Crimes Against Humanities Teachers

Sussex teachers turned out in force after rolling about in catnip for this topical show which features frustrated educator Andy Thomas on the verge of chucking it all in. Enter Kenneth Williams' ghost, clearly, because, er... yeah. There was a link, I'm sure of it.

Of course, Kenneth Williams, in all his sneery campery, might actually be a fantastic guide through a life stifled by disillusionment and sarky kids. Through a series of sketches, Carry On Ghoulie attempts to pick through Andy's psyche to discover what went wrong during his years as a teacher – taking the audience on a whistle-stop tour through scholastically-themed Willo The Wisp, Just a Minute and Mastermind (because Williams could have hosted it - 'if I'd wanted to'.)

There are moments of genuine hilarity here – re-narrating an 80s cartoon, particularly one as random as Willo, provided the biggest laughs amongst the uninitiated as well as the jaded professionals. Andy Thomas is eagerly endearing, while Alastair Lock's impression recaptures some of Williams' fragility as well as ego. Together, though, the characters seem to orbit each other – lines are flubbed or dropped and despite sharing the stage, their trajectories can be summed up by one of Williams' rants, where he details a preoccupation with 'my own problems'. Their unlikely juxtaposition creates two bubbles so impenetrable the show almost feels like two separate one-man shows which, due to some unforeseen budget cuts, end up sharing the same stage at the same time.

In the end Crimes Against Humanities Teachers attempts to illustrate what modern education is really like – the sweat-soaked, hiding-under-the-desk, angst-ridden sequel to Dead Poet's Society. Unless you've spent hours in the company of tweens who draw penises on whiteboards or self-congratulatory sorts who seek you out in the teachers' lounge, you might find this a bit tedious. For school staff, however, whose behaviour is portrayed as diverse and changeable as say, oh, penguins, this will probably feel like a much-needed therapy session.

Reviews by Amy Holtz

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The Blurb

Award-winning comedy. When Andy gives his leaving speech at his school, he is visited by the ghost of ‘Carry On’ star Kenneth Williams. Together they go on a surreal journey through their careers as Thomas seeks to perfect his speech. Hilarious and poignant, ‘Crimes’ is a must see for anyone who has been in a school!