Teechers

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Teechers is a play by John Godber, written in 1984 and was published in 1985. It was first performed by the Hull Truck Theatre Company at the 1987 Edinburgh Festival starring Martin Barass as Salty, Gill Tompkins as Gail and Shirley Anne Selby as Hobby. It is a play within a play in which three students put on a performance to their teachers. Everything in the play is reduced to the bare essentials, with very little set and the three actors playing twenty other parts. However, Godber has said that it could also be performed with twenty different actors. Godber also specified the use of contemporary chart music to keep the play current. In 2010 a revival of the play was again performed at Hull Truck Theatre, before touring at other venues. The cast included Zoe Lister as Gail, Peter McMillan as Salty and Claire Eden as Hobby. The play was updated with modern references and modern music. It was recently performed at Settle College, an esteemed school similar to that outlined in the play.

Synopsis[edit]

Three school leavers, Salty, Hobby and Gail Saunders perform to an audience an account of their time in secondary school (given the name 'Whitewall' for their performance), specifically their time with Mr.Jeff Nixon, the new drama teacher who ignites their passion for the stage with his idealism and belief that all children should be treated equally. The children mention that the names of the characters have been changed: Mr Nixon's real name is Mr Harrison, mentioned at the beginning. At the end of the play he leaves Whitewall High School to teach at St George's, another school with much better teachers.

Characters in Teechers[edit]

  • Ian "Salty" Salt - a school-leaver, bright and fresh-faced, rather dirty in appearance (also plays Teecher B, Jeff Nixon, Pete Saxon, Oggy Moxon, Mr Hatton and Deanie)
  • Lilian "Hobby" Hobson -(also plays Mrs Cordelia Parry, Ms Jones, Mr Basford, Ron, Simon "Piggy" Patterson, Oggy Moxon and Mrs Clifton)
  • Gail Saunders - Loud mouthed and bossy, attractive and full of enthusiasm (also plays Teacher A, Ms Maureen Whitham, Oggy Moxon, Mr Basford, Miss Jackie Prime, Barry Wobschall, Dennis, Doug and Mrs Coates)
  • Mr Harrison - the drama teacher, socialist and idealistic, called Mr Nixon in the play.
  • Mrs Hudson - the headmistress, called Mrs Parry in the play.

Characters within Gail, Hobby and Salty's play[edit]

  • Ms Maureen Whitham - A fussy and hopeless teacher, desperate to leave
  • Doug - The caretaker, a miserable old man, he hates kids and drama
  • Ms Jones - A moaner, rather fat, someone who wants to leave but no-one will employ her
  • Mr Dean "Deanie" - A teacher who thinks all the kids love him, a bad dancer
  • Bobby "Oggy" Moxon - The cock of the school, looks much older than he actually is, the school bully in a modern age
  • Peter "Pete" Saxon - A large, frightening youth with tattoos, appears foolish
  • Mr Fisher - Head of PE
  • Barry Wobschall - A small boy who never brings his PE kit
  • Simon "Piggy" Patterson - A boy who is always telling on others, he always runs to his lessons. There is a standing joke in the play, with teachers repeatedly shouting, "Stop running, Simon Patterson!"
  • Ron - A boy who never does PE
  • Mr Hatton - Helps with the youth club dance
  • Dennis - Oggy's side-kick
  • Jeff "Niko" Nixon / Oliver Edward Stanley Noah Kirtley Harold Smith - New drama teacher, young and casual
  • Mrs Cordelia Parry - The Head Mistress, large and loud, a real eccentric
  • Mr Derek Basford - The Deputy Head, a typical child hater, a nasty piece of work
  • Miss Jackie Prime (later Short) - Dolly bird of a PE mistress
  • Mrs Coates - Head Mistress at Saint George's
  • Mrs Clifton - Head of Governors at Saint George's

Sources[edit]

  • Character descriptions from the script itself.