A busy day. After tutorial I headed off to meet the Applied Theatre first years at The Orange Tree, where Henry had invited us to provide the a dress rehearsal audience for an anarchically silly Twelfth Night, which he's been putting together with a group of four actors. It's wonderful to be able to get into rehearsals and the students really enjoyed the privilege. Next semester it'll be their turn and I hope having this opportunity will at least have helped them see how much fun work for young audiences can be.
After the run through the cast tried out a short workshop on us to demonstrate how Shakespeare creates different voices for his characters. We ran 'If music be the food of love' just using the vowel sounds... 'eee ooo eee ooo ooo' to show Orsino's open romanticism and then 'Have you no wit, manners nor honesty?' playing just the consonants ' vvv nnnn wwww tttt mmm nnn ttt' to reinforce Malvolio's lack of grace and patience. It was very smart. A great, accessible introduction into the text.
Rushed back to campus to interview Keith for Making Theatre. Much of the discussion focused on how tricky some actors find Stand Up. The suggestion was that to begin with they 'act' what they think a comedian should be like never really letting the audience into themselves.
'Comedy is the great leveller,' he said 'but if you're going to play it you've got to be prepared to come down to meet the crowd.'
From there we headed over to the Dolche to catch the second years perform the first Political Cabaret of the semester. Some really clever material on facebook and a couple of really well crafted songs. Interest in this work has grown from last year and the room was packed to the rafters. The students just seemed relieved to have got through it but it was a really good first attempt and hopefully will have given them confidence to write with even more freedom next time round.
The day ended over in the theatre watching the Theatre Arts production of Fasymmetric Theory, a really encouraging first play from Level 3 student Kat Evans who's put together a Martin Crimp like montage of slightly disconnected scenes, parodying our obsession with beauty myths. It was very exciting to see a student play getting a full production. The cast and director did an admirable job in showcasing a promising talent.