First things first; we spent the initial part of the session learning everyone's name. With so many new faces we wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to introduce themselves and learn everyone's names. We used our old ball game to do this, where everyone has to throw the ball to someone and say their name. If they don't know, or can't remember, then they simply ask. It's a low stakes game which always eases newcomers into the group. Then we got onto playing our favourite running crab game, where everyone has to dart back and forth across the room and avoid the catcher in the middle. If they are caught then they become a crab and have to help catch others. It's a great energy game to get everyone warmed up.
Next we played the opposites game; which is inspired by theatre techniques used by Augusto Boal (great chap). In the game everyone has to either go, stop, jump or clap. However, these instructions are then reversed to mean different things; so go means stop and jump means clap. It's always a good laugh playing this game and trying to trick others out. Afterwards we gave the group their first go at the shape game. In this game everyone has to use their bodies and work as a team to create a shape. This week's shapes included a square, a computer, an aeroplane, a car and a moving bridge. This game is great because it gives the group a chance to work together as a team. We encourage them all to contribute and listen to each other's ideas. Some brilliant shapes were made!
Over the break we talked about the story of The Three Musketeers to see what information the group already knew. The topic of discussion this week however was the vending machine and how much happier everyone would be if they gave out free food. Once back inside the room we looked in on some acting with 'what are you doing?' This is one of our favourite games as it is a good chance for everyone to get creative and a little bit silly. The emphasis is purely on fun. One person does an action, like playing tennis, and then another person comes in and asks what they are doing. They then have to say an action which is anything but what they're already doing; so, using the tennis example, the person might say they are cooking dinner. The next person then has to make an action that represents cooking dinner. It's a fun game and we always have a lot of wild suggestions; such as today we had 'tightrope walking over a shark tank' and 'diving into a sea of sweets.'
We asked everyone again what characters they knew from the story of 'The Three Musketeers' and the one most people knew was D'Artagnan; the hero of the story. While the play involves his adventure from farm-hand to musketeer however, there are plenty of other characters there too; such as Athos, Porthos and Aramis (the three musketeers), King Louis, the wicked Cardinal Richelieu and the cunning Milady de Winter. The group were excited to hear about all of the different characters involved in the show. A promising start!
Finally, we did what we like to call a 'speed-run' of the story. In this one of us will narrate the story and the other will select people to act in it. Everyone will have a turn as each character and it is a fun way to help everyone remember the key points about the storyline. The whole group were very keen to throw themselves into different roles and help us tell a five minute version of our final story.
So all in all, a very busy but brilliant first session! We met some new people, played some fun games and explored our story; which we will be performing in nine weeks. The group seem excited by the term ahead and so are we! Saturdays don't feel right without these guys! That's all for now though, we will be back same time next week! As those of you familiar with the blog (and me) will know I like to give the camera a workout so here are some snaps from this week's madness! Enjoy!