Saturday, 16 September 2017
Peter Pan- Week 1: A New Adventure Begins
After a long and lovely summer, our fantastic Chameleon Group returned this morning for a brand new term of fun at our new home in Thornlea Studios! A massive thanks to the Drama department at Exeter University for agreeing to have us. We've had Peter Pan on the idea's board for a while now and have been putting it off until the time was right and we had some good ideas and the right venue for the performance. Well we've had plenty of ideas and have been lucky enough to acquire the Cygnet theatre for the show, so the time has come at last! We could hardly wait for our Neverland adventure to kick off this morning.
It was wonderful to see some new faces join us as the group grows even more. With every newcomer comes a new character and it's fantastic to see the group interact with each other through the games and activities we get up to. This week we kicked off with a few name/ball games. Aside from highlight who has difficulties catching flying objects (namely, us) the ball games are a good way for everyone to learn each other's names and have fun doing it. Everyone throws the ball and says their names, then in round two the person throwing the ball has to say the name of the person they throw to. Once everyone has had the ball once, the sequence repeats itself.
We then brought out a classic; Captain's Coming. What would a project be without that game? Especially one where the show contains pirates. For those who don't know, the game involves giving the four walls of the room a name and everyone has to rush to the correct wall. On top of this there are other actions that they must perform; such as 'scrub the deck' where you pretend to wash the floor, or 'captain's coming' where you have to salute the captain. It is always a laugh.
We then played a round of Boal, as we call it. The game came from theatre practitioner Augusto Boal, Everyone walks around the room and has to 'go, stop, jump and clap.' These instructions are then swapped around and everyone has to do the opposite of the action; such as 'go' for 'stop' and 'jump' for 'clap.' It is always a brain teaser but gets everyone focused and thinking.
We all got together after that for a break and a talk about Peter Pan and what we know/ what we can expect from the performance we'll be making. Everyone had a good working knowledge of the story already and were full of brilliant ideas for what we could do. As always everyone was eager to know what parts they will play, but that bit comes later (much to the cast's dismay).
When we returned to the rehearsal room we played a good game of 'What are you doing?' The game always features in our work as it is a good low stakes activity for those who may not have done acting before or those who are still finding their feet. It is always a good laugh as well, that's a bonus. In the game the group sit in a circle and someone will stand in the middle, doing an action. The next person goes up, asks 'what are you doing?' and the first person has to then give them an action. The actions can be anything from simple to completely absurd. Today we had everything from 'looking at the ceiling' to 'being chased by a tiger.' It was nice watching the group portray each other's actions and to see them so keen to play.
Finally we performed a 'speed run' of Peter Pan. This is a must for all first weeks. The cast must perform a super-fast version of the story as one of us narrates it. It gives everyone a chance to get stuck into the story, try out some acting and have a lot of fun. As always it was completely mental, but the cast embraced it and we got to the end without too much confusion.
So another project begins. We're so thrilled to be back and had a lot of fun this first week. Next week we are moving onto creating characters, now that we are familiar with the story elements. Expect more games and laughter. As always; here are a few snaps from the rehearsal.
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