Mark Cooper-Jones: Geography Teacher
Edinburgh Festival Fringe performance showing a love of learning
This article is from 2014.
Mark Cooper-Jones would like you to know that, actually, he chose to perform in the tiny Globe pub because its name encompasses the theme of his show. A former supply teacher, he's here to share his contagious enthusiasm for geography. The pub's cramped confines certainly help to create an intimate, if anarchic, classroom ambience.
Although he's partly in character as a manic teacher frustrated by a geography-indifferent society, it's amusingly clear that his life-long passion is utterly genuine. A likeable young fogey who's happily aware of how posh and uncool he is – he even manages a neatly surreal gag about his hyphened surname – Mr Cooper-Jones has a practised knack with captive audiences. Assisted by an overhead projector and a sharp line in pedantry, he practically pummels the class into agreeing with him. Highlights include a pupil-pleasing game of 'Are You Worse Than an American at Geography?' and an impressively improvised segment in which he challenges the room to disprove his claim that geography relates to everything on Earth.
Full of actual interesting facts as well as gags, Geography Teacher revels in knowledge and the fun of learning. It's a minor joy.
The Globe Bar, 557 4670, until 24 Aug (not 11, 18), 3pm, free.