Saturday, 26 November 2016

The Princess and the Goblins- Week 7

It's week seven of 'The Princess and the Goblins!' and as performance day draws closer the group continue to work on their production of Irene's story. It is bizarre to think how quickly the project has gone but the fruits of the group's hard labour are showing-the play is looking really good.

For this week, Jake thought up a variation of the group's favourite (well one of them at least) game; Minotaur attack. In this version the ancient landmarks and references to the story of Theseus and the Minotaur were replaced with ones relating to our goblin-themed tale for the term. The four walls of the room were given new names; Greenhill, The Mines, The Forest and the Castle, and new actions were inserted as well; such as 'magic ring,' and 'aim for the feet,' where the group had to wield a magic ring and stamp their feet. The new game was well received and we concluded with our classic splat showdown.

The improvised scenes from this week were also very entertaining. In one we had a knight who was searching a bathroom shop for a new toilet seat when he accidentally fell asleep in one of the bathtubs (and the chaos which ensued) and a fisherman trapped on an island, trying to escape.

When everyone was warmed up we moved onto the script once again. This week we placed Irene and Lottie into the merchants scene we created last week and worked on their interactions at each stall. Then we looked at Irene's first meeting with Curly (this week actually with Irene, as last week Ben stood in-much to everyone's amusement) and their trip into the mines.

That didn't take long however. The cast are talented and work quickly. Once those scenes were secured we looked at the relationship between Irene and her Grandmother in a later scene. We had previously touched upon this relationship when Grandmother Ash first appears in the play, but it is in this scene that we really see the strength of their bond. The girls did a wonderful job at bringing this scene to life without the need of much direction from either practitioner. It was wonderful to watch the characters interact as the scene unfolded.

The final scene we worked on was an eventful one. In this scene Irene and Lottie sneak into the goblins kingdom to rescue Curly, who meanwhile comes face to face with the Goblin Queen for the first time. We split the scene into two parts, the first being Curly's interaction with the Queen and the second being Irene's rescue operation. The cast all drew on their own ideas for how to make the scene more entertaining and in the end we had a wonderful scene which paves the way for the final showdown between Irene and the Goblin Queen next week!

Overall it was another fantastic rehearsal with the Chameleons. These guys are pouring everything they have into making this show amazing and we can't wait to see it when we have the costumes, lights and sounds in a few weeks. Next week we will hopefully be able to start playing around with some costumes for everyone: until then!

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Princess and the Goblins- Week 6

It's hard to believe that we're six weeks in already. Time has flown by on this project and we've all had a blast working with our talented Chameleons so far! Crazy as it might seem to only have a few weeks left, however, rehearsals must go on- there's a show to be done, after all!

Cast absences meant that yesterday's rehearsal truly was one for the boys! Some may initially think that the absence of Princess Irene would slow us down, but they'd be far from correct! The wonderful thing about this story is that there are lots of characters. Though the narrative may focus on Irene, there are plenty of other things which happen in the Kingdom of Greenhill, and that is what we focused on this week. Not before some games, however!

This week we got the boys to play 'buzzy bees.' It's a classic drama game which featured heavily throughout Jake and Ben's university experience. The group walk around the space and the leader says a letter; everyone needs to then become something beginning with that letter. For instance, if the category was animals and the letter was 'T' then someone might become a turtle. Or if the category was objects and the letter was 'L' someone might become a lamppost. Everyone seemed to engage well with this game and we even had some requests to play it at the end if there was time.

Our intended focus of the week was to get the cast to create their own Merchant character. In the story, Irene and Lottie sneak out of the castle and find themselves in the city's marketplace, where a variety of merchants are selling their wares. Each cast member will have their own merchant for the girls to interact with during this scene in order to make the marketplace feel more alive. We asked the cast to come up with some items that they would like to sell ("what kind of merchant" did they want to be?) and then went around to each of their stalls to investigate. We had a variety of merchants selling things from mince pies, to swords, to Christmas gear and even a plushie salesman.

Once we had the merchants, we moved onto rehearsing more scenes from the play. This week we looked at the introduction of Curly, a local miner's son. We then skipped ahead to one of our later scenes, which features Curly being captured by goblins after overhearing their plans and being taken to their underground kingdom for questioning. The cast worked hard on bringing their characters to life, especially the goblins whom, much like the merchants, are created by the cast- each unique in their own goblin-esque way. The rehearsal came to a close with another round of 'buzzy bees' (by popular demand). Four weeks to go now until the show and we just can't wait!


