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Bad Teacher Interview

Following sold-out runs at EdFringe 22 and VAULT 23, this outrageous and riotously funny production will once again captivate audiences with its unflinching exploration of the challenges faced by teachers in our current education system.

Written by Erin Holland, an experienced teacher, and brought to life by Grace O'Keefe's expert direction, Bad Teacher takes audiences on a rollercoaster ride through the life of Evie, a 20-something teacher battling the outrageous expectations and pressures of the education system. 

With a script that is unabashedly funny, 

unashamedly female, and unflinchingly realistic, the show is a perfect blend of comedy, feminism, and dark humour.

Audiences will be taken on a journey through the school day, culminating in the chaos of Parents Evening. Along the way, they will witness Evie's struggles, triumphs, and hilarious encounters with a colourful cast of characters. This one-woman show  delves into themes of mental health education.

I caught up with the team to discuss the show.

What inspired your show and how did you develop it?

The show is inspired by Erin’s own experience as a teacher in the British educational system. Being a teacher is incredibly rewards and Erin loves instilling a passion for theatre into her students, but she’s been teaching for the last 8 years now, and after a decade of Tory-led austerity, the mental health of both staff and students is at a crisis point. Dire funding cuts are a direct hit to arts education and teachers pay is obviously a very hot topic of conversation. When Grace approached Erin about taking a one-woman show to Fringe while they were studying at Royal Holloway, their shared experience as teachers helped shape and develop what would become Bad Teacher.

Did any teachers have a big impact on you and your career?
Erin’s A level drama teacher made her fall in love with theatre, but she wants to give a big shout out to Chris Hogg, her playwriting professor at Royal Holloway. She wrote the first draft for Bad Teacher while completing her MA in playwriting. Grace was taught by Katie Mitchell OBE while studying Theatre Directing, which has a large impact on her as a feminist theatremaker.

Having enjoyed sellout runs is there a pressure when you get to play a larger venue or is it just about enjoying the ride?
There definitely is a pressure, but once Erin gets on the stage and you hear the crowd laughing at such a large scale, the fears melt away. Once you’re on the stage, it feels like you have people with you on a journey, and we’ve had such wonderful audiences this fringe. 

What do you want an audience member to take away from seeing the show?

We’d love more teachers, more students and more people that use their right to vote to come and see that teachers are humans too. Since our run last summer the spotlight has been on teachers and the general public have become more aware of how over worked & underpaid we truly are.  And in the current climate of Mental health crisis, which impacts students & teachers alike, this show is more important than ever. 

Can you describe the show in 3 words?

Big pussy energy 💖

Bad Teacher played at the Edinburgh Fringe. Follow The Queen of Cups for their future productions.

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