Carole – Blairgowrie – A Home from Home!
Arrived in Blairgowrie late afternoon on Saturday to stay with Ruth and Graham. It would be easy to focus on the workshops first but one of the things I love about visiting clubs around the country is the opportunity to stay with club members and this was no exception. With fabulous views and a warm welcome, I settled into the a lovely meal provided by Ruth (thanks for helping me stick to my diet) and an evening talking all things theatre. So many subjects came up in conversation that Graham started to make notes and I’ve since sent through lots of bits and pieces that I hope will be useful, particularly when we got onto the subject of trying to find ways to broaden the horizons of the young club members through theatre visits! I always reflect on the fact that my role is not just about workshops and I love to hear about the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to challenges for clubs so that I can try to help.
Sunday morning arrived and, fortified by a fabulous breakfast, we headed down to the cub premises, The Kirk. Graham and Ruth had talked me through the plans that the club have for major renovations and it was great to put the plans into context by being inside the building. In particular the upstairs area was completely fabulous, a huge treasure trove of props and costumes. I imagine that the people who take care of costumes could go straight to the relevant rail if asked to find any costume. I did wonder if there were any gems there that the club could consider selling to add to the renovation fund but I think that there are some things that are more valuable than money!
Gradually the young people turned up for the morning workshop – 9 in total which we think wasn’t too bad for a sunny Sunday morning! We had so much fun and I loved the way the group worked together despite the span of ages. A couple of newbies came along as well so the club will be hoping they become members in time for the next production. I am always surprised by what happens in any workshop and it was great to hear from the young people during the feedback session talking so clearly about what they enjoyed but also what they had learned.
A short lunch break and the adults were up – a nice size group of 10. Lots of laughter followed with some of the warm-up games and exercises and then we tried to put things into practice working in pairs using a very short script. Just like school classes, I agreed to using the outdoors as a working space so that people could enjoy the sunshine. The space around the building is an old graveyard with fabulous views but everyone kept their mind on the task, very impressive.
We all enjoyed watching each performance, thanks to a lot of good comedy timing there was some moments of absolutely hilarity – I think we will all remember the characters inspired by Gogglebox!
The sharing at the end was lovely, especially hearing how some people had been nervous and apprehensive before the workshop but were completely relaxed having enjoyed an afternoon of play and fun and learning some new things about themselves, other members of the club and drama in general along the way.
Here are some photos to whet your appetite – we’ve already started discussing “what next?” so I don’t think it will be too long before I will be travelling back up the A9 to my new friends in Blairgowrie.