Saturday, 12 November 2016

The Princess and the Goblins- Week 5

During the course of the week Anthos Arts had its one year anniversary from when Ben and Jake first took it over and launched their brand new youth group projects. We could never have imagined what would happen next. The projects were well received by everyone; so much so that people started asking when the next project would be. One year later and what had originally started as a single term project has grown into the incredible youth division we have now. The 'younger group' as it was initially called in the first few meetings we had, was renamed the 'Chameleon' group, and since starting we have continued to expand the projects and tackle new things with the group. We looked at what everyone wished to grow up to be in 'What I want to be!' We journeyed to Ancient Greece and brought the legend of Theseus's battle with the Cretian minotaur to life in 'Theseus and the Minotaur!' and finally told our own version of the legendary King Arthur and his journey to become a good king in 'The Legend of King Arthur!' It's been a magical year and we hope to continue the work and keep making it bigger and better! Thanks to everyone who has supported us. Here's to another year.


It's week five working on our Chameleon's performance of 'The Princess and the Goblins' and yet again, we had another fantastic session with our wonderful cast. After five weeks of working on a story there may, in some cases, be a danger that everyone would grow bored and lose interest, but not with our Chameleons. Everyone is still putting in one-hundred and ten percent into working on the story of Princess Irene and it is brilliant for us to be able to watch them bring the story to life in ways that we hadn't even thought of before. So, what adventures did our group get up to this week?

We had some new games this week, just to shake up the usual routine a bit. Of course, we started with a quick round of 'Minotaur Attack!' which ended in a tense splat off, which for the first time ever required multiple rounds after several draws between the two remaining Chameleons. Next we played a game of dragon's keys, although we replaced the dragon with a goblin. The aim of the game was simple; while blindfolded, one person has to sit on a chair in the middle of the room. Underneath the chair are keys and the member of the group who is chosen must go and steal the keys from under the goblin's chair. If the goblin points at them, then they are out. It is a simple game but very tricky, as it is key to move as quietly as possible, so that the goblin doesn't hear the keys move.

Everyone had a turn being keeper of the keys and one by one the rest of the group would try to steal them without making a sound. It is fair to say that we have a lot of members in the group who can move silently when they put their minds to it. It was difficult believing that some of them were moving at all even though we could see them!

Next the Chameleons had a go at using their bodies to represent different things. This was a similar exercise to one we did a few weeks ago, where the group moved around the room like different animals before creating movement for their own unique goblin. At the end of this exercise, however, the group were asked to take on different characters with their bodies. For example, they were asked to move around the room like brave knights, at which point the group produced their swords and spears and marched around like knights off to battle. Then they were asked to become pirates, bandits and servants. With every new character came a new way of moving and it was fantastic to watch the group experiment with so many new things.

After the break we started to work on the opening scene of the play. In the scene we meet the Narrator, the teller of Irene's tale. She introduces us to King George and his struggles to keep his kingdom safe. The scene involves a number of characters coming to invade the kingdom and being defeated by George one by one. Everyone put their skills from the previous game to good use as King George battled knights, pirates and bandits.

Later we learn that, while King George might be beloved by the kingdom, his daughter Irene thinks quite differently. She dislikes the fact that she is not allowed to leave the castle, and that he is always going away to fight one enemy or another, leaving her at home alone.

Once King George had set off for another battle, we met Lottie, Irene's maid and her closest friend. The girls spend their days playing happily in the castle between work and study. During the rehearsal of these scenes we looked at the relationship between Irene and Lottie and how we could portray their friendship on stage without necessarily using words. The girls came up with some fantastic ideas for how their characters could play on stage without distracting from the Narrator, who narrates the story as the action happens in the background.

As we moved on to the second scene in the play we were introduced to Phillip, Irene's mean tutor, and discussed how all of the characters felt about each other, and how we can show that in the scene with body language and our voices. Eventually we meet Irene's grandmother, Lady Ash, who comes to save her from her tedious lesson. As the scene draws to a close, Lottie returns and, upon seeing that Irene is upset over being stuck in the castle, decides to help her sneak out of the palace so they can have an adventure.

Through some quick experimenting with a scarf, the Chameleons found a way to fashion a disguise and together the girls sneak past the guards and into the city. Again, using some of the skills we practised in the earlier exercise, the group were able to fashion some guards for Irene and Lottie to sneak past as they set out from the castle.

Given all of the hard work that the group put into the first two scenes of the play, a final game was in order! Again we introduced a new game for the term called the 'chair swap' game. The group sits on chairs in a circle and someone stands in the middle of the room. Without talking, the group must swap chairs with one another, while the person in the middle has to sit on one of those chairs before they are filled. To add to the madness, the group may be forced to all swap chairs at any time, just to keep them alert and ready. This game saw a lot of distracting going on and everyone laughed as more and more outrageous attempts were made to distract whoever was in the middle. And so, another week passes us by. Next week we will see what happens to Irene and Lottie on their adventure and continue to bring our final version of the story to life!

Theseus and the Minotaur/The Odyssey: Week 6- 'Down in the Labyrinth/ Circe's island.'

A quick blog entry this week- as we are neck deep into rehearsals now and at that point in the term where there's little to say abo...