Before we left England, Chris’s golfing buddy Paul made a generous financial donation to our Drama project, to be used in any way that might help to make it a success. The accompanying picture shows the result, with the instruments we were able to bring with us augmented by whatever we have been able to buy here: from street vendors, a tourist shop in Byblos, a toyshop (the animal xylophones) and a tiny haberdashery shop with a sideline in various bits and pieces: halloween masks, practical joke kits, and, crucially, shakers, tambourines and recorders. When we leave, the instruments will remain, as an addition to the school’s resources.
However, it was the absence of these instruments which contributed to the relative success of today’s rehearsal. We decided to focus on the acting today, without the inevitable and virtually perpetual distraction that the instruments provide (especially the high-pitched screech of the recorders!) And suddenly it seemed that we had a play after all. Despite not having rehearsed the acting since about last Wednesday, due to large-scale absenteeism, they remembered much of what they had been asked to do… to our great relief. Most importantly, they put across the stories.
Our two leads – the peddler’s daughter and the man who discovers his luck and fate (Asmaa and Mohammed respectively) are both excellent. They know exactly what they have to say and do, and they create strong, believable characters. Most importantly, they put across their stories.
Tomorrow, we have to try to combine the words and the music, without descending into chaos once again.