Carole – No thorny issues for Thornhill Players
It felt like ages for this day to come at the end of October because it had been in the diary for so long – full marks to Thornhill for forward planning!!
With not one, but two plays in rehearsal the workshop plan was focussed on some specific issues arising within one of the plays for one half of the day and in the 2nd half the club were interested in exploring how to ‘do nothing’ on stage.
After some general drama stuff, a technical term, we got into the business of the scene. The question concerned how to sustain a struggle between 2 characters while the scene continues around it. This led to a discussion about the difference between being naturalistic or theatrical. We agreed that in the context of this scene we needed to go for theatricality but even with theatricality there needs to be enough realism for the audience to buy-in to the fact that the character was actually being restrained whilst allowing the character to interact with the scene in a comedic way. So what did we learn?
- We needed to allow the text to drive the scene so that the struggle made sense. There were necessary moments of stillness to allow the character to hear and respond to the actions of the other characters
- We needed to absolutely choreograph the start and end point of the physical struggle for it to work
- Many hands make light work – after watching 3 different versions created in small groups we all had a lightbulb moment that getting a group together to explore some of these sticky moments at the beginning of rehearsals is not only great fun but takes the pressure off the director to come up with all of the answers (something I also try to steer directors away from).
I think that there were elements in each version that could be brought together and I hope that the cast and director found it useful.
After a shared lunch we started to think about whether it is possible to ever do nothing – even if we are just quietly sitting somewhere usually our minds are still working really hard – sometimes random thoughts sometimes trying to figure out what to do next. Does it make any difference to our outer stillness if our inner life is so active.
What did we discover? You’ll have to book the workshop yourself to find out.
See you down the road!