It's always fun when the time comes in a project that we bring the script and characters into the mix. Over the three projects we have run prior to 'The Princess and the Goblins,' two have involved a week where the script arrives and the cast have a go at reading through and bringing it to life on the stage. During the last project we officially dubbed the week 'script week;' and so, we found that script week was upon us once more!
Before we had started the script, however, we had our regularly scheduled round of warm up games first. By this point the cast's favourite games have become clear and so featured once more in the week's activities. He had a game of 'Minotaur Attack!' which came to a messy conclusion as usual in a splat showdown. Next came more dastardly wink murders, followed by a variation; in this game a leader is picked and has to perform an action that the rest of the group copy, while the person chosen to stand in the middle of the circle has to guess who the leader of the action is.
Next came an improvisation game that started out as a fun way to get everyone up on their feet and moving and has now turned into an activity which the Chameleons request every week. That's right, 'what are you doing?' returned today thanks to popular demand. We had many interesting suggestions and miniature performances during the game; ranging from feeding a cat to sailing a boat to running away from a huge dinosaur. A couple of suggestions saw members of the group singing (or acting like they were singing) to their applauding audience and one even got Ben playing Minecraft! With every week this game features, it seems as though the group become more and more adventurous with their suggestions and comfortable with having fun and being a bit silly in front of everyone.
After the break came the moment everyone had been excited about: the script. While everyone was keen to know which characters in the story they would be playing, we were going to have a go at the story and script one more time before the casting was revealed. We wanted to give everyone a final chance to play the different characters before embarking on staging the show in the coming weeks. As is tradition in our Chameleon projects we allocated characters for a scene, read through that scene and then did a funny or 'speed' run of the scene so that everyone understood and was clear about the events which happen in each one. Every member of the cast committed to the reading and acting of these scenes as we went through them.
Scene by scene we followed Princess Irene on her adventure. We met her father, King George and watched him defend his kingdom from invaders. We saw Lottie, Irene's oldest and only real friend, attempt to help her go on an adventure by sneaking out of the castle. We watched as Irene got lost and stumbled upon Curly, a local miner's son, who took her exploring around the city and down into the mines, where they uncover the terrible goblin plot to invade the kingdom. We cheered as together, Irene and her friends battled the goblin army to save their home.
Finally, after the end had arrived, everyone sat down and the casting was announced. Throughout the session (and every session since week one) the Chameleons had anxiously been asking who they would play in the final performance. With highlighters in hand, we discussed the idea of an ensemble, a group of actors who work together to form many different parts in a play. Everyone will be part of the ensemble this time and, in addition to their named part, will play a colourful variety of additional characters that they will make their own over the coming weeks. That said, however, the cast list was declared and everyone was pleased with the parts they were given.
And so, another script week comes and goes. To say this one was probably the most anticipated we've had so far would be an understatement. The cast were really keen to get to know the script and their parts as soon as possible. It's that fantastic enthusiasm for drama that they all share which makes the work we do so much fun. Next week we begin work on bringing the first scenes to life. There will be more games, more laughs and, you can bet, more goblins.