PROFESSIONAL by CHARLOTTE CROMIE
6:15pm 21st – 26th August
TheSpaceontheMile2, The Radisson, The Royal Mile, EH1 1TH
Half past five on a Friday evening, and a school’s electronic door-locking system shuts down for the weekend… with four teachers still in the staff room. Claustrophobia sets in. Tea turns into alcohol.
Ties, jackets and the ceremonies of the school day are shed, giving way to messy power plays, grievances and the desire to behave badly. But they are still haunted by the ultimate threat in their job that keeps their behaviour in check.
And it isn’t the headmaster. This deliciously disobedient comic drama asks where the boundaries of professionalism lie, why working with children is so terrifying, and how much pressure it takes to reveal the petty, paranoid, impulsive teenagers inside even the most polished individuals.
‘I have practically run the English department for the last three years, and you have bought me a bottle of wine with a screw cap.’
‘Professional’ is a Bennett-esque comic drama from up-and-coming writer Charlotte Cromie. It portrays the fascinating culture and ceremony of teachers – the dress codes, the surnames, the secrecy of the staff room, but most importantly, the danger of working with children, since small ‘unprofessional’ acts can so easily become crimes.
The show draws on the author’s own experiences as a teaching assistant, as well as the universality of our experiences at school. Professional is funny, uncomfortable, familiar, alienating and explorative, all in the space of forty-five minutes.