Monday, 20 October 2008

The Strawberry Hill Symphony.

We had a lot of fun in our Theatre Games class today. Tilly and I set the first years up with the challenge of creating a Junk orchestra, composing a symphony and performing it ... all by the end of the afternoon.

After initial discussion Sem was chosen to take charge and steered us through a roller coaster day.

The group quickly assembled tubes, pipes, balloons, bottles, saucepans, keys, shoe boxes, a picket fence (I didn't ask where it had come from... although it dawns with horror on me this evening that I've seen one similar in housekeeper Paula's front garden!!!!!!) Even a bed frame appeared. All was lugged into studio 3.

Drapes were sourced and hung, a programme printed, lights rigged.

Sophie was given the job of conductor and began to arrange her orchestra.

There were a few tense moments, usually accompanied by some hearty swearing, and at some points the joy of noise threatened to drown out a more strategic approach to composition, but everywhere you turned was industry and progress. Pairs began to put together short sequences and motifs, which soon built into an impressive palette of possibilities from which to create.

As you might expect on an Applied Theatre course there are several leaders who have to fight very hard to go along with an idea they haven't completely bought into, but I like the energy and it's a very positive sign that the work did come together.

At 3.30pm a small audience of 20 arrived and were treated to an eight minute piece performed with discipline and focus.

For these twenty students today was a first micro try out in organising themselves as a production company. It involved compromise, delegation, trusting others in the team to deliver and above all else to take responsibility for the jobs allocated to you. If you can do all of these things whilst all about is collapsing then you are valuable indeed.

In December the Lost and Found Orchestra (see image above) will play at the Festival Hall. It should be worth a listen.

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