Saddleworth Players

Getting the measure of school

Hi, I’m Verity Mann and I’m production secretary for Teechers by John Godber, which we’ll be bringing to the stage 26th January–4th February.

Being production secretary means that now, with just two weeks to go, I’m in the happy place of having done the initial ringing round and sending out of the production schedule, so I can now sit back and enjoy the rehearsals with nothing more arduous to do than pop the kettle on, brew a little tea, and try to remember where all the light switches are! I’d seriously recommend it for anyone who wants to be involved with productions but doesn’t want to tread the boards / learn lines / saw wood / splash on paint/ stand for hours in prompt corner / get technical in the lighting box/ close curtains. Actually, I like doing most of those too, but it’s been great being involved with the team working on Teechers. The cast have the mad-cap task of bringing to life the myriad characters who make up a school, which has got us all laughing and thinking about our own school days.

Like Salty, Gail and Hobby, I was at high school in the 1980s and attended my fair share of drama classes in the drafty gym, and sweaty socials in the school hall. In the early years, we had compulsory country dancing lessons to prepare us for an excruciating night of dancing the Gay Gordon with classmates. In later years, we were left to our own devices and got to gyrate to The Jam and Blondie, refreshed by nothing more exciting than dandelion and burdock or Kia-Ora. We seemed to spend most of our time queuing. Queuing for assembly, queuing for dinner tickets, queuing for lunch along the science corridor, queuing for the tuck shop, queuing for lessons. There was a great deal of measuring too. One teacher measured the distance between desks, the deputy head measured the height of your heels or the length of your skirt. Teachers were occasionally inspired and inspiring, most were counting down the days to retirement in their biro-marked tweed jackets. One couldn’t get through a double period without dashing outside for a cigarette, one sped along the corridors so quickly he earned the nickname ‘Road Runner’ and was accompanied everywhere by a cartoon ‘beep beep!’

I could go on. Being involved with Teechers has allowed us all a trip down memory lane. Come along and see it for yourself, and be part of the audience of Gail, Salty and Hobby’s triumphant end of term play.

Verity Mann, Jan 23, 2017