City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Teach me Review

By Irene Brown - Posted on 06 August 2012

Show details
Strange Town Theatre Company
Running time: 
Alan Gordon (writer), Steve Small (director/producer)
Andy Peppiette (Simon), Amy Drummond (Emma)

Seeing the words ‘coming of age’ is usually a guarantee that I would give a production a body swerve.  Too much teenage angst, large doses of naval gazing and humourectomies spring to mind.  However, having seen the quality of Alan Gordon’s work in last year’s Fringe with his powerful and emotionally charged two-handed play, Fetch, I decided to break my duck and book in to the charming Hill Street Theatre for his latest play, Teach Me.

It is also a two-hander but there the similarity ends.  Teach Me tells, with perfectly pitched and thoroughly credible dialogue that is peppered with sharply observed ‘of now’ humour, the tale of an eighteen year old boy who wants lessons in losing his virginity from an older woman of twenty eight (at 18 someone 10 years older is generally thought to have one foot in the grave).

Simon (Andy Peppiette) is all pimply-faced teenage awkwardness with wind-tunnelled spiky hair, and drinking some blue drink through a straw that is sure as guns not a sophisticated Curacao, but certainly some alcopop.  Emma (Amy Drummond) is a relative sophisticate with a successful career and long catalogue of sexual experience, drinks white wine and is about to be her sister’s bridesmaid.

A double bed is the comic centre stage prop with duvet changes setting each scene as this odd couple’s opposing worlds meet under the sheets with a babble of party voices off stage. There is a wonderful see-saw situation of each saying ‘I can’t believe I’m actually doing this’ but for totally different reasons.

This is a refreshing sex-for-beginners romp played with assuredness by the two actors.  Their relationship ping pongs from ‘not now’ to ‘wow’, from Facebook to fireworks, with hilarious bike riding metaphors amidst the skirt tugging and angst ridden knee massaging.

The play’s theme is universally recognisable but comes with a clear Scottish voice and an underlying hint in the comedy that Scotland is a wee place where aabody kens aabody.

Listen out for Emma’s highly significant ringtones! These and the accompanying music and other clever sound effects are quality choices that go to complete the package of a tight, smart and slick piece of theatre.  An all- round terrific 50 minutes at the Fringe!

Recommended for age 14+.

4-26 Aug (not 13 & 20)

Mon-Fri £9 (£7), Sat-Sun £12 (£10)  14:30