Quartermaine's Terms is a play by Simon Gray. It is currently playing at Wyndhams Theatre in London. The story is both wonderfully tragic and comic at the same time. The story is set in the 1960's in an English language school for foreigners. The story follows several of the teachers and their lives through a number of years in their lives.
At the heart of the story is St John Quartermaine played by Rowan Atkinson - he is kind, sweet and neighbourly. He listens to all the problems of the staff and believe me there are many. He is part of the staff room, a permanent fixture. However he is absolutely hopeless as a teacher which earns him the enmity of many of the characters despite the fact that he is essentially good natured.
The play is brilliant, it makes you weep and laugh by turns. Your heart goes out to the characters as they are each unhappy in their own way and you feel very sorry for them all to some extent.
The play also has an excellent cast while Atkinson is at the centre as Quartermaine, the rest of the cast includes Malcolm Sinclair, Matthew Cottle, Felicity Montagu, Will Keen, Louise Ford and Conleth Hill. They all do wonderful comic turns and tragic moments throughout the story.
The tickets are not cheap but well worth it as this a great play, the stuff of which truly brilliant theatre is made.