Wilma’s Rating [rating=4]
Quartermaine’s Terms tells the comedic story of the problems of a flourishing school in 1960’s Cambridge. The show is set entirely in the staff room where Rowan Atkinson proves an almost permanent fixture, sitting in his tatty chair for the majority of the show, as his memory doesn’t serve him well and he tends to forget to teach most of his classes. “I guess it’s no good being alright in the staff room if you’re no good in the classroom” he tells in a moment of self revelation.
The story unravels to show the troublesome lives behind the teachers at the school. Affairs, failed marriages, abortion, forbidden love and such a hatred for your family that you wish they would die. But more than this, it is a story of loneliness.
The teachers at this language school struggle to decipher their students nationalities, names and the majority of other detail as they are so consumed in their own problems that their jobs become a mask to hide behind. They share in each others misery during the breaks of the teaching day.
The Wyndham’s Theatre is lovely. Well pitched seats (so you don’t have people’s heads in the way) and enough leg room to put your coat and hand bag!
As this is a play, there is no admittance for late comers until 25minutes into the show when the curtain comes down to move the story forward a few weeks. Make sure you arrive on time if you don’t want to miss a large part of the piece.
The set design of Quartermaine’s Terms is faultless. Attention to detail is impressive and it seems a school staff room has been ripped out and placed on the stage of the theatre, giving it a very real feel to it.
Rowan Atkinson blends in well on stage with the other actors which all give outstanding performances. The silence in the audience shows their ability to capture attention and hold it for a lengthy two and a half hours.
A soul searching show, with a lot of humour and well worth going to see! The programme for the show is a very good read, although largely based around the new Les Miserables film with some good interviews.
Click here to buy tickets to see Quartermaine’s Terms at the Wyndham’s Theatre.