Northern Ireland’s foremost physical theatre organisation, Bruiser Theatre Company, has announced that its production of John Godber’s brilliant take on life at a modern comprehensive, Teechers, is set to visit Island Arts Centre, Lisburn on 23rd February 2024 as part of an NI wide theatre tour.
Following a successful run at The MAC, An Táin Arts Centre, Dundalk, The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre, Armagh, Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey and The Strule Arts Centre, the production will also visit Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick and The Playhouse, Derry-Londonderry.
Fast-moving, inventive, and highly entertaining, Teechers sees three Year 11s exuberantly sketch the new drama teacher’s progress through two terms of recalcitrant classes, cynical colleagues, and obstructive caretakers through their hilarious end-of-term play.
Disillusioned, he departs for the safe waters of a private school, leaving behind his students, whose youthful irreverence gives way to despair. Brought to the stage by award-winning Bruiser Theatre Company with high energy, break-neck comedy, and breathtaking ensemble performances, Teechers is a modern classic and a vital commentary on education for the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.
John Godber, Playwright, says “At the heart of Teechers is the very real assertion that the arts, and especially drama, should form an essential part of the school curriculum. It also attempts to demonstrate the effect that exposure to the arts has on young people.”
Written by Godber in the mid-1980s, Teechers lays bare the contrasting educational options available in two very different schools by telling the story of a new drama teacher. In the production, three verbose school leavers–Salty, Hobby and Gail–perform a play within a play.
In the piece, new drama teacher, Jeff Nixon, ignites the kids’ passion for drama, winning them over during two terms of otherwise unrelenting battles against a failing system, disillusioned teachers and disaffected children.
Teechers is supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council.
Dr Damian Smyth, Joint Head of Literature, Drama and Dance, Arts Council of Northern Ireland comments, “The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to support Bruiser Theatre Company with this live tour of Teechers. Thanks to National Lottery Players, Bruiser will tour this wonderful play to audiences across the region, helping to bring great art to all. Don’t miss this!”
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Ryan Murphy said: “We’re proud to support Bruiser Theatre Company through our Cultural Multi-Annual Grant scheme and look forward to seeing them present this live theatre tour of John Godber’s Teechers.
“It will provide a fantastic resource for teachers and pupils alike and will hopefully spark discussions around inclusion and the importance of access to the arts. It certainly resonates with what I’m seeking to achieve during my year in office, having set out to celebrate young people and help to elevate their voices.”
Bruiser Theatre Company is renowned for its fast-paced, energetic, and engaging performances. Under the meticulous direction of Lisa May, Teechers has been reimagined for a wider audience following its successful tour of NI post primary schools in 2022.
Artistic Director of Bruiser Theatre Company, Lisa May adds, “We are excited to bring Teechers on a tour of NI’s theatres and would like to thank Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the National Lottery Fund and Belfast City Council for their support.
“The play flies at breakneck speed, is witty, and communicates a poignant message about educational inequality and class division. In a climate of cuts to arts and education sectors, this classroom comedy is sadly all too relevant for today’s audience.”