Thursday, 20 June 2019

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 about what we get up to in our Chameleon rehearsals that doesn't spoil the plot of the performance for everyone. The Chameleons were kitted out in costumes again this week, only this time they were for the shows- a mini dress rehearsal, if you like. Over the past few weeks we have learned that sizing up togas for two groups of 6-11 year olds is actually quite a challenge. We decided that the easiest way to see if things would fit was to just ask everyone to try things on...and why not have the rest of the rehearsal in costume too?

On the Theseus side of things we have reached the end of our grand story and saw Ariadne embark on a quest to meet with Athena to help save Theseus. Meanwhile the hero himself heads down into the Labyrinth to face off with the Minotaur. For those following, our story follows the plots of Theseus, Ariadne and Athena, all of whom feature heavily across these scenes: so it was a pretty busy rehearsal with many important story moments.

Term seems to be flying past now and it all feels very bizarre that we find ourselves at the big battle between Theseus and the titular Minotaur already. This week we did get the chance to do some stage combat with the Chameleons, which is always good fun. The highlight was undoubtedly when one of the group asked if we would use the same format as with 'The Three Musketeers' last year. Always a massive win when the Chameleons remember things we teach them. Applause!

Over on the Odysseus side, the hero and his crew found themselves this week catching winds. On the isle of Aeolus they attempt to find a way to reach home (yet again). This was a great scene to work on, as it involved some fantastic prop weather and some ribbon-ography (like choreography, but with ribbons). The Chameleons had great fun with the ribbons as Odysseus and co attempted to catch the correct one.

Then we reached Cerci's island, where she resides with apprentice Cassie. Again, we had a great time creating this scene, which featured many pigs, a battle with a sorceress and some comic spell casting. We all noted how much work the cast were putting into the show and how entertaining it was to watch. To conclude the sessions in both groups we held a photoshoot with the cast for posters. Our Theseus poster features our three point of view characters, while the other features Odysseus and his friends upon the high seas.

Again, as term begins to round up, there are less spoiler-free things to say in the blog, so posts will become significantly shorter. Our Chameleons are doing a tremendous job- the universal love for these stories is driving everyone this term and both shows are looking amazing. The team are immensely proud and cannot wait to share the shows in a few weeks with parents and friends.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Theseus and the Minotaur/ The Odyssey- Week 5: 'The Princess and the Queen/ The Isle of Aeolus.'

FANCY DRESS WEEK! This week we reached the halfway point of the term and so decided to celebrate that (and all of our Chameleon birthdays) with some cake/pringles and having a bit of fancy dress. Rehearsals continued as normal otherwise, with costumes for the show being slowly but steadily introduced.

Hats off to our Chameleons this week. Everyone had fantastic costumes and it made the rehearsal pretty amusing. Among favourites were an American gangster, Lady Gaga and a giant cake. For those wondering, the team dressed up to (we had a knight, a gladiator, Coraline and Ash from Pokemon). The fun costumes paired nicely with the games and activities that we got up to. Team Theseus played 'funny questions' where the group is split in two teams and, one by one, must ask a partner from the opposing team a question. The other person must answer 'sausage' and neither are allowed to laugh. Whomever laughs loses and the other team gets a point.

Team Odyssey, meanwhile, had a different game. It was a variation on 'character, setting, scenario.' One volunteer would enter the circle and be given a character, they were then given a place by the group. A second person then enters and is given a character. The two must then improvise a scene in which the former has to achieve a goal. The final round of this involved most of the group in the circle pretending to be different fruits in the fruit bowl, one of whom was desperate to get out. It was a mad and hilarious scene.

Back with team Theseus and our hero set sail for Crete. We went over some of the scenes from last week now that our cast had returned from half term holidays and then set about looking some new material. The scene focuses on Theseus and the Captain, as they discuss the latter's adventures and gain some insight into life in Crete. This is also where Theseus learns about Ariadne, whom he is destined to meet as the story progresses. A light but important scene.

Likewise, we went back over our cyclops scene (as our cyclops was with us this week). With our full cast present we wrapped up the second part of Odysseus' adventure and moved onto their next trial: the Isle of Aeolus, a land of clouds. A particularly fun scene here as our Chorus get a chance to move weather around and we get to watch Odysseus and crew pretend to be wind.

As mentioned, both groups stopped for an extended break this week allowing for us to celebrate birthdays together, have some down time with the Chameleons and talk to everyone about costumes and the finer workings of a toga (as many had no idea what a toga was). Costumes were tried on, laughs were had and it was a pretty good time. Next week we are back in usual cloths but have some exciting scenes to stage. Theseus' meeting with Ariadne and the house of Circi. Both groups are in for a busy rehearsal for sure! 

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Theseus and the Minotaur/The Odyssey- Week Four: 'Mount Olympus/The Isle of the Cyclops.'

It's the end of half term this week and while the post-holiday blues might be setting in, our Chameleons were certainly having a blast in yesterdays perhaps the end of the holidays weren't so bad? Four weeks into our Ancient Greece themed term and both productions are in full-swing, with our Chameleons this week visiting Mt Olympus, watching Theseus set sail towards his destined battle, hiding inside a wooden horse and visiting the isle of the cyclops. You know, just a typical Saturday.

We tasked our Chameleons with the goal of creating a moving, noise-making monster to warm up before we got to work on the play. The emphasis on this activity was getting the group to communicate with each other and support one another's ideas. Teamwork is a large part of the art with Anthos Arts and so like to encourage the Chameleons to develop cohesive attitudes towards working in groups. The group was split into two, with one group creating a potato dragon and the other creating a monstrous feline.

For this week's rehearsal we split our cast into two groups. One group focused on developing the character of Theseus, working on the initial scenes where our hero decides to fight for his people and make a stand against the Minotaur. We meet some of the colourful characters from Athens who support him, such as King Ageus and Captain Actor. Every story is only as good as it's beginning, middle and end, so we wanted to make sure Theseus got off to a strong start.

The rest of our cast focused on Mt Olympus and the gods who live there. Athena's story runs parallel to that of Theseus and Ariadne as the third major plot thread of the show. This week we looked at her rivalry with Poseidon, her friendship with Hermes and her interactions with Zeus, as she attempts desperately to provide Theseus with some help on his journey.

In the world of the Odyssey (and the afternoon group) our Chameleons looked at how different characters could be portrayed on stage. The emphasis here was on thinking about how a character might move and appear in front of an audience to let them know what type of character they were. Some very amusing interactions came from this one.

This week we looked at the Trojan Horse and staged the famous moments where Odysseus and friends use it to win the war. Following that we looked at creating a massive storm, courtesy of Poseidon, and had a good deal of fun playing around with our 'ocean.' Physical sequences like this are some of our favourites as they are a great deal of fun to make.

Following the storm, Odysseus and crew end up on an island where they meet the cyclops. In the absence of a full and present cast we plotted out this scene, injecting action and humour into the Chameleons adaptation. Of particular hilarity were the giant sheep, aptly and humorously portrayed by our Chorus. The group have taken really well to their characters for The Odyssey and it's really great to watch a scene come together with the personalities they portray.

And so, rehearsals continue. Next week is the halfway point of the term! There will be cake and fancy dress to celebrate...and more heroes, gods and monsters for sure.

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...