Sunday, 10 February 2019

The Girl and the Fox- Week 5: 'The Big Mouth and the Featherpeople.'

A very special week with the Chameleons as it was rehearsal number five; meaning we are officially halfway into the project! The group have been working so hard this term so we wanted to mark the occasion with something special and decided to have a pyjama day. Drama in pyjamas. It was as comfy as it sounds. The Chameleons all came in pyjamas, onsies, slippers and comfy clothes and we celebrated their hard work with some nice swiss-roll, party rings and pringles. Meanwhile, there was still a show to be made and the journey of The Girl and the Fox continued amidst the bedtime backdrop.

This week we had added some colourful characters to the play. Some required movement, while some required teamwork to bring to life. We started off the rehearsal, thus, by playing a quick round of shape making. We wanted the group to work in units of three (and later six) in order to create various shapes. In some cases the shapes they made had to both move and make noise; an extra challenge for everyone.

When it came to scenes this week, we divided the group in two. The first half worked on scene four, where The Girl falls into the lake and meets the Whale, which she aptly names 'Big Mouth.' Staging the underwater scene was fun; we utilised the chorus as colourful underwater creatures. Sometimes something small can have a big impact- our Chorus used small finger lights to represent the fish under the water, which dance with the Girl before the whale appears.

The Whale itself was another challenge. We wanted whatever mechanism we used to present it on stage to be simple and easy for our Chameleons to use. We opted to use pillows to represent different parts of the whale, emphasising the need for our Chorus to show how it moves through the water. We also talked about what the whale might sound like and the importance of it being a voice one can maintain on stage (without was pretty funny).

The second half of the group went to work on the following scene, in which The Girl and the Fox encounter the Featherpeople: a race of bird-people who live up in the mountains. Some wonderful acting from our feathery chameleons in this scene. It was great seeing the group take on their roles as birds physically and vocally. With their queen; Lady Brightbeak, we focused on how to present character. How does a queen stand? How does a bird stand? How does a bird queen stand? Again, some wonderful work went into this one.

As mentioned earlier, we also sent some time aside this week for games and cake. The story of The Girl and the Fox is a lot of fun, but the plot is big, the characters diverse and the challenges of turning it into a show have been bigger than our last projects. It was important for the cast to have some time together to have fun and stop to appreciate the work they had put in. We have asked a lot from them this term; Inuit culture is fascinating, but not something they are familiar with. In five weeks we have asked them to embrace and learn about this culture while making a show. Not easy at all. This week was well earned by the whole group and was lots of fun!

With yesterday's session behind us, we are now officially over halfway! Tickets have gone on sale for the show to family and friends and now it all seems very soon. The fun continues next week as The Girl comes face to face with the villain of the play and we learn just why the Featherpeople warned her about the dark forest. Until then, here's some snaps from rehearsal this week.

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