Saturday, 24 February 2018

The Three Musketeers- Week Five: Tangled Hands, Sword-fights and Merchants!

This morning we had another brilliant rehearsal with our wonderful Chameleons as rehearsals for the Three Musketeers continued! We're halfway through the term now and so more and more costume bits are beginning to emerge as the group continue their way through the play. This week we had a whole host of games, plenty of sword fights and created the thriving Paris marketplace.

The group were big fans of the assassin/bodyguard game which we played last week and so we thought it best to begin with the game once again. This week was particularly amusing as some of the choices made by the cast resulted in a big muddle of people who had been chosen to protect the person they had chosen as their assassin. It's great to get the session going with a bit of laughter.

Then we played the shape game and had the group create a pyramid. In the confusion it seems someone's monkey managed to slip into the game and ended up right at the top as a pharaoh. Who knows how that happened? It was pretty darn brilliant though. The group have such a fantastic imagination for these things- it lends itself well to drama.

Then we played another game that the group hadn't experienced yet. Everyone has to stand in a circle and grab someone's hands. Then the group have to try and untangle themselves so that they are standing in a circle again. This was a bit more chaotic than anticipated and we ended up with two circles but the group managed to untangle themselves completely- and nobody lost any limbs in the process!

Then it was time to move onto the more action packed section of the rehearsal! The group split in two. One team staged D'Artagnan's intro scene; where he sets off from home to follow his dreams in Paris. Meanwhile the other team staged the fight scene between the musketeers and the bandits. Both teams worked really hard and created some fantastic naturalistic and action sequences!

We next moved onto D'Artagnan's arrival in Paris and created the marketplace where he initially meets Constance. This was a lot of fun as each of the cast members got to decide what they would be selling at their market stalls. We had chocolate, pairs, gummy bears and cheese puffs- all of which the merchants tried to sell our poor hero in his search to find Rochefort- disguised as Athos.

Finally we got to see the first meeting between D'Artagnan and Constance- which will develop into an important friendship later on- as she helps D'Artagnan to find Athos, whom she has just seen near the market square. Our hero's meeting with Athos was also fun to watch, as he challenges Athos to a duel (seeking revenge for Rochefort's actions-whom D'Artagnan believes to have been committed by's mind boggling).

Once again the Chameleons put in a lot of effort and produced some fantastic work! It's been such a fun term so far and we're excited to keep going as D'Artagnan's story continues to unfold! Next week we will be looking at more of our many sword fights and focusing on some of the villains of the show- Milady, Richelieu and Rochefort! Hopefully we will have even more costume by then. Until next time; enjoy some of our rehearsal pics from today's madness!

Saturday, 17 February 2018

The Three Musketeers- Week Four: Getting the Show on the Road!

Week four with our Chameleons this morning and today we finally began work on the script! Following the reveal of everyone's characters last week; we were excited to commence work on the term's show. The morning was filled with character activities, games and scene work as the Chameleons launched into the massive task of creating their own version of 'The Three Musketeers.'

We started the morning off with a new game for the group this term called; 'the bomb and shield' game. In the game the group walk around the room and have to select a person to act as their bomb and a person to act as their shield. They then have to make sure their shield is standing between them and their bomb at all times. Our version saw the bomb and shield be replaced by assassin and bodyguard, in keeping with the musketeers theme. The group seemed to really enjoy it and most of them survived assassination!

Then the group played the shape game and had more interesting shapes to create. This week their tasks included a train station, a giant snake and a dining room table; which ended up including a dumpling or two.The group are fantastically creative when it comes to using their bodies to make the shapes this term and we had some fantastic ideas and physical images made!

Next we played another round of the fencing game from last week, where two people duel and have to do different actions to score points. Again this activity is a fun way for the group to remember all the different moves they have learned in a fun, challenging way. It seems that most of the group remembered all of the moves too- which was fantastic to see!

The chameleons then were asked to pick a character that they play in the show and walk around the room as that character. The emphasis with this game is on how the character moves and acts towards others. One person with facilitate the activity, giving the group instructions on what to do next. For instance, they will say that the group have to greet one another in character and think about what their character sounds like. Another is what does the character do with their hands? Are they holding something or just having them by their sides?

After the exercise the group got back together and discussed what it felt like to be their characters. Everyone had some interesting introspective comments to make about their character and things that they felt/did. This is a really useful exercise in getting everyone to think a little bit more about what makes up their character.

During the second half of the morning we moved onto scene work. The chameleons split up, with most of the cast remaining in the room to work on the first scene, while D'Artagnan and Rochefort stepped outside to work on their first meeting ever at the Old Lantern Inn. In the scene D'Artagnan comes face to face with his rival for the first time and the two end up locked in a sword fight. It was exciting staging the first sword fight of the play and building the rivalry between the two characters; as Rochefort serves as one of the main antagonists opposing the musketeers. The moves from our fencing game helped here, as both performers were already familiar with how to use each move and work it into their fight choreography.

Meanwhile the other team worked on the very first scene; introducing the Three Musketeers, King Louis and Cardinal Richelieu (another big antagonist for our heroes). It was brilliant watching the chameleons take these characters on board and add something new to them, creating an interesting and quite funny scene. We even got some audience interaction in (which was super fun).

Another week comes to a close then. The performance is moving closer and closer, with this being a much shorter term than last time- and there is still lots to do! The next few weeks will be busy indeed! As always the group performed marvellously and we're excited to see how the show progresses as the weeks go on; especially with such creative brains at the helm! As always, for now though, please enjoy some of our snaps from rehearsals (there were a lot today).

Theseus and the Minotaur/The Odyssey: Week 6- 'Down in the Labyrinth/ Circe's island.'

A quick blog entry this week- as we are neck deep into rehearsals now and at that point in the term where there's little to say abo...