The first year single honours students have been working on projects this week. The Theatre Arts students have been with Out of Joint's Ian Redford, developing a piece of verbatim theatre from testimonies gathered at a local care home. Meanwhile the Applied Theatre students have been working on a physical piece about tube travel with Imogen Bond, who was an associate at The Orange Tree last year and the Physical Theatre students have had five days re adapting Kafka's imaginary travelogue Amerika with Mitch Mitchelson from The Circus Space.
The work was shared at lunchtime today and was really impressive, sensitive and at times delightful. The verbatim piece had real poignancy, stories of heart attacks mistaken as practical jokes, memories of dancing and a wonderful sequence as a group of pensioners slowly read aloud a description of Obama's inauguration speech with knowing nods and the occasional 'ahhh - well good for him.'
The tube work was tight and movingly realised as a world weary traveller escaped into a fantasy sequence where his copy of the financial times morphed into a beautiful sun, flowers, a spliff from which love heart smoke rings blew and finally a beautiful girl in a pink dress who stole his heart.
Amerika was simply epic - an incredible body of work for four days. Imaginatively realised, not just full of fun, but disciplined and worked with concentration and belief.
The best of it is to realise what great potential there is in the year and when focused, committed and invested in the work, how much can be achieved in a relatively short time.
We're going to look at repeating the exercise next year - possibly as an induction exercise. It felt as if great progress had been made.