Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Comedy with a serious message about culture

BERKSHIRE-based Blackeyed Theatre, one of the most innovative theatre companies performing today, returns to the Kenton Theatre, Henley next month

BERKSHIRE-based Blackeyed Theatre, one of the most innovative theatre companies performing today, returns to the Kenton Theatre, Henley next month with a fast-moving, inventive and highly entertaining comedy.

In an unusual twist, three actors play more than 20 different characters in a play-within-a-play.

Teechers is John Godber’s brilliant take on life in a modern struggling comprehensive. Through their hilarious end-of-term play, three year 11 students exuberantly sketch the new drama teacher’s progress through two terms of recalcitrant classes, cynical colleagues and obstructive caretakers. Disillusioned, he departs for the safe waters of a private school, and leaves behind his students whose youthful exuberance gives way to despair.

However, before then, the cast paint a very funny and at times touching picture of school life along with a damning insight into a two-tier education system.

Brought to the stage by highly acclaimed Blackeyed Theatre, with high energy, break-neck comedy and breathtaking ensemble performances, Teechers is a modern classic with something vital to say about education for the haves and have nots.

Although Teechers is first and foremost a comedy, like all good Godber plays underlying the comedy is an ascorbic social commentary with an attack on our education system that marginalises the arts and ignores students’ potential.

Today nearly 30 years since the play’s first performance, there is still a fundamental lack of understanding of the role that the arts play in a young person’s education.

It’s not about reciting Shakespeare or learning the piano or glazing a pot. It’s about thinking creatively and using imagination to express something that is difficult to say or write.

It’s about enabling young people to channel their emotions constructively and fulfil untapped potential.

Directed by Adrian McDougall, this version of the play is set in 2013 where social media rules and everybody wants to be a celebrity.

Audiences will find this a brilliant piece of entertainment, with lots of laughs as well as some touching moments.

There are two performances at the Kenton Theatre on May 17 and 18 at 7.45pm. For tickets call the box office on (01491) 575698 or book online at www.kentontheatre.co.uk

Richard Rule

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