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1990 –

English and Drama

From the 1990 School Magazine

Images of Arnie Beeker from L.A. Law (or was it Rumpold?) plus associated wealth and prestige initially lured Jeff Osborne towards a career in Law, “But when I looked through the Law course at Canterbury University on enrolment day it just looked so utterly boring. I could not bring myself to enrol. An enticing poster depicting hae excitement and challenge of teaching caught my eye.”

So registering for a BA in English and history initiated Jeff’s career. His three year course followed by a year at Teachers’ College led to a two, year appointment at The Taieri High School.

This year saw Jeff start at King’s as an English and Drama teacher and action on the drama front was almost immediate. ‘Animal Fallout’, a challenging modern social commentary, soon materialised and Jeff is now engaged in an ambitious junior play festival for the end of year. All this is indicative of Jeff’s master plan, “to make drama available to all students at King’s in 2 years time and to “subsequently develop a strong drama department.”

Jeff is sympathetic to the trials and tribulations of his aspiring actors for he has been actively involved himself. The inevitable question, what was his worst moment on stage?

“There were two actually; one when I lost a contact lens during an opening speech and then spent two agonising hours where an apparent cast of millions clomped around in heavy boots during battle scenes. Miraculously it was found unscathed at the end of the production centre stage left!”

The second occasion must have been the inspiration for Michael Green’s The Art of Coarse Acting. Jeff recounts, “In the course of this play I was required to lie down on a top bunk; I enthusiastically put too much into the action, throwing myself onto it, it of course collapsed, hospital¬ising the actress on the lower bunk and bringing the whole set down around our ears like a pack of cards. The theatrical adage of ‘the show must go on’ did not apply that evening!”

Jeff spends his spare time touring and picnicking in his new Datsun sports car, and his hobby? “Old steamships actually!” and if you don’t believe that then why did he spend much spare time as a student stoking the ancient coal-fired tug boat Lyttleton?



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