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Teechers to run riot at the Churchill Bromley

PUBLISHED: 15:00 31 August 2019

Teechers brings chaos to the classroom.  Picture: Chris Towndrow

Teechers brings chaos to the classroom. Picture: Chris Towndrow

Archant

It's school night at the Churchill, Bromley as Teechers takes to the stage - and yes, that is who you speel it.

Who would want to be a teacher? Picture: Chris TowndrowWho would want to be a teacher? Picture: Chris Towndrow

John Godber's play will take to the boards from Tuesday, September 3 for a six-night run.

It is being put on by the Guildford Fringe Theatre Company and as it is a somewhat of a raucous production, the age limit is recommended as 14 and up.

Godber's razor-sharp comedy has Elle Banstead-Salim and Sam Stay returning to the roles of Hobby and Salty respectively, whilst Dannie Harris joins the cast, making her professional debut as Gail.

Teechers is directed by Harry Blumenau, with Charlotte Bateup as assistant director.

And what's it all about? They call this flirty, feisty and very funny as the audience is allowed to join fifth form students Gail, Hobby and Salty who, through their end-of-term play, tell the hilarious story of an idealistic new drama teacher during his perilous first days inside a rough comprehensive school.

Actual school staff may recognise some of it - included are staff room politics, recalcitrant classes and obstructive caretakers, all exposed in a fast-moving, highly-entertaining classroom comedy, evoking the trials and tribulations of life in a modern school - for teachers and teenagers alike.

Will Mr Nixon be worn down and escape to the soothing academic retreat, St George's?

Is sharing tea with Miss Prime a forlorn fantasy? Will Mrs Parry ever find her Koko? And will Simon Patterson ever stop running?

Populated with fascinating characters, this acerbic social comedy scrutinises the education system to hilarious effect.

Elle told us: "My main character is Hobby who is the class clown of the group, she's witty and loud mouthed and a bit of a naughty presence in the classroom.

"I think the biggest challenge is not making Hobby older than her years, she is very mature and has a lot of street smarts but I need to remember she is still 15 and still figuring out the world.

"I performed in the original cast when we debuted the show at the Back Room of the Star Inn for Guildford Fringe last year.

"I have taught Saturday school kids performing arts but that is as far as I will go I think! I have a lot of respect for teachers, and I have no idea how they have any voice left at the end of the day."

She added: "The characters are all so large and at times ridiculous, so it's important to have that playfulness whilst rehearsing so we can let go of inhibitions and really make some big choices. Harry is a great director who always lets us play around with the characters and try out a lot of different styles/accents/choices which is amazing. It's such a very relaxed and encouraging atmosphere and there is no judgment which is important."

She said: "I hope the audiences will really be transported to their childhood and feel the nostalgia that is linked to the play. I think everyone will resonate with these characters and recognise the day to day

struggles/joys/teenage drama that we all went through during our school years."

Elle said her best teacher put her on the path to acting. She said: "He was my acting teacher Bryn at Sylvia Young Theatre School. He knew I wanted to do straight acting and not musical theatre, so he would turn a blind eye when I snuck out of ballet to sit in the corner of his Year 10 boys Shakespeare classes."

And Dannie Harris plays Gail. She said: "She is a very mischievous schoolgirl but I think she's also wise beyond her years and has developed a real love and passion for theatre. She fights for what she believes in but also has a cheeky side and occasionally pushes her luck, but she's a lovable rogue all the same."

Tickets are available from churchilltheatre.co.uk or the box office on 020 3285 6000.

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