Teeching Me A Lesson

Yesterday I went to see the second of two performances of “Teechers” by John Godber at the Oasthouse Theatre in Rainham. The play was being performed to raise money for Jenny’s trip to Ecuador. She assures me that this isn’t just a holiday, but that she’s going to help teach young children. More importantly, it was an opportunity to see three very good friends of mine acting. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Chris performing, I’ve never seen Jenny in as big a big part and I’ve never seen Heidi perform in a play at all! It was all very enjoyable and hopefully raised some cash to help swell the charitable coffers. Particularly impressive was that the cast of three brought to life about twenty different characters, which was an excuse for some particularly tongue-in-cheek performances which I’m sure would be recognisable by anyone who has worked in education. Not, I should add, just characterisations of students, either. It was certainly fun to see some classic silly voices be wheeled out for some of the smaller characters.

The Teechers cast

The Teechers cast

The programme for the play was also special, as I had taken the cast photos for it. It was, pretty much, my first commission, albeit not a paid one! The session, which was a couple of months ago now, was fast and fun, but I learnt the same lessons as Graham “codedragon” Binns did recently shooting outside in strong direct sunlight. Although I did have a reflector, there wasn’t time to use it as effectively as it could have been. This was because I was rushing. (To be fair, there wasn’t much time, we all had other appointments to make.) I shot lots and hoped they would be OK, rather than taking a bit longer to ensure the shots were set up properly. So I learnt some important lessons and am looking forward to the next time a similar opportunity arises.

I gave a CD with the JPEG versions of all the image to the cast with a list of of images I recommended, although I was doing so without knowing the context of the play. It was therefore quite interesting to see the ones that they selected for use; on the programme covers, a centre-page scrapbook montage and for each character (not cast) biography. (The image above is the one they picked for the poster.) It was surprisingly gratifiying to see photos I had taken all over the programme.

I also won a bottle of wine in the raffle. Having previously scoffed at the auction of cakes and comestibles at other AmDram productions, I am now convinced by this activity and will petition the National Theatre to follow suit. I want to see Trevor Nunn giving away Blue Nun forthwith!

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