Saturday, 19 January 2019

The Girl and the Fox: Week Two- 'Remember your audience (also puppets).'

"Remember your audience" was probably the most used phrase in this morning's rehearsal, as the Chameleons continued to explore the different elements that will make up The Girl and the Fox. It was week two of our project today and what a busy morning we had. Within the play we have a variety of colourful animals which accompany or assist The Girl on her journey, and a number of scenes where we use puppetry and scale to create various effects. This morning we wanted to explore both of these things ahead of beginning work on the show itself next week (a shorter term means a much faster turn around time).

We began the session with a recap of the story and characters. As mentioned last week, the show uses several Inuit names- which are tricky for to remember for those unfamiliar with them- and it was great to see everyone have a go at remembering them. We were joined by some new faces to the group this week too, so it was a good opportunity to get everyone up to speed.

The Chameleons were next asked to walk around the room and follow instructions which had been reversed. A game they were all familiar with. In this version, however, they would be given an animal and then had to move around like that animal. These ranged from smaller creatures, like a cat, to giraffes and bears. The group had to think about how they were moving and how they could give the animals character. We explored the idea that they weren't allowed to use their hands and knees to represent animals, as this didn't portray what animal they necessarily were. We then paired the group up with each other and asked them to create larger animals.

The lesson here was not only about making the animals look interesting, but also about teamwork. The group had to make animals that could move and so had to work together in order for this to happen. They ended up in groups of five to create a whale. There were some wonderful creations from everyone. Some of the nicest were those which combined the traits of animals with aspects of people, such as we had an old eagle who used a walking stick.

After the break we got to work with the puppets. The group were very excited about this part of the session (the puppets always go down a storm), and were split into groups again. In their groups they had to bring the puppets to life, making them move around the room. Here we spoke a lot about remembering where the audience were, and making sure they could see the puppet, not the performers. We also talked about how to make the puppet breath, and using slow movements to make them seem alive.

Some groups created scenes with their puppet, touching on the idea of perspective in a show. We had explored this idea after the break, saying that one way to make something look big on stage was to place it beside something small, and vice versa. The Chameleons all created some nice moments with their puppets and it will be fantastic to continue exploring this as the weeks progress.

A busy, busy week. The lesson to take away seemed to be 'remember where the audience are sat'. As I passed around the room I heard several members of the group reminding themselves and others this lesson. It is good to know some of our lessons sink in. Next week we are beginning work on the show and that means we will be giving out characters. Exciting times ahead indeed.

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