Thursday, 3 May 2012

Counter Terrorism at Waterloo.

With most of the work out of the way we've all settled down to a pile of end of term marking. The Olympics, and the fact that we're a pre-games training camp, means that we've had a condensed term and so everybody is looking pretty exhausted. The up side is that we're going to have a slightly longer summer than usual. So we enter the final push.

Yesterday we had our final interview day. For all the talk of increased fees we've managed to keep our numbers up. Theatre Arts and Physical Theatre are clearly still very popular subjects at A-level; whilst Applied Theatre with its focus on employment and professional links is attracting quite a few candidates who have an eye on the future.

All three programmes have upp-ed their game. Kasia is increasingly looking for opportunities for the Physical Theatre students to have their work seen publicly and in a week or so her Stories and Visions students will be performing a short showcase at the BAC, whilst two days ago the Theatre Arts Level 3 performed their end of term showcase at the Soho Theatre.

I didn't make it because it clashed with one of the Applied Theatre TIE pieces. In the main it all went well. The only snag came when two of the students needed a small table as a prop for their duologue. Neither drive and no van had been booked to ferry stuff to Soho - so they tried to make the journey on public transport.

All went well as far as Waterloo, but arriving for rush hour, they were told that they wouldn't be allowed to take it on the tube until the crowds had cleared. Without any sense of how far away the theatre is they didn't know what to do and so they sat on the table, on the concourse and waited until ten o'clock to try again.

As soon as they moved the police, who'd been watching them on CCTV, moved in, shouting and arrested them under counter-terrorism procedures. They were cuffed and taken to a small cell in the bowels of the station, the table was confiscated and accusatory calls were made back to St Marys to find out what was going on.

Eventually they were let off with a warning. In Olympic year it's clear that furniture on London transport represents a significant threat to the public.  And the table? Who knows? I suspect it was taken to a quarry on the outskirts of London and destroyed in a controlled explosion.

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