(Here's some of us in a circle)
We met up both Saturday and Sunday to rehearse; however we didn't do any rehearsing.
On both days, we started with a classic Gavin Wilkinson warm up, then had a general chat about life.
Over the course of the weekend we did many performance development exercises and games.
We kicked off the exercises on Saturday with the world- renowned name game, in which, may i add, for the first time ever; i won! (so did Hazel). We then played a game using an oversized tennis ball and a foam ball. With the first one we had to shout a character's (in the play) name as we threw it to the next person. With the other we had to shout a theme of the play whilst throwing it to another person. These created a cycle and it was really confusing - have you ever seen theatre kids trying to throw and catch? It's priceless!
Gavin then put us into pairs, with people that we hadn't really worked with much before. I was put with Amie (which was quite funny because I've known her since primary school but ssshhhh don't tell Gavin!) We had to talk about how we found/find school/college, a time in our lives where we have been scared and what we want to get out of the National Theatre Connections experience.
- I said about how for the first two years of school i was a bit of a loser, - i mean, my MUM did used to do my hair...
- Then i said about about when you're little and you lose your mum in Tescos, - that's scary. (I still do it though)
- Then i said about how the connections programme is so exciting and also so much fun. I like the idea of fully developing characters, understanding and interpreting the key themes and contexts of the play.
On the Sunday our exercises went up a notch in difficulty. We focused on our voice and the way we talk. We sat down (in another circle) and we went round the group, talking about how our voice changes when we're in different social situations.
We then did an exercise where we had to read out some of the script. At every full stop, we had to stamp our foot down and then change direction. At every comma we had to simply change direction, and at every question mark we had to swivel around. I tried doing this in front of the group, on my first attempt i rushed and i struggled. Then i slowed it down and tried again and it actually really helped to understand the structuring of the characters thoughts, and added much more meaning.
Next we split into boys and girls and we did an exercise focused on different levels of intensity. The girls went first and they each individually performed losing something. They were put in a random order, and us boys had to line them up according to how intense their feelings were. (may i add that we got them all right).
Then it was our go, we had to do disappointment, - may i add that the girls got it completely wrong.
We each had another go and the next time round, we were all a lot more understanding of how each level should be played.
(Here's Gavin having a chat with Mark and Joe.)
Gavin had set us homework to do, researching the context and the themes of the play. These ranged from looking at Nazi Germany and the Hitler Youth to Cult Suicide (a bit depressing i know but i promise the play is funny!) we all sat and chilled while talking about each others research, writing notes and asking questions.
(Here's some chilling and researching)
We had a really fun and useful weekend, and a lot of chocolate and mince pies were eaten. Robbie Williams and Ant and Dec even popped down to the studios! Next week we find out our characters!
(Gavin found some masks - me, Ollie and Alex are wearing them!)
Thanks, Greg :)