A youthful drama teacher inspires a class in surprising ways – but this update of John Godber’s 1984 play is no Dead Poets Society.
Interspersed with contemporary music and dance and performed in a stripped-down set with just three tables and chairs, the piece sees a trio of actors take on the role of recalcitrant students, plus dozens of supporting parts.
It is funny, energetic, and very well performed. Jake Addley, Nicole Black, and Rosalind Seal switch convincingly and seamlessly through the multiple parts.
They are brazen caricatures rather than nuanced portraits, but consistently hit the mark.
Although the songs have been updated large chunks of plot – drink driving, teachers slow dancing with pupils, and giving them lifts home – thankfully no longer convinces.
The play’s core message is trite, but possibly still appealing in today’s polarised politics; the strong comedic performances definitely are – and it is those that really make this show, not the easy dogma.