Portable #3: Not Just Another French Class

Ian Huffam


Teaching a class of second-graders French is a lot like acting in a Fringe show: you’re often alone in front of a large crowd of people who are waiting for you to impress them while they just sit there. You have to be more than adequate to acquire a following; you have to take your own approach and do what you think is fun, and everyone else will follow along. Alexander Gibson understands this on both fronts – Portable #3 is insightful, energetic, and creative as all get out.

Portable #3 follows Gibson along his first year out of teacher’s college, where he has secured the aforementioned second-grade French gig. Among unusual coworkers, demanding parents, and whiny children, Gibson fights his self-doubts to become the awesome teacher he knows he can be.

It’s hard to say which is more impressive: the quality of the script or the insane amount of energy that Gibson packs into each character he plays – this is a one-man show, but Gibson never looks alone onstage. An audience participation aspect (think of the game “Posts” from Whose Line is it Anyway) shatters the fourth wall before the show even starts, and as a performer Gibson never wavers in his fantastic connection to his audience.

The script is short, sweet, and varied: from the Patton-esque drill sergeant character that summarizes the teachers’ college mentality, the karate-teaching vice-principal, and Gibson’s own overbearing-but-loving mother, the quick rotation of characters makes it impossible to stay bored.

This is definitely the Fringe-iest of the shows I’ve seen so far, and it works excellently. If you or someone you love is a teacher or even if you hated all of your time in school, you’ll probably enjoy this show. If you love vocabulary and rhyming, then the intro alone should make you happy. In case you couldn’t tell, I highly recommend this show – there are only 2 more performances, so try to fit it in.


SDT Productions

Written by Alexander Gibson and Matty Burns

Performed by Alexander Gibson

Directed by Matty Gibson


At the Arts Court Library

June 26 @ 21:00

June 28 @ 16:00