Saturday, 14 October 2017

Peter Pan- Week 5: 'You can fly!'

With the big character reveals of last week finally out of the way, this week we set about working on the opening scenes with our wonderfully talented and energetic chameleons! It was fantastic watching the work they created today and we are very excited for what is to come next! For now though, what did we get up to this week?

First of all we entered into the session with some easy yoga. I personally like starting this way as it gets the group relaxed and ready for the morning's activities. Plus it is always good to stretch before performing physical theatre (or just running, in this group's case). It also helps the cast to think about their bodies and how they are moving, a key aspect of physical theatre and something very important to most of the characters in the play who are largely movement based.

Once everyone was warmed up they took part in a 'flying' activity. To a peaceful, relaxing soundscape, the group walk around the room and imagine they are in a field. This field goes on as far as the eye can see. It is night time and the moon and stars are all out on display. Slowly, the group start to get faster and faster. Eventually they are told that their feet leave the floor and to imagine what it feels like to fly.

Still to the peaceful music everyone glides through the air, past the stars and through the clouds. The activity winds down with everyone steadily drifting back down to earth, feeling tired. They land and have to walk, then crawl, then slide themselves along until they curl up in a ball asleep. Afterwards we discussed how it felt to fly and whether these feelings could be emulated when we stage the flying scene in a couple of weeks. Back to the present, we then asked everyone to work in pairs to create different shapes. This week we had another variety of shapes for the pairs to make, such as. diamond, a vending machine, a bag of sweets, a submarine and, in groups of three, a lighthouse.

After the break we talked about our visit to the Northcott theatre during the week to see 'Around the World in 80 Days.' Everyone talked about what it was they liked about it, as well as things they thought maybe could work in Peter Pan. It was a brilliant discussion and very useful for those who are completing their Explore award with us this term.

Finally we set about working on the first scenes. In the beginning of the play we see children playing games in the street. To help the group stage this we played a version of 'stuck in the mud,' where everyone has to run from one side of the room to another and avoid being caught. Everyone was tired by the end but we had unknowingly staged the beginning of the scene, as the game will be played in silence while the Narrator begins the story.

After that we split up. One group worked on scene one, where Mr Darling declares Wendy's last night in the nursery after the boy's games get his favourite suit ruined, while the other group worked on Peter Pan and Tinkerbell's first scene. Each group worked very hard and the scenes we had created by the end of the session were very impressive and had some lovely physical theatre in them.

That's all for now. Next week we will continue to look at the beginning, potentially some puppetry as well. We are also excited as next week we are returning to Exeter Library for another brilliant arts award workshop for children and families (our 'Exploring Stories' workshop). They will be drama, craft and fun! Check out the website for more info ( In the meantime enjoy more snaps from rehearsal.

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