Welcome back! It was week two for our Chameleons this morning and following last week's introductions it was great to get stuck into some acting and scene work. Joining us for today's session was the lovely Emma, Anthos's long time (and ever mysterious) team member and guardian angel, and Gaia; veteran of the Anthos Young Company- whom recently appeared in the AYC's 'H' at the Bikeshed theatre and 'Sherlock Holmes- The Red Inheritance' as John Watson. Ben was absent today, busy organising events for the Pride festival, but the show must go on!
Then the Chameleons played the shape game, and had to work together to create different shapes. As always they made some interesting shapes but we also, for the first time with the game, hit a snag. One of their shapes fell apart as the group were in debate about how best to create it. We paused the session for a few moments here to talk about the concept of working together and, importantly, believing in their own ideas. The shape had crumbled because the group had second guessed themselves; which in a performance can be a disaster. The Chameleons were told that they needed to believe in the work they create in order for it to succeed and be the best it could be. Once we had talked they were asked to create the same shape again and sure enough (see picture above- it was a pyramid) they created a very good piece of work, with everyone involved. Sometimes these snags happen and we feel it's important to explore the problems, since there is probably a lot to learn.
Next we had a break to unwind before diving into some of the acting elements of the session. It's important sometimes to have some down time where the cast can breathe before we launch into more work. When we returned we played a favourite game of mine, 'what's in the box?' In the game each person has to pretend that they have a box, and inside the box is an object which they must then mime out. It is brilliant seeing what is inside everyone's box- as there is usually a colourful variety- from large cinema screens, to binoculars, to snakes, mice and even a unicorn. The game serves as a gentle way into physical theatre and acting for those who may be unfamiliar with it.
Next we continued with the themes of circle activities and played another favourite- 'what are you doing?' This is a brilliant acting game which has featured in our work many times before- one person will stand up in the middle of the circle and perform an action. The next person comes up and asks what they are doing, to which the first person says any action but what they are doing. Then the second has to perform that action and so on. There are always a variety of actions, which is why it is so much fun to play. From walking a tightrope, to mowing the grass and reading a book (for three hours specifically) to being chased by a T-Rex. It's a good chance for everyone to get a bit silly and have some fun.
Once the games were done the scripts came out. We had some extracts from the final script which the cast had to stage in groups. Each group had a different scene which they had to bring to life. Some featured Dorothy, some featured the Wicked Witch, but it was a good chance to see everyone's ideas for how the scene should look. Obviously we have ideas of our own but we like to see what the group comes up with, since this can lead to new ideas completely. As I've said many times, they are a very creative group and this creativity comes across in their work.
Lastly we played one more group game in preparation for next week's physical session. The cast have to work together to create a machine, but they cannot talk to one another. One by one they must go up and become a moving part of the machine, joining and connecting together to build the complete machine. It was a very cool creation by the end, primarily being a rather elaborate juice maker (and custard machine too).
At the end of the session we talked about next week- which we are planning to be a physical theatre and puppetry week- two elements that will feature in the show. With that another week comes to an end. The group are very passionate about the show- which is just wonderful- and excited to find out who they will be playing. Next week we shall reveal all, though there's so much talent that casting this show is going to be no easy task. Until next time however, enjoy further snaps from this morning!