Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Extra Curricular

An insightful and funny cabaret about teachers and teaching.

An insightful and funny cabaret about teachers and teaching.

Presented by: Expressions Media
Reviewed: 19 February, 2023

If you’ve ever been stuck in a meeting when you could be marking assignments, or if you feel triggered at the sight of a large piece of butcher’s paper and at hearing the phrase ‘team building’, then Extra Curricular is the show for you. And teachers, if you’re wondering how you’ll fit it in between the thousand other things you need to do outside of lesson time, don’t worry — it counts as PD (complete with certificate).

Libby Parker Trainor is insightful and self-deprecatingly funny as she turns the spotlight onto the struggles of being a teacher, from having your favourite mug stolen (featured in the song Don’t Touch My F***ing Mug), to learning new buzzwords and acronyms to replace the old buzzwords and acronyms, to pretending to enjoy parent-teacher interviews, to being forced to participate in sports day. The show also features original songs written by Libby and her husband Matthew Trainor, and performed by the talented band, including: Libby Parker Trainor (vocals/tambourine), Matthew Trainor (guitar/vocals), Dylby McCullough (bass) and Tina Donaldson (drums). The songs were clever and funny, mostly written in a classic rock style, though there was some rap thrown in for good measure.

This is a new show for Libby Parker Trainor, and as such some of the spoken sections didn’t seem to flow quite as naturally as a more polished show. The show also suffered from the occasional dropped lyric, but having seen some of Libby’s other work (such as Endo Days, also on this Fringe) this is guaranteed to be ironed out and tightened up over the course of the season.

Overall this was a funny, enjoyable and oh so relatable show. A must-see for teachers as well as anyone who has worked in an office. Plus, those concerned about going out on a school night: not only is the show early enough for you to see it and get home in time to deal with that pile of marking, but using the discount code “schoolnight” on mid-week tickets will sweeten the deal.

Reviewed by Kristin Stefanoff

Venue: The Lark at Gluttony
Season: 17 Feb – 5 Mar
Duration: 60min
Tickets: $24 – $32

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