‘Kings of the Gym’ tipped to resonate



A new production by the South Otago Theatrical Society will take viewers back to their high school days, as an old-school PE teacher and a progressive student teacher battle over whose vision should prevail.

Kings of the Gym, written by New Zealand playwright Dave Armstrong and directed by South Otago High School drama teacher Damien Bertanees, looks to lift the lid on the the lot of a teacher as well as that of a pupil in the modern era.

“Dave Armstrong was a maths teacher. I’m a teacher too, so a lot of it is familiar. But I hope people don’t go away thinking that’s what we’re all like,” Mr Bertanees said.

“It was written around the time that the government brought in NCEA. It’s about that tension between the past and the future.”

Mr Bertanees said he enjoyed working with a New Zealand script, which promised both serious topics and humour.

“It is a comedy after all, and has a great cast and great characters.”

The first run of the show begins on August 22 at the South Otago Theatrical Society building in George St, Balclutha.