dates here!

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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