Saturday, 2 March 2019

The Girl and the Fox- Week 7 & 8 'The Edge of the World & Journey's End.'

Welcome back; once again we reach the point of the term where sessions with our Chameleons heavily focus on rehearsing the show, and sometimes (as with the last couple of weeks) it is best to combine the goings-on of our bright young performers into one longer blog post than two smaller ones. The past two weeks have been great fun. We have challenged the Chameleons to knuckle down and work closely on aspects of the show, but finally we arrived at the end of The Girl's journey: the tundra at the edge of the world.

Last week we looked at the ending of the play and the characters The Girl and the Fox meet at the end of their adventure. Again here we went back to the ideas discussed in week one about perspective and how to make something seem bigger on stage than it is in real life. The Girl comes across a particularly large creature here and it was good fun (as always) playing around with the puppets.

We also played a new game, which seems to be quickly rising to the top of the group's favourite list. The game is called simply 'don't laugh.' The group stand in a circle and someone is in the middle; this person has to make people laugh. Anyone who laughs, or smiles, or snickers, or covers their face is out and the most serious face wins at the end. It is a great focusing game as everyone tries extremely hard not to laugh at each one...which is much harder than it sounds.

Lastly we worked on our epilogue. Some of the group didn't know what an epilogue meant, so we took some time to explain the concept. Our stories favour epilogues- where the dust settles on all the action and the story is brought to a calm close. Some final interactions between the characters in the village have really brought the scene to life. Our Inuit village feels full of energy and the scenes set within it are great fun to watch.

Moving onto this week: it was time to practice our socks off! We started off the morning with some zip-zap-boing and shape games, where Ben had to guess the theme given to the group for shapes in each round. Whilst the group played, different people were getting into costumes. Now that it is almost showtime we wanted the group to practice with their costumes as much as possible. It helps them get into character and is plenty fun too.

Given that it has been a much shorter term, the task of creating a brand new show has been a tough one. However, the Chameleons have done a wonderful job. The scenes we rehearsed look great and there is a fantastic energy behind their work. Our biggest challenge was keeping quiet off stage. With a group that have such loud voices this is always a challenge, but they know what is expected of them during the show (we run a tight ship).

Both the characters in scenes and the puppets used are looking very strong. The cast have really committed themselves to the show and it was good fun to watch. Their memories are so impressive, both in remembering their lines and all the actions we have asked of them over the past seven weeks.

SIDE-NOTE: The break was particularly interesting today as we debated who had more flexible hands and fingers. A weird and wonderful topic of discussion to have over snack food. Much to the delight and horror of the group; everyone unveiled their own unique flexible quirk. Be it bendy hands, fingers or double jointed ankles? They are a hilarious bunch.

The Narrators enjoyed their new costumes, among other things, and took great pride in spinning around. Our Narrators are such important characters. In addition to telling the story they have a deal of depth to them. This time our four Narrators split themselves between elders and spirits, the two greatest examples of storytellers from Inuit culture. This decision was made by the Chameleons in these roles and is an admirable example of how they have embraced the culture.

All in all, it was a wonderful rehearsal and we even managed to almost do a complete start to finish runthrough; which would have been possible had we not devoted time to trying on costumes at the start. The aim always was to have the dress rehearsal next week and to spend this one getting ready...which we did! We finished the day with some team shape games. Start with an imagination game, end with an imagination game. A great mantra for life. Next week we shall have our Chameleons in costume and making final preparations for the performance! The term has gone so quickly and it is strange to think the show is in two weeks. More fun us over the next couple of weeks with a round-up post for the term's blog. Until then enjoy some final rehearsal shots.

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