Gabby Anderson – Bad(ish) Teacher

Te Auaha, Tapere Iti, 65 Dixon St, Wellington

09/05/2023 - 13/05/2023

Basement Theatre Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

24/05/2023 - 27/05/2023

NZ International Comedy Festival 2023

Production Details

Marking, meetings, testing her jokes on Year 9s (brutal reviews), Gabby Anderson is a teacher who tries to do it all! In this jam-packed hour of laughs you will learn what to do when a student calls you mum, how to make sure no-one eats the glue sticks, and if this teacher really can exist outside the classroom?!

So pack your pencil cases because Miss Anderson aka BAD(ISH) TEACHER is ready to ring the bell one more time.

“The audience never lets up laughing.” – Theatreview

“Are you really a comedian Miss?” – Year 9 student

Billy T Award nominee 2023

Winner – Raw Comedy Quest 2018

Price: $20 – $25
Time: 6.45PM

Basement Theatre, Studio
23 – 27 May 2023
+ Sat 27, 5pm

Comedian – Gabby Anderson

Comedy , Theatre , Solo ,

60 minutes

Friendly, engaging, genuine and enthusiastically here for a good time

Review by Talia Carlisle 28th May 2023

It’s hard not to like Gabby Anderson, aka Miss Anderson in Bad(ish) Teacher, which drew in sold out audiences in Wellington and Auckland this Comedy Festival.

Her Auckland show on Saturday comes in hot with a high energy welcome and bright pink outfit which matches the shiny and captivating energy of our star Gabby, ready to teach us a few tricks learned from her eight years of training.

“It’s important to be political and teach our students to engage in politics,” she says, demonstrating their favourite topics as voted in an MMP system.

Gabby may be a self-confessed ‘Bad(ish) Teacher’ but despite the name of her solo show, she is a wonderful performer and I can’t help wondering if that comes from her teaching, or if her great teaching (by my account) comes from her great performing skills. My vote is both.

She takes us on a classroom journey, welcoming us all with her warm and patient ‘teacher voice’, and includes us on her class trips to Countdown. There she teaches us how to make a learning opportunity out of every situation – including ones where a student eats a glue stick, or gets banned from said Countdown trip. 

Her passion for learning and extra-curricular activities is shown through talking about her love of learning passed down from her parents, and the fact she calls them “extra-curricular activities”. 

Everything she talks about I find fascinating and love being in Miss Anderson’s classroom for the evening of her final 5pm show in Auckland’s Basement theatre, at such a crucial time where teachers are undervalued, underpaid, and if there isn’t a bad teacher, there is certainly a bad system that needs changing and we need to speak up for it.

But don’t speak out in class or you’ll get on Miss Anderson’s bad side – although I don’t think she has one.

I really enjoy the ride through memory lane to the favourite toys Gabby remembers from our school days, and family trips to Disneyland which are both exciting and scarring depending how you remember them. 

Gabby is friendly, engaging, genuine and enthusiastically here for a good time, and our packed audience is here for it. 

As my friend says, “You can come into Gabby’s show feeling tired, or carrying the weight of the world, and leave feeling like you made a fun friend, a buddy. Buddy Anderson.” 

Put up your hand if you’re keen for Gabby’s next show. I know I am. 


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Verbal dexterity is a hallmark of her delivery, as are pause, pace and audience participation

Review by Margaret Austin 10th May 2023

On the opening night of the New Zealand International Comedy Festival, audience members are filing into Te Auaha Tapere Iti. A blackboard onstage introduces us to our performer for the evening: “Hello, I’m Miss Anderson. Learning intention is to do comedy. First criterion is laughter.”

We’re in a classroom evidently, and this impression is shortly borne out by the entrance of Gabby Anderson, greeted by the kind of applause that signals familiarity and happy expectation. She comments on the 100% attendance at school today, and we’re off.

Anderson is a self-confessed high school teacher. Having also been one, I’m curious about what kind of memories she’ll stir up, particularly given the title of her show. The topic of Training College, and what it doesn’t teach you about teaching, is perhaps not new. Not that any training could prepare you for handling kids’ jokes. Anderson’s recounting of some of these is a highlight.

She thinks the classroom, just as much as anywhere else, should be a place for politics. The trickle down effect is sprinkled in, and a few other National Party barbs, but they’re not nasty. Some of the comedy we’re getting has an underlay of real regret. Students must read six books a year – a hefty requirement, alas. That one student links Mein Kampf and Liam Neeson in his review speaks volumes.

From the classroom, we segue to Anderson’s childhood, some of it in the Netherlands and in the company of four siblings (there has to be a seating plan for the car), and the lessons she’s since incorporated into her teaching. I’m really appreciating how deft wording can enhance anecdotes – Anderson’s verbal dexterity is a hallmark of her delivery, as are pause, pace and audience participation. So when persuasive speaking gets to be the teaching material for the day, her students have the edge. And guess who they use it on?

Our performer/teacher concludes this clever and remarkable work with a motivational speech. Don’t let that turn you off – it’s one with a difference and a heartfelt one.

Anderson is up for the Billy T Award this year – that’s not bad(ish).


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