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!

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