Saturday, 30 September 2017

Peter Pan- Week 3: Physical Theatre and Movement!

We had an absolute blast with the group this morning! It's week three of Peter Pan and this week was all about physical theatre; teaching the chameleons about performing using movement as opposed to speech. The session was a non-stop ride of physical games and activities which, while leaving us completely exhausted, were really fun to do. The group produced some outstanding work. 

The first thing the group learned about was stretches. The show will feature lots of physical theatre and it is vital to make sure everyone has stretched and warmed up before jumping in. The stretches we taught the chameleons were basic, but ensured that everyone was ready for the more demanding activities we had ahead.

Once everyone was warmed up we played our favourite shape game. This time we were more adventurous in the shapes we wanted to see, but the group rose to the occasion as usual. Some of the more abstract things that we asked them to create this week included a moving bicycle and a giant bottle of Coke (as requested by the group).

After that we asked everyone to walk around the space and become different elements. This is an abstract game which we played at the end of last term, though not to the extent that it featured today. Everyone walks around the room and has to become water, fire and air. It is up to everyone how they each become these, but as they continue to walk around they have to make the movements bigger and bigger to reflect the change in the element. For instance, water began as still water, then had ripples run through it, then became waves, them became a massive storm. The chameleons had to think about their actions and decide how they could change their movement to adapt to this.

It was wonderful watching the group each interpret the request in their own way. Everyone had different portrayals of the elements. For some people it was more to do with how their used their arms and legs, while others it was how they moved around the room.

Next we asked the chameleons to become different animals, but imaging that the animals had human qualities about them. These started off easy with suggestions like cats, rabbits and dogs, but got progressively more challenging with things like rhinos and giraffes. The group had to consider how they could use their bodies to become these animals. They were then asked to interact with each other, considering how the animals react to seeing each other. How does a rhino greet a rhino?

The group then needed to work in pairs to create larger animals. These featured things like hippos and an octopus. The animals had to be able to move around the room and so the chameleons needed to consider this when working together to create them. Then, as a group they were required to make even larger creatures that could move. These included a whale, a crocodile and a dragon. Everyone needed to become a different part of the creature and work together in order to make it come to life.

After the break the group took part in a mirror exercise. The game works in pairs, one person leads by moving and the other person has to mirror their movement. The aim is to move slowly and connect with your partner, essentially synchronising movement. The activity is a high level technique used in physical theatre, but the group did wonderfully with it. There were some very nice movements and some lovely reflections.

Finally we gave the group a rest and handed out some sections of script for them to read. In the exerpts we gave them; Peter Pan met Wendy for the first time and Peter and TinkerBell come looking for the shadow. The scenes were not very long and we encouraged the group to think about how the characters who don't speak might move.

Once everyone had shown off their scenes we had a final surprise for everyone:

Thanks to Tory and TotalTee Ltd we have stash! It's wonderful to see everyone in some long overdue Anthos Arts hoodies and t-shirts. A massive thank you to them for providing these; they mean the world and the group all loved them! They look excellent too, so make sure to spread the word about these guys.

Overall it was a hands down incredible session this week. Everyone worked so incredibly hard and did so well despite all of the physically demanding things we did. We are so lucky to have such a talented, creative and funny cast and can't wait to get started on the show itself next week. Now we have laid all the groundwork it is time to jump into the script and give everyone their characters. Exciting times await! As always enjoy these snaps from the session:

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