Secret Weapons

Dickson Telfer

Gryphon Venues at The Point

From 22 August 2012 to 26 August 2012

Rating: ***

Review by Robin Strapp

Teaching is a demanding and, for the most of the time, a rewarding profession but for this Scottish Higher Education lecturer, things are not going well as he tries to teach the class from hell. If you’re not Scottish, you may need a little time to tune into the dialect, but it’s rich and worth the effort.

Dickson Teller has created a sharply-observed play of life in the classroom. He plays all the characters with skill and they are totally believable and you squirm at the sheer horridness of these students who are determined to wreak chaos in lessons.

The myriad characters include the ringleader Trevor eating a burger in class and Johnny who is on the autistic scale with Grace his note taker, and then there are the mature students who really want to learn.

The lecturer is not coping, suffering from sleepless nights and has become disillusioned with teaching this bunch of ungrateful, disrespectable students.

But Grace has a friend, Dr Alex Ricketts, who offers some positive advice and secret weapons to regain control, much to the surprise of his students and, in particular, Trevor that creates ripples throughout the class.

The ending is unexpected and quite shocking but has the desired effect. With musical accompaniment by Will Treeby, this play will resonate with everyone who has been to school and the audience lapped it up.