SUDS’ first play of the new term is one-act comedy ‘The Luggage Room’, which centres around three teachers trapped in a small luggage room. There is no explanation as to how the characters got there, nor do they make any visible attempts to escape, other than recognition that there is no mobile phone signal; the characters are simply waiting to be rescued and in the meantime, their clashing personalities annoy each other immensely.
The actors play up to three hardened stereotypes of teachers: Dino Kazamia plays a failed actor turned eccentric drama teacher, whose random outbursts of laughter, pretentious referencing of Greek tragedy and aloof detachment from the conflict of the other two characters proves to be very comical.
Charlie Edgcumee-Rendle plays a very highly strung and over sensitive music teacher, with a pompously close-minded attitude towards anything outside his sphere of worthiness.
The third and final member of this ensemble is James Macklin, who plays the typical down-with-the-kids style language teacher with his cap, shades and passion for electronic music. Many laughs ensue from this language teacher’s ironic inability to get articulate a single sentence in less than a minute, much to the annoyance of the music teacher.
‘The Luggage Room’ opens with simple lighting a sparse set; only a few suitcases are scattered about the stage to convey the luggage room in which the actors sit looking bored and despairing.
In a desperate attempt to make conversation the language teacher tries to discuss electro music, serving to make a firm enemy in the pretentious music teacher. This dislike is further magnified by the inarticulate speech of the language teacher, so much so that the music teacher proceeds to steal his sunglasses and furiously stamp them to pieces. Meanwhile, the drama teacher reminisces about failed dreams and occasionally interjects to provoke the other two.
The final straw comes when the language teacher reveals he needs to ‘take a shit’ and does so behind some baggage (he’d consumed a lot of moussaka the night before). In a state of complete outrage, the music teacher hits his colleague round the head with an extremely large suitcase,
rendering him unconscious or perhaps even dead.
On this shocking and baffling note the play ends, and we never find out if the language teacher has indeed been murdered, although the clues were perhaps in the drama teacher’s rambling
references to Greek tragedy.
On the whole, ‘The Luggage Room’ is a tremendously comic play with impressive performances from all three actors; my only disappointment came from such an abrupt and ambiguous ending.