Reviewed by David Smith
If ever a company earned the right to a dose of opening night jitters, Top of the Torrens Theatre Group did for the first night of What I Did At School Today. That morning, one of their leading players was hospitalised after a car accident. Director David Evans stepped up into the role. Thus the calamity was averted and the show went ahead, nearly as planned.
The play is a light comedy about the mishaps of a poorly managed English primary school. The puns and misunderstandings are relentless, and once that style , and the characters – chiefly school staff members – are established, the play rolls along nicely, with plenty to laugh at along the way.
The simple box set assisted the action and was well suited to the venue.
The characters were clearly differentiated from each other. Kate Farrow drew on her broad experience to play the teacher Kate Faraday with confidence and control. She worked well with Evans as the new PE teacher, and Kate's old flame. Meralyn Schaeffer was a hoot as the indomitable and saucy predator, Liz Nicholas, Glynnis Burrows was credible as the principal's vague PA, Mrs Jubb and Robert Lucas was absent-minded, yet conniving, as Beasley the principal. Andrew Minge had some of the best one-liners as Max, the caretaker, while Terene Chapman drew sympathy as the timid and inept Jenny. Di Minge was very funny as Pat, and used silence and her few words to good comic effect.
This was a good example of community theatre in action.