I am comparing the play; ‘Teechers’ by John Godber, to the play that I

I am comparing the play; ‘Teechers’ by John Godber, to the play that I

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I am comparing the play; ‘Teechers’ by John Godber, to the play that I
recently took part in and helped to write; ‘The Victim’. The plot of our

‘The Victim’ and ‘Teechers’

I am comparing the play; ‘Teechers’ by John Godber, to the play that I
recently took part in and helped to write; ‘The Victim’. The plot of
our play- ‘The Victim’- is based around bullying and domestic
violence. The main storyline is about a young schoolgirl called Jess
moving to a new area and a new school. She is singled out by the other
people at the school and a group of girls begin to bully her. Her home
life isn’t much better though- Jess’ mum is a schizophrenic and abuses
Jess both verbally and physically. Jess copes with the stress of it
all at first but then it starts to depress her and she thinks about
committing suicide. The bullies carry on tormenting Jess and a nasty
trick is the final straw. Jess goes home and tries to find comfort in
her mum who rejects her, this leads to Jess taking an overdose.

Although the plot of ‘Teechers’ is a lot different to the plot of ‘The
Victim’, the basic setting is quite similar: ‘Teechers’ is also set in
a school and modern day life. ‘Teechers’ vigorously evokes life at a
modern Comprehensive, using the format of an end-of-term play to
sketch a drama teacher’s progress through two terms of recalcitrant
classes, cynical colleagues and obstructive caretakers until he
departs for the safer waters of a private school. The play runs the
gamut of emotions, mostly humour, to portray the main themes of the
play. The play to an extent comments on the flaws of the education
system: the title it self is a political statement, instead of being
spelt 'teachers' its spelt ‘Teechers’, almost a comedic dig at the
'system' which has failed to teach the pupils correctly.

In our play the main themes are bullying, domestic violence and
isolation, but references are also made to suicide, mental illness and
fitting in. We used these issues because they are things that
teenagers in particular may experience and so the audience could maybe
relate to the play. By choosing to explore these issues we may also
raise awareness of things like bullying and domestic violence and help
people to understand the issues involved. Therefore by using these
themes we made the play more personal to the audience and more
emotional; therefore they may enjoy the play more and feel more
involved.

The themes of ‘Teechers’ are quite different to the themes stated

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above, but relationships are explored; maybe not in the same way as in
‘The Victim’, but the issue of trust is definitely explored in both
plays. Another thing clearly shared as a feature of both of the plays
is stereotypes. Stereotypes are firmly portrayed in both plays; in
‘The Victim’, the two bullies are extremely stereotypical, and in
‘Teechers’, both pupils and teachers and strongly stereotyped. We
decided to use stereotypes to exaggerate the characters in our play,
slightly for comic effect, but mainly to present the storyline clearly
and make it more understandable and realistic for the audience. If we
had presented the two bullies as nice, generous people, it may have
been less believable for them to cause someone so much upset. We
wanted to use stereotypes to our advantage by making the roles of the
characters clearer to the audience, similar to the use of stereotypes
in ‘Teechers’, but this was mainly used for comic effect.

Our play is in the style of a flashback; it starts showing the end
scene, and then flashes back to the main story, finally finishing in
the same freeze-frame that we use at the beginning. This not only
helps the audience to remember the play, it also creates relevance
within the play. Other techniques that we use include split scenes
which make the play more interesting, and monologues which give the
audience more insight into the characters. At the end of the play we
use direct address to help the audience understand the issues we
explore throughout the play and as a way of rounding up and closing
the play. ‘Teechers’ also uses direct address, but to comment on the
relevant scenes for a comic effect.

Both plays use quite minimalist settings. ‘Teechers’ uses only a few
desks to convey many different scenes; and ‘The Victim’ uses only a
few desks and chairs for similar reasons. This shows the culture of
the two plays is also quite similar: they are both set in modern day
and explore topical modern day issues, although ‘Teechers’ was written
some time before ‘The Victim’. This shows that society has not
changed much between the times of these two plays being written, as
the views explored are similar.

The characters we used in ‘The Victim’ were all important to get the
point of the play across. Each character has an individual role in the
play; for example Kelly is the gleam of hope for Jess and is
stereotyped as a caring big sister. In ‘Teechers’, the characters all
play important roles but perhaps some more then others, i.e. Salty who
seems to dominate the stage most of the time due to his loud, bossy,
outgoing role.

In conclusion, although the two plays have completely contrasting
storylines, they share similar themes and styles and also similar
cultures. There are clear differences, though, like the great amount
of humour portrayed in ‘Teechers’ compared to ‘The Victim’. However,
the main similarity between the plays is the use of stereotypes and
how they affect the whole storylines and styles.
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