Our Teacher’s a Troll

Dennis Kelly

Paines Plough

Summerhall @ Roundabout

From 02 August 2014 to 23 August 2014

Rating: ****

Review by Philip Fisher

Dennis Kelly has delighted children of all ages with his book for Matilda the Musical. Our Teacher’s a Troll is written in the same spirit and will provoke just as much enthusiasm, in large part thanks to a lovely, simple production by George Perrin.

The title says most of what readers need to know about the plot. “Terrible Twins” Sean and Holly drive their headmistress to a nervous breakdown.

She is replaced by Mr Aaaaarrrrggghhh, a troll so loud that one tiny audience member was left gibbering (the rest had a great time).

School life becomes hellish, featuring cannibalism (if a troll can cannibalise a child), cross-dressing teachers and high levels of fear—just the kind of things that kids relish.

All seems set to end badly but the twins, having failed to get help from any of Mum, the school inspector, a policeman and the Prime Minister devise their own plan of action that might just lead to a happy ending.

The story is related with no props or costumes but excellent lighting and soundscape, thanks respectively to Emma Chapman and Tom Gibbons.

An enthusiastic ensemble of three actors, Andrew French, Siân Reese-Williams and Abdul Salis, share every part, often swapping in mid-speech and ensure that their guests have a great time.