THEATRE REVIEW: Education Education Education ★★★★★

Education, Education, Education
Bristol Old Vic
Friday 3rd November 2017

It’s 1997, and Tony Blair has just been elected Prime Minister. Elsewhere, Katrina and the Waves have won Eurovision, the release of the Tamagotchi is the newest craze, and Tobias, the German language assistant, is about to start his first day at Wordsworth Comprehensive. This is Education, Education, Education, The Wardrobe Theatre’s latest production which is full of comic wit, hilarious one liners, and a cameo from a knight of the round table.

This production is set within one day of the school but there is much is going on, especially considering it's the Year 11’s last day at school. Miss Belltop-Doyle (Jesse Meadows) cannot keep her English class under control after a roleplay goes horribly wrong, but with hilarious consequences. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a show which was as slick and precise as this; the whole company involved, which is only nine altogether, have come up with a production that should not be missed. The music choices  really bring this 90’s setting production to life as Mr Hills shows Tobias around the school, making a circular motion with two doors in a sequence which will stick in my mind for a long time due to the hilarity as we see the different subjects that are taught at the school.

Though most of the actors in the production take on different personas whilst on stage, Emily Greenslade keeps the name as she plays Emily Greenslade the troubled student, who isn’t allowed on the york trip due to her bad behaviour. It’s an arc that is thoroughly thought out as we watch her start a petition against her teacher, Mr Paul Mcintyre, and she stops at nothing to get her voice heard, even if that means reaching new heights. The choreography during certain scenes involving Emily is incredibly well thought out, and a particular scene involving Tobias, played incredibly well by James Newton, bought this house down in fits of laughter when the subject of flirting and relationships arose. The lighting design by Katharine Williams is exquisite and really sets the mood and emotion in every part of the day we see in this school, which is subtly brought to stage by Lucy Sierra.

Overall, Education Education Education is a relatable, hilarious, and engaging piece of comedy theatre that was a hit with myself and the whole auditorium at Bristol Old Vic. This is the first production I have seen from this Bristol based company, but I can most certainly say it won’t be my last as I cannot wait to see what they devise next!


